"Now Rangers, I know it seems, at times, our cause is hopeless. And I know it's hard to say goodbye to a brother in arms. But I want you to know something else - that no Ranger that dies in the line of duty will ever be forgotten, nor will he ever have died in vain... or, unavenged."
The sequel to the 1988 post-apocalyptic classic Wasteland, notable not only for bringing back a quarter of a century-old brand but also for being the first big name Western RPGcrowd-funded on Kickstarter. It is being developed by inXile Entertainment, a studio consisting of many of the same people who worked on the original Wasteland when they were at Interplay, joined by Obsidian Entertainment, and Chris Avellone in particular, as co-developers.Fifteen years have passed since a squad of Desert Rangers defeated the insane cyborg Finster and the Base Cochise AI, saving the world from a second apocalypse. After their long trek home, the Rangers realized that they now had a prime opportunity to upgrade their arsenal, and migrated from their former base at the Federal Prison to the Citadel, whose violent inhabitants had been eradicated. There, they began studying the base's secrets, hoping to use the knowledge they gained there to improve the quality of life out in the desert.But all is not well in the Wasteland—while the Rangers were holed up in their new base, other groups began making power plays. Their old base at the Prison has been taken over by the Red Skorpion gang, who claim to have reformed into a poor-man's Desert Rangers. The Rail Nomads have fallen back on their old grudges, a radiation storm has cut off contact with Quartz and Vegas, and Highpool's still bitter about that kid with the BB Gun.This last one's the kicker, though: strange radio broadcasts from the west, talking about a future where man and machine are one, and, perhaps most worryingly, outright threatening to destroy the Desert Rangers and everything they stand for. It was enough to get ol' General Vargas spooked, and one of the old Cochise team, Ace, was sent to investigate. Ranger HQ lost contact with him days ago, and now he's finally come home... in a bodybag. Now it's up to the next generation of Rangers to find out who's responsible for his death, how it's linked to those broadcasts, and what's been stirring up trouble in the Arizona Wasteland. No pressure, rookie...Originally expected for an October 2013 release, the game was delayed multiple times before being finally released on September 19, 2014.Needs Wiki Magic Love.
The game provides examples of following tropes:
Action Bomb: Servants of the Mushroom Cloud have a very effective deterrent against raiders. You attack them or people under their protection - they blow up home-made dirty bombs strapped over their bodies, taking everyone with them. This allows to keep the Titan's Canyon relatively safe, at least when compared to it's past.
After the End: Like the original, the game is set after a nuclear war that devastated much of the world.
All Deserts Have Cacti: Justified, they are American deserts. And saguaro cacti would show up in the first part of the game, since it happens to take place in the one desert they are native to.
All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The final mission is an assault on the Ranger Citadel, which has been taken over by the Children of the Citadel while the Rangers were busy running around dealing with all the trouble the Children had started across the wasteland.
Anti-Hero: It's perfectly possible to accept a quest to rescue a woman, kill her, and tell the man you accepted the quest that you arrived too late. Just another day in the wasteland.
The Apunkalypse: Much more prominent than in the first game. Not only there are raiders, slavers and other such groups that fill the bill to the T, but Rangers too are now present in combination of this and veryUsed Future.
Art Shift: Somehow manages this within the game. Character portraits can vary in style at times, ranging from somewhat realistic to cartoonishly exaggerated. The most noticeable examples are the the Waste Wolf and the companion Pizepi Joren.
Characters enlisted during the gameplay can act on their own or disobey orders, moreso if you don't have someone with a good Leadership skill. When they do, they are usually suicidal and/or extremely wasteful.
It's very easy to lure your enemies from their perfectly safe and impenetrable positions by engaging them at long distance - they will abandon their posts in blind charge
If NPCs enlisted into your squad are somewhat unruly, NPCs assigned for quests and escort are just plain suicidal. Brother Shapiro is probably the worst of them all, as he has a habit of running back and forth between his target to use his revolver at point blank range once and then run toward another target. Luckily there are usually no penalties if such characters die in the process.
Bag of Spilling: There are no traces of all the nuff stuff Rangers could get their hands on in the first game.
Bloody Hilarious: The... colorful flavor text is back, complete with body parts gibbing and exploding. Some animations upon critical death try to match them.
