Game Review: Wasteland Angel
Release: September 1st, 2011
Developer: Octane Game
Available Platforms: PC
ESRB Rating: N/A
The world has been destroyed by nuclear apocalypse. The human population is decimated, and society has been destroyed. Now lawless bandits roam around killing and enslaving anyone who is still aliv…..*zzzz zzzz*. This is the storyline to Wasteland Angel, and it will put you to sleep before you even start playing. The opening cut-scene begins with the line “It’s the same old shuggin story,” which will frame your experience playing Wasteland Angel perfectly. From the narrative, which could have been lifted straight from Fallout 3 or any of the many movies and videogames based off the same generic premise, to the gameplay, which offers nothing more than dull, uninspired combat – Wasteland Angel is simply blah.
Wasteland Angel is a top-down action game in which you play the Wasteland Angel, a savior of the remaining civilians scattered across the United States. You take control of Angel and her call, Ol’ Gypsy, which is loaded with guns used to turn the roaming gangs and mutants into scrap metal and mush.
Wasteland Angel plays like other top-down or isometric action games of the genre, like the Alien Shooter or Shadowgrounds series, and in some ways, similar to games like Twisted Metal. As the Wasteland Angel you travel across the United States protecting settlements from roaming groups of gangs, renegade military units, and mutants. All of which have fleets of vehicles that are ready to destroy you, raze cities to the ground, and enslave the citizens they come across.
Each level is set up the same, you arrive in a town just before an attack, and you must fend off attack vehicles and slaver vans in a series of waves. Each faction you fight operates exactly the same. They will have one unit specifically dedicated to attacking you, another unit that drives into the towns and captures civilians, and a third unit that’s a hybrid of the two – with its task of attacking or enslaving randomized. As you play you can pick up power ups and special weapons to give you an extra edge, but you will hardly need it. The brain-dead and underpowered A.I could be defeated without even looking. Unlimited ammo for your main guns also helps turn up the monotony factor , as you can just hold down the left mouse button and dispatch entire armies without trouble.
It’s more than just the enemies that are recycled in Wasteland Angel. The game effectively doubles the amount of levels in it by making you play a day and night version of each map, with identical wave patterns (which seemed to be almost identical across the whole game). Not only are levels duplicated, but so are boss fights.
The most interesting parts of Wasteland Angel are the occasional first-person levels where you complete a variety of events, such as races or time trials, but even then Wasteland Angel could hardly keep me interested. There is also a unique scoring system that carries over from level to level, eventually scoring you on your total progress in the campaign. However one of the games many bugs allowed my score to go above the maximum amount and plunge into the negative billions, effectively ending that fun little meta-game.
At first it was actually hard to say Wasteland Angel was a bad game. It was short, it was uninspired, it was boring, but it did not have the qualities of a truly bad game – such as anger-including mechanics or game-affecting bugs; however after spending about two hours in the atomic wasteland, the horrible reality of this new world became apparent. Bugs started popping up left and right. Enemies would frequently run into pathing problems, causing them to drive into walls over and over like a broken roomba. One of the bosses (which you fight twice like all the others…) can only be damaged by running over mines you place, yet the boss has some inexplicable ability to clip through the mines or push them off the world geometry.
Wasteland Angel will recycle mechanics and environments for about 4 hours until you get to the final chapter. By then though you will just be wishing you had bought a different game. I have no problem with this genre, in fact I enjoy the mindless shooting that makes up other games of the type – such as Alien Shooter or Zombie Driver. But even if you are a “fan of the genre”, there is nothing for you here. Wasteland Angel is not only copied and played-out in every way, but it’s also not fun – the biggest crime of all.
– Boring and uninspired gameplay
– Little variety in levels and no replay value
– Why does Angel talk like she is from the deep south if she lived in California?