Wasteland 3: The Battle of Steeltown
Post-apocalyptic games have always been a mainstay of the PC gaming world. The genre tends to come in two different flavors— post-apocalyptic first-person survival games such as Rust, and DayZ. And post-apocalyptic strategy RPGs, such as the long-running Fallout and Wasteland franchises.
While the first-person variant seems to be stagnating, creativity-wise, strategy RPGs generally have better writing and more interesting plotlines. This takes us to the Wasteland series, which has always had excellent writing, fascinatingly whacky characters, and unique challenges for players to overcome. Oh, and being a fan of tactical combat, the Wasteland series never lets me down and always builds upon itself from game to game.
Wasteland 3 is no exception. When it debuted in August of 2020 it wowed many gamers with its intricate storyline and its post-apocalyptic environs probably reminded people of the surreal, real-life drama going on around the world.
Wasteland 3: The Battle of Steeltown is the game’s first expansion and can be accessed as soon as the player characters reach level 9. Once this happens, the Patriarch will contact the Desert Rangers and offer them a new questline.
Basically, what this entails is traveling to Pueblo, Colorado, and go to a sprawling factory complex called Steeltown. Steeltown has been manufacturing all of the weapons and equipment required by the Patriarch to fend off the various gangs that have been roaming Colorado and threatening its populace—and this includes his lands. However, its production has virtually come to a screeching halt as of late and he wants you, the Desert Rangers, to look into what exactly is going on there.
When you get to Steeltown, you soon find out to there’s a lot more going on than expected—and most of it is really bad stuff. First off, Steeltown’s managers have become overly reliant on their AI system, which has been assigning workers to tasks that they’re ill-suited for. Secondly, the workers themselves have gone on a massive strike (the cause for the production slowdown). If all of that is not enough, a powerful gang is gearing up to assault the complex and take it over.
The Battle of Steeltown builds upon the sixty or so hours of game time that the base game provides and adds lots of new side missions as well. And just like the main campaign, this DLC offers players multiple decisions to make that will shape the story. Of course, there’s a veritable plethora of new whacky characters to interact with as well.
There are also some new game mechanics to come to grips with and even though The Battle of Steeltown is accessable relatively early on, it’s recommended that players wait until at least level 11 to delve into it. That’s because the new enemies can be quite difficult to contend with—not only are they generally more numerous, but also come with their own enhanced set of challenges.
For instance, since you’ll be facing many of the workers of Steeltown, you won’t want to kill them since they keep the factory working. Therefore, you’ll have to utilize the new non-lethal combat system that is introduced in The Battle of Steeltown.
In the end, the only knock I have about Wasteland 3: The Battle of Steeltown is that it’s relatively short in length and can be completed in around four hours or so—a far cry from the sixty or so hour that it takes to complete the base game’s campaign. Therefore, I’m looking forward to seeing how inXile Entertainment will implement the forthcoming DLC expansions. Hopefully, they’ll be a little more robust, at least length-wise.
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