Boom, Headshot: Headshots deal twice the damage of normal shots, but they can't crit, are 40% less accuratenote This penalty is subtractive (i.e. 80% become 40%, 60% becomes 20%) applies before accuracy caps at 100%, so a headshot can be more than 60% accurate., and take an additional 2 AP, regardless of a standard attack's AP cost. Depending on critical multiplier of your weapon, you can have a possibility of dealing less damage than by a normal shot. This makes headshots most effective for attacks with high base accurate, low crit chance, and/or high AP costs.
Toaster Repair is now actually a useful skill. Complete with toasters just laying around in the desert.
Combat Shooting is now a prestige skill that actually does something.
Charisma is no longer a Dump Stat. It governs the range of the Leadership skill and too low a combined party score will prevent certain characters from joining up with you.
Bus Crash: The cemetery outside Ranger Citadel contains pretty much every recruitable NPC from the first game, who all died in service to the Rangers in the 15 years between games. Life in the wasteland is indeed harsh.
But Thou Must: Certain things just have to be done. You must pick one town to help or visit certain locations - it's impossible to advance the plot without doing so or fulfilling certain quests.
Can't Hold His Liquor: Played for laughs, when Baker One squad cornered a robber by name of Esteban Negro in a bar. Instead of fighting with him, their captain keep on drinking with the guy, until he passed out.
Career-Ending Injury: Thrasher - one of the starting party members from the first game - was crippled from the final battle at Base Cochise.
Cargo Cult: Monks from the Titan's Canyon are praying to still working Titan II ICBM. They are using it to uphold status quo in the region - if someone wants to play rough, they will detonate it, taking down everyone and everything in the area of few kilometers around.
Character Customization: Your whole team can be customized by gender, portraits, and looks. Heck, you can even pick things like religion they follow and smokes they like. Of course it also covers attributes and skills. This allows one character to be good at breaking down doors, another hacking, and so on and so forth. There is also a randomizer which will give the player a balanced party every time. And outside statistics and skills, nothing else truly matters.
Character Portrait: The old-style ones. You can pick from existing collection or implement you own. This can also end with an awkward situation where the portrait you picked won't match your character's customizable looks. Or worse, somehow matching an NPC portrait.
Church Militant: All religious organisations. Servants of the Mushroom Cloud stands out the most, since they managed to turn MAD doctrine into a sacred rite.
Clothing Damage: If a character gets caught in the explosion of a nuke grenade, all the clothes they're wearing will be destroyed. Mind you, weapons and armor will be fine, but you'll have to get some new clothes if you don't want them to look naked.
Concealment Equals Cover: Subverted. Only solid or relatively big objects can be used as cover, so a concrete column will work, but corral fence won't. Also, hiding behind solid objects that won't count as cover in combat will still greatly reduce chances of being spotted. If the enemy is behind cover, watch your accuracy towards them early-game go into nearly single digits. Thankfully, this also applies to you.
Cool Shades: Pair of mirrored aviators, that make it easier to take your aim, but also reduce wearer's Awareness.
Crap Saccharine World: Red Scorpions "Happy Valley". It's a honeypot trap designated to attract farmers from around into coming and then put them into slave-like servitude. The farm itself is very smooth, clean and efficient, but it's more like a slave plantation than the envisioned "demo version" of what homesteaders can achieve there.
Crowbar Combatant: Crowbars are mid-tier blunt weapons and when they show up, they rock in their class. Even moreso when modded.
Crutch Character: Angela Deth. Luckily for players, experience is spread evenly to everyone in the squad, so the Rangers can truly benefit on having her early on.
Cutting Off The Branches: Pretty much everything about the starting party and the RPCs from the first game have been set in stone. Including the personalities and backgrounds of the starting party.
Darker And Grittier: It might be just the colouring that makes it darker, but the game is considerably more gritty.
Deliberate Values Dissonance: In Highpool you see a bunch of kids calling racial taunts to an imprisoned Native American. This is not treated like a good thing.
"I'm making fun of you because of my low self-esteem!"
Design It Yourself Equipment: Weaponsmithing is a skill that allows to strip weapons for parts and then install them in other guns, enhancing their performance. The additional parts can be rearranged or removed on a whim.
Determined Homesteader: You can find pieces of diary written by a farmer living around Ranger Center and covering the gradual collapse of the area after Rangers moved base from the old Ranger Center to the Citadel. Yet the guy stayed in the place and protected it. It ended killing his family and finally him too.
