I hope that Wasteland 3: The Battle of Steeltown is the first of many expansions for the critically acclaimed game from inXile entertainment. When the main game was released last August, I had nothing but great things to say about it. You can review my thoughts on the base game here. For the DLS, it seems that the manufacturing complex of Steeltown has come to a grinding halt. Not only does it keep the state of Colorado running, but it also keeps the Patriarch in power; with trucks, weapons, robots, and armor. The Rangers are now tasked with going to Steeltown to get it up and going again, keeping Colorado, and of course, the Patriarch running.
It seems that Steeltown has its own leader who is Abigail Markham and all she is doing is giving excuses on why the shipments are not being met. Once they arrive on-site, the Rangers find the place is a complete and utter cluster-fuck and it is about to get a lot worse. The workers are striking, the local bandits are raiding with impunity, and nobody is allowed through the gates of Steeltown. This even applies to the person that is taking care of business for the Patriarch. As a Ranger, it is up to us to decide how to handle this correctly and get everything put back into perspective at whatever the cost.
Wasteland 3: The Battle of Steeltown includes a ton of new things that you can get and do in Steeltown. It provides a list of new things such as quests, enemies, weapons and armor, and new combat mechanics. There is also the new stacking status effect with elemental shields and non-lethal weapons. The one thing I wish that I paid more attention to was the fact that inXile stated that the combat and gear scaling will provide help with both new and returning players for a level-appropriate challenge.
I will have to admit that I actually hate it when games do scaling for video games. I know the Devs love