Backers of InXile’s Wasteland 2 Kickstarter have been sitting with admirable patience waiting for some kind of playable version to arrive from the development vaults. Some have been waiting as long as twenty years, from the moment they saw the very final screen of the original Wasteland. Well, good news is here for those people: inXile CEO Brian Fargo has spoken out on the beta for Wasteland 2. It should be here in under three weeks, and contains a sizeable chunk of the Arizona area that will keep you surviving for 10 hours.
Speaking to Rock, Paper, Shotgun about the delay of the beta that should have landed in October, Fargo said: “There is no one particular thing that pushed us out this last 6 weeks, we just wanted to have the minimum number of systems in place so that our backers could have a reasonable play experience. To achieve that we needed to have 95% of the final game’s systems working but of course the good news is that we now have most of the underpinnings complete.”
It’s going to be an almost-complete picture of what the final game will be like then, with very few elements missing from the core gameplay mechanics. “There are some skills that we have not implemented – like Silent Move and Salvaging for example – and we intend to increase the size of the beta as time goes by,” said Fargo, noting that the beta will expand based on feedback from the backers.
Alongside almost fully-functioning characters and combat will be the world of Wasteland itself. Arizona will be opened up for the beta, and if you’re part of Wasteland 2’s sizeable backer army then you’ve got a nice slice of gaming pie to devour. “We are going to give away a part of the Arizona area for players to explore. I’d rather not spoil which areas they are but I expect a good 6-10 hours of gameplay for a non speed run approach,” Fargo revealed. Naturally the beta won’t be the whole of the final game though, with second city Los Angeles being reserved for the final product.
The beta may be 10 hours long, but you may have to play it multiple times over to keep your Wasteland cravings at bay, since the final game release date is yet to be set. Like any good developer, inXile are adamant that the beta is a beta, and therefore a testing enviroment and not a demo. The beta will run as long as inXile need it to, in order to understand what needs development. “It sounds cliché but we really are making this game with the fans and backers so we need to go through this beta phase and get a sense of how well we have achieved what we set out to do,” said Fargo.
The beta looks to be fully featured and promise a jolly good time, then. Just don’t get too attached to your character. Fargo knows that progress made in the beta won’t be able to be carried over to the final game release, and that might apply to characters too. The team are working on ways to preserve characters, but keep hopes realistic to prevent devestation.