Reviews

Lumbarjack – Wasteland Angel

The first gameplay video for Wasteland 2 looks extremely promising, and Wasteland Kings was a sublime action Roguelike, so there must be something in the name, right?

Wasteland Angel’s main selling points appear to be the fact that it cashes in on the recent enthusiasm for all things Post-Apocalyptic, and it has an attractive woman showing a lot of midriff on the front cover. It is a vehicular action game, played from the top-down perspective, and honestly there isn’t much else to say… Oh alright, I’ll expand on that somewhat.

You play as Angel, because Wasteland Martha just wouldn’t have had the same ring to it. You wander around the wastes looking for a friend of yours, helping small settlements defend themselves from all sorts of Mad Max-style raiding groups. How these settlements manage to survive for the other 364 days of the year when you aren’t around is a mystery to me… There are three different enemy types – well, really two-and-a-half – Killers that simply try to kill you, and Slavers who rush straight to the town and start kidnapping civilians. The other enemy type is the Switch-Hitter that can be either Killer or Slaver. It’s actually called a Dual, but it only took me two seconds to come up with something more interesting… That should give you some indication of how much creativity and originality has gone into Wasteland Angel – practically none.

Gameplay is a simple matter of driving around the town you’re currently tasked with protecting and shooting every raider that appears on screen. There are special weapons such as napalm, EMP, landmines, and it’s possible to upgrade your car, but again there’s nothing original or particularly interesting on offer.

On the default difficulty level you might lose the odd civilian, but there’s not much in the way of an actual challenge, just monotonous driving and shooting around stages that might change cosmetically, but always play the same. They do try and mix things up with boss battles, but unsurprisingly these bosses aren’t fun or particularly interesting to fight.
It’s possible to unlock bonus stages where you’re playing from within the car, but I wouldn’t recommend it. They simply move the camera down into the car, so all the sprites that look passable from high above the map are suddenly right in your face, as ugly as 3D from the mid-90s. I found it literally nausea-inducing.

I can’t remember what bundle I got his game in, but if you’ve found it in your library too, don’t bother – this isn’t the Wasteland game you’re looking for.

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