Drop the Hammer: You can use sledgehammers in battle. The hammer was also the signature weapon of Red Samson, the messiah of God's Militia.
Early Game Hell: The game is extremely unforgiving. You have a limited number of Rangers who all start at level 1 upon creation and who can die very quickly (and we are talking Baldur's Gate 1 quickly), you initially have no idea which attributes or skills will be useful in the future (and even if you know which ones will be needed most of the time, you won't be able to pick all the useful ones, you simply don't have enough skill points), and the first logical location you will visit if you decide to follow the road, the AG Center, is despised by many for being long and deadly to go through (not to mention you can get infected, which will kill your characters after enough time elapse... that being said, you have plenty of time). Simply put, you have 0 chances to get through this area overflowing with monsters and traps without Save Scumming like crazy. Thankfully, you can recruit Angela Deth from the get-go, who can act as a damage sponge (she is level 14, with over 100 hit points), has a nice aim and comes with a few useful skills.
Enemy Chatter: Often happens when you sneak behind enemy position instead of knocking to the front door. In some cases it's advised to shoot them before they finish their talk, or they can do something stupid, like triggering a trap on container, destroying it's content in the process.
Epic Fail: If someone will miss with the entire burst from heavy weapon, the description says that the target of the attack wasn't even aware it was for him/her.
Everything Breaks: Especially doors and cover. Your loot breaks too, if you blow up a chest before you open it.
Evil Counterpart: Red Scorpion Militia, a group of progressively more and more organised raiders that took Ranger Center after Rangers moved to the Citadel. They are styling themselves as another law-abiding group of protectors, but they are also brutal, extortion-based clan that rules with heavy hand over their "turf".
Good Guns, Bad Guns: Completely averted. You use whatever you can lay your hands on and is better than your current weapon. The only reason why Rangers start with barely any automatic weapons is that they are rookies with basic equipment and thus it would be wasteful to provide them with something better. Oh, and Soviet weapons are top-tier in each class.
Grey and Black Morality: Depending on the player's choices, the Rangers can be little better then the raiders and monsters they fight. But they are the best hope for the Wasteland.
Guns Are Useless: Both completely subverted and played straight depending on the situation (and how far you are in the game). Your guns will (usually) allow you to kill most enemies before they can even touch you, but if the enemy just bum-rushes you with say, a traffic sign axe, they can generally kill quicker than you can kill them.
Melee attacks that do far more damage than a target's CON can result in their entire upper half being destroyed, leaving a limp pair of legs where they were standing.
One of the victims of the raider raid in Highpool was cut in half with with power tools. Thankfully you weren't there to see it happen, just the aftermath.
Hijacked by Ganon/Evil Is Not a Toy: The Big Bad's plan turns out to be to resurrect the Cochise A.I., merge with it, and lead the wasteland into a golden age as a benevolent god. Once resurrected, Cochise promptly erases his mind, takes over the bodies of him and all his minions, and once again tries to Take Over the World.
Heroic Sacrifice: One of your party members manually detonates the Davy Crockett nuke to destroy Cochise before it can implement its Assimilation Plot. This results in their death, but you have the option of letting the rest of the party members flee to safety first. Or you can be a tool and set it off straight away, taking all your buddies with you.
Hurricane of Puns: Just like in the first game, Agricultural Center runs on this trope whenever you inspect vegetation or description of surroundings is present.
Improbable Power Discrepancy: The enemies you find in the later areas could probably take over Arizona on their own, even if their in-universe description is one of just another colourful raider gang.
Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Constantly present in different forms and designs - literal herding fences, barb-wires, ruins, tall rocks etc. Luckily, you can simply bash some of them and take a shortcut. Or blow them up if you feel giddy.
Irradiated terrain can be treated as such. Unless you get yourself radiation suits and pretty good ones, you will die before crossing them.
It's Up to You: Justified, as pretty much every other active ranger squad is busy with other important tasks.
Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: To an extent. Energy weapons are no longer pretty much required to beat the game like in the original Wasteland, and tend to have a high AP cost. The game seems to run on the premise that an energy pistol is easily better than a kinetic one, but an energy rifle is too costly to use compared to a regular rifle. However, energy weapons are extremely effective against enemies with an armor class of 6 and up.
Law of Inverse Recoil: Averted. Spraying a burst - which is only 3-5 bullets long - affects aiming considerably, making it harder to score a hit. Each bullet is evaluated separately, so hitting with one does not guarantee to hit with whole burst.
Limited Loadout: Oddly combined with Hyperspace Arsenal an unlimited inventory space. The amount of stuff a character can carry is not limited, but it's weight is. Getting more stuff in the backpack than allowed by Strength will provide with hefty encumbrance penalties.
Master of None: Attempting to give a character too many different skills will result in this scenario with characters having low skill levels in each category. Your best bet is to have each character specialise with different weapons and skills.
Only Six Faces: Due to the nature of the game, there is a finite amount of portrays for characters and NPCs. Many of them are reused and countless of them don't fit the description of that person. But since the game is played from a top-down perspective, this is seldom a serious issue.
Overrated And Underleveled: All the PCs and RPCs from the first game. For instance, Angela Deth isn't wearing powered armor and isn't wielding a proton axe.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Angela Deth. During combat, she'll lampshade it asking who in their right minds would pick a fight with someone whose last name is Deth.
Assault rifles and especially sniper rifles get an aiming penalty when used in close ranges.
SMGs, while being overly better than pistols, can only shoot in burst mode.
Revolvers pack bigger punch than pistols, but they hold only six bullets and their range is shorter.
Almost all enhancing items trade one attribute, secondary statistic or skill for another.
Heavy armor, while offering greater level of protection, also affects speed and requires minimal level of Strength.
Headshots always deal double the damage, but have a reduced hit percentage, no chance for a critical hit, and costs more AP.
Shotguns can hit your buddies if they're standing behind the intended target.
Unarmed brawling uses the least AP per attack and a high crit rating, meaning that you can let off a high number of blows. However, the low damage output puts brawling as a "last resort" combat option.
Bladed weapons have a high crit rating, but low armor penetration and low non-critical damage.
Conversely, blunt weapons have good armor penetration and the highest crit damage multiplier, but a poor crit rating.
Heavy weapons have the highest damage rating and good armor penetration, but have high AP costs and cumbersome enough to slow down the wielder's movement speed.
Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: Justified. Almost all types of powerful guns get negative modifiers to aiming at close, which leaves player with puny pistols and unwieldy shotguns.
Never Live It Down: In-universe: In the first game a lot of players either accidentally or purposely shot a kid in a town that was unarmed (Bobby), his dog (Rex), and one that only had a BB gun (Red Ryder). 15 years later, Highpool still doesn't like the Rangers. It goes even further if you decide to help Agricultural Center instead - the radio operator from Highpool will instantly chew Rangers for putting Highpool always in the end.
New Game+: Patch number 3 added the ability to carry over created characters from a completed game to a new one.
New Meat: Your starting characters and the three conscripts in the outskirts of the Citadel. Unlike your squad, they remain as such forever.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A humorous example. During the Raid on Highpool you take out a mortar team that is attacking the town. However you can then launch the mortar again. You get a transmission from the Guard Leaders screaming about what he's going to do the mortar launcher when he gets his hands on them.
Nintendo Hard: The game, being a throwback to early PC-RPGs, often challenges the player to keep a keen eye on their ammo and other resources and be extra mindful of their tactics. The fact that enemies can fight and deal damage outside turn based combat and you can't makes it even harder.
Non-Standard Game Over: Tampering with the Davy Crockett nuclear launcher in Ranger Citadel will lead to it's detonation, literally wiping out the Rangers. It also comes with a very spoiler heavy endgame card, describing events and characters that player at this point of game couldn't even know. This is likely because the nuke is a Chekhov's Gun that plays a big role in the endgame.
Pistols aren't penalized in close range, but that's the only range they are really useful and have limited power in general, meaning they can only fare well early on and as a secondary weapon if you can spare points for training.
Fists come with hefty damage multiplier in case of critical hits and the crits are relatively common, but you are still fighting with your hands, so even with lots of Min-Maxing guns and melee weapons will still outperform bare hands.
Three of the companions you can pick are a raider who only wants to join you for the killing, a drunk hobo who only wants to 'live a life of danger', and an old wannabe-badass with delusions of grandeur. Unsurprisingly, none of them are team players, and require a high leadership level to stop them going rogue and getting themselves killed every turn.
