Wasteland 3 - Review @ Kordanor's Gaming Lair

HiddenX

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Our fellow Watcher Kordanor reviewed Wasteland 3 at his Gaming Lair:

Wasteland 3 - Review / Conclusion [EN] by Kordanor



Wasteland 3 offers quite an interesting, and -for the most part- well made story with a lot of choices and consequences. And this is all happening in a very atmospheric environment, as long as you can look past the humor and also the zoo which you carry around with you; and if you are ok with quite some criticism aimed at religion. The character system is working quite well this time, which is a big improvement over the predecessor. However there is still a problem regarding how well you can plan ahead, and the push towards custom created characters in general isn't great either.
The combat would have really profited from some more polish, even when it's already working better than it did in Wasteland 2.
And with that Wasteland 3 surpasses Wasteland 2 in terms of mechanics and production values, but in total it's still somewhat away from being a perfect game.
While this is a really close one, my rating for Wasteland 3 is a reluctant but still full thumbs up.
I think it's a worthy next part of the Wasteland series and I can recommend it to most fans of RPGs.
That is as long as you aren't totally opposed to what I mentioned regarding the story and setting, you don't focus too much on the combat aspects and it also does help if you prefer creating custom characters over taking story-characters anyways.
And of course you would also need to either have the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate which includes this game, or 60 Euros or Dollars for the full price on Steam. So it might be a good idea to wait for a sale here.
More information.
 

Kordanor

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Thank you! Any feedback, good or bad, about content, english language, pronounciation and everything else which might come to mind, appreciated! :)

That said: I am aware of the inconsistent pronounciation of Colorado ^^
 

HiddenX

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Let's say you can't hide that you are a originally a German speaker:) - but there's nothing wrong with that - good review!
 

Kordanor

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Let's say you can't hide that you are a originally a German speaker:) - but there's nothing wrong with that - good review!

Thanks! Yeah, strangely it seems to be mostly native German speakers who are annoyed by German Accents though. Luckily for them there is a German version of the review (not live atm) ^^
 

Drithius

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I've been playing it for the first time these past couple weeks. I can't say I'm all that enraptured by it, but perhaps it will get better. Currently, I don't find myself at all interested in any of the locations or story; and, god, is the UI ever clunky!

...Polly definitely deserves a nomination for most off-the-wall game companion of all time though.
 

Kordanor

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I've been playing it for the first time these past couple weeks. I can't say I'm all that enraptured by it, but perhaps it will get better. Currently, I don't find myself at all interested in any of the locations or story; and, god, is the UI ever clunky!

Why do you find the UI clunky? Anything in particular?
Besides of the background and quirks a bit hidden away and the enemy info on the top right (which you might not have seen at all), and besides a messy inventory I think its pretty good and intuitive.
 

Ripper

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Thank you! Any feedback, good or bad, about content, english language, pronounciation and everything else which might come to mind, appreciated! :)

That said: I am aware of the inconsistent pronounciation of Colorado ^^

I wouldn't worry about your English. You have a strong accent, but the English is absolutely clear, and mostly perfect. There are some ESL speakers that I do struggle with, because they don't just have an accent, but mangle the words, and this is not the case here. I don't see it as a factor that should affect your channel.
 

Couchpotato

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So did they ever fix the micro-stuttering when switching through the console GUI? As I started to hate how upgrading your stats/skills took longer then Wasteland 2.

I was also let down by the lack of areas on the map and the quest locations.
 

Drithius

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Why do you find the UI clunky? Anything in particular?
Besides of the background and quirks a bit hidden away and the enemy info on the top right (which you might not have seen at all), and besides a messy inventory I think its pretty good and intuitive.

Off the top of my head:
  • Inventory management is a nightmare - weapon types all lumped together, utility items not being shown under any tab aside from 'all items', etc
  • Navigation via map screens is difficult at best. Clicking on a map location to initiate movement was standard stuff twenty years ago.
  • Tied to the above, movement between the submaps of Colorado Springs/Ranger HQ can be aggravating - maps within maps.
  • Your reference to the quirk/backgrounds being hidden away makes me chuckle as that is one of the things I had just assumed the devs forgot about altogether (I have yet to find them in the maze of menus).
  • Character stats are far too hidden away for my tastes; as an RPG, I'd expect something like action points to be front and center, even outside of combat. The minor icons on a character doll for accuracy, evasion, and critical damage are close to useless: why no mouseover description? why no critical chance and just critical damage? Why no combat speed? Having to dive into a multi-page spreadsheet of values in a sub-sub-menu for basic things like this adds to the clunkiness.

Unrelated to UI clunkiness, I also can't help but feel that the game could have benefited from a real stealth mechanic. The existing 'detection' mechanic is overly simplistic and underdeveloped.
 

Drithius

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I was also let down by the lack of areas on the map and the quest locations.

I was deliberating whether to mention this, as I'm not yet done with the game and it could still change… but, yes, thus far this is one big reason I [currently] prefer Wasteland 2. The lessened exploration and discovery has been a disappointment.
 