Revolvers Are Just Better: Inverted. They are stronger than automatic pistols, but they can carry only six bullets and their range is shorter.
RPGs Equal Combat: Twisted in every possible way. On one hand, combat grants lion share of experience and you will level like crazy by just killing things. On the other, solving problem - any problem - requires specific sets of non-combat skills or you will be simply unable to continue in most of the cases.
Sadistic Choice: Whatever town you help out first is the only one that survives. The other you have to clean up what's left.
To rub some salt into the wound, while you are progressing with any of the assignments, you are constantly radioed by the other community, until the transmission cease or are taken over by raiding party.
Short Range Shotgun: Shotguns have not only relatively short range in general, but also their stopping power drops with distance. On the other hand, even the tutorial box mentions to use them intentionally at longer distances to hit more targets with one shot.
Jean Rambeau counts too, but not just his name. If you show him a pocket knife that you found inside a toaster earlier, he gives you possibly the best bladed weapons in the game a knife literally called This is a Knife.
Small Secluded World: Much more present than in the first game and for a good reason. When clouds of radiation changed their patterns, Arizona became completely cut out from the outside world. Some even believe there is no outside world now. The plot begins when Radio signals from outside the cloud starts broadcasting.
Angela jokingly remarks that maybe the world outside is just fine and it's only the Arizona that is such hell-hole.
Take That: "Red Boots DLC, only $49.95!" "Just Kidding! You didn't really think we'd have DLC did you?"
The Remnant: The Desert Rangers are the remnants of a US Army division that was in Arizona when the bombs fell. A bunch of mutants still follow Finster... Well Finster before he went insane with the Android Body.
Too Awesome to Use: Most explosives, particularly rocket launchers which are heavy and hard to come by, tend to fall into this category. You'll want to save those for the Scorpitrons.
Used Future: Unlike first game, where Desert Rangers were presented as military grade organization, with well-kept uniforms, standard issue equipment and things like that, here we've got full blown Scavenger World, where even the most maintained and polished things are clearly beyond their years, everything is dusted and all machines are jury-rigged. Things like robot policemen or clothes other than rags, present in first game, are gone for good. Not helping things is the fact it's in Arizona so dust, dirt, and sand gets into everything.
Vendor Trash: A lot of things you can pick on your way fall under this category. There is even a button during barter to sell things that the game itself flags under this trope.
Violence Is the Only Option: Discussed and inverted by Vargas. He makes it clear that while brute force and a bullet can solve almost all problems that Rangers can encounter, they are also last resort.
We Have Reserves: Brutally averted. Rangers, even after fifteen years of relative peace, are spread thin and can't even assemble enough squads to answer all calls. Losing your squadmates is permanent - there won't be any replacements for them.
We Have the Keys: Due to the nature of the inventory, it's entirely possible to pick locks, crack safes and hack electronics while being able to just open them. Unless you actively use the key, it won't happen automatically.
Wide Open Sandbox: Still present, but toned down when compared with the first game. First one got both completely open world design and sandbox gameplay. Thanks to changes in how radiation works and different form of narration (no longer set of paragraphs to read whenever told to), the game still is open and with countless sandbox game mechanics, but exploration is much more limited. That said, each location can be traversed in countless ways.
World Building: A lot of fluff regarding first game was added or filled, mostly because technology finally allows for countless descriptions and dialogues needed for it.
Wrench Whack: Angela Deth starts with unique weapon - Ace's wench. She won't part with it and it's relatively powerful early on.
You Have Researched Breathing: Not counting combat skills, characters can't even try to perform any of the actions without single rank in given skill, as they lack icon to use it. Said single rank means they are still laymen in that field.
You Kill It, You Bought It: The Rangers set up their HQ in the Guardian Citadel after slaughtering everyone inside in the first game.
Zeerust Canon: The original game was written and released in 1988, thus many things were designed and envisioned from The Eighties perspective. Sequel stays true to that vision, even if made after experiencing The Nineties first-hand. So even if the Final War came in late 90's, the world has more in common with 80's, giving intentional Zeerust - Teddy Ruxpin and Transformers toys, computer running on floppy discs (even the Computer skills use a floppy for their icon), barely any technology going beyond given time period and so on. Games consoles from The Nineties can be found, including a CD-I as a rare quest item.