Couchpotato

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I was deliberating whether to mention this, as I'm not yet done with the game and it could still change… but, yes, thus far this is one big reason I [currently] prefer Wasteland 2. The lessened exploration and discovery has been a disappointment.
Maybe the upcoming DLC will help with that problem Though no announcements beyond we have DLC plans has been mentioned in past interviews. We'll see I guess.:(
 

Kordanor

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@Ripper;
Thanks for the feedback! :)
@Couchpotato;
I did not experience any microsuttering in the menus. I did experience a strong suttering in general if you did not use real full screen though. The map however came with a really bad sounding noise on mouseover though

I think the amount of areas is okish. It's not as big as WL2, but I still spent 80h on one playthrough. You can probably finish it in 60h, still doing everything, but I think thats still okish.
@Drithius;
Agree with most stuff. But didnt have any issues with navigation. Besides of: Entering a zone on the world map almost always had like a 5 sec delay until the "enter window" popped up. Submap navigation was also fine. That is since the patch where they massively improved the loading times. Before that It was just a pita to run from HQ to the palace.
 

Kordanor

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It's one I hope is going to be on sale soon enough :)

Thanks for the short text summary version of the review. I don't have the time/patience for a 20+ min long video.

Yeah, its always the question on what to show. I already try to make it shorter and leave out details which arent super relevant.
But for me it's also important to show why I come to this conclusion, rather than just saying "Awesome game, buy it!" :D
Ideally, even if you don't agree with my conclusion you should be able (from my descriptions) to see if the game is for you or not, as the conclusion (and rating) obviously is always weighting stuff, which might be more or less important for some players.
 

vanedor

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Yeah, don't mind me. I'm the sort of person who prefer old school written reviews. But I guess there are plenty of people who enjoy those video reviews. Thanks for your contribution :)
 

Ripper

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On the question of length, I generally would not watch a 20+ minute game review, and if I stumbled upon a review on an unknown channel at that length, I would move on. For me, if I'm going to look at a video review, 10 minutes or less is about right. I don't know how the audience divides between those who want detail, and those who want concision, but it might be worth considering.
 

forgottenlor

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On the question of length, I generally would not watch a 20+ minute game review, and if I stumbled upon a review on an unknown channel at that length, I would move on. For me, if I'm going to look at a video review, 10 minutes or less is about right. I don't know how the audience divides between those who want detail, and those who want concision, but it might be worth considering.

I watch reviews, mostly for board games, not computer games, though very rarely for computer games if I am unsure what the actual gameplay looks like. I want a 5-10 minute review, and will pass up anything longer. This says nothing about the quality of your review, just that I am looking for an impression of gameplay and a quick opinion.
 

Kordanor

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On the question of length, I generally would not watch a 20+ minute game review, and if I stumbled upon a review on an unknown channel at that length, I would move on. For me, if I'm going to look at a video review, 10 minutes or less is about right. I don't know how the audience divides between those who want detail, and those who want concision, but it might be worth considering.

Yeah, one of the initial ideas was to also make a review for myself. Something that I can look back to in 10 years and see "Ok, so this is how the character system worked in that game, and feature XY is something which I didn't like" and actually Reviews as well as Let's Plays already helped me quite a lot to go back in time basically, looking stuff up. And ofc there are also things I want to mention and need to put them into perspective. Explaining an annoying bug can take quite a bit of time. And if you spend like 1 minute on explaining the bug, the review can't be 2 minutes of length if you get what I mean. I am still constantly running into this issue that I am spending a lot of time explaining why mechanics don't work. So that the review is 70% negativity and the final score is still positive. Explaining stuff which doesn't work just takes longer.

The issue generally is, that you read faster than you speak obviously. My reviews are written first and the narrated for the video. So written reviews generall have the advantage to transport more information in less time. Ofc what you don't get is the visuals and sound, which only a video can really provide.

Just as example, these 21.5 minutes are about 5 1/2 pages of text.
The Review on Iratus on RPG watch would take up around 4 pages of text and therefore in a narrated form have a lenth of maybe 15 Minutes.

Ofc it also always depends on the type of the game. An Graphical adventure can be easily reviewed in 5 minutes - because there are no game mechanics to explain and puzzles are either logical or not, you like the humor and story and not, say something about technical aspects and thats's pretty much it.

But something like explaining the background (funding via Kickstarter and so on) and the intro is already taking up a full minute. So to make it shorter I could just skip all that and just start "Hi, this is my review of X from developer Y, released at Z. Lets start with the story".

That said, in the end I have to find a compromise. I can justify the length all I want. If it's too long for the majority of viewers, I either need to accept the smaller audience or adjust.

I will try to make them even shorter in the future. Yeah, I am saying even shorter, because my Devinity OS 2 Review has a length of over an hour. ;)

Shorter also has the advantage of less time intensive of course.
20 Minutes of Video in both languages are currently at:
5h for writing German Version, 5h for translating/changing to English version, 5h for recording German Narration, 5h for recording English narration, 7h for recording and cutting footage for the German video (English footage used for both versions now) and another 3h for adjusting for English Version. So it's about 30h in total and that's actually pretty optimistic, feels like it's closer to 40 or 50h. So you can imagine that cutting that in half, would also save tons of time. ^^

In any case, I'll try my best to shorten reviews further in the future without losing much of the content. Or depending on other circumstances I might need to switch to a pure opinion piece, assuming that everyone is already familiar (or doesnt care at this point) about the mechanics.
 

joxer

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I've thumbed the review up because of the effort.
I wouldn't have any energy nor willpower to make something like that.
Sorry but I still won't watch it - I mean, I'm not watching World of Warcraft reviews either. ;)
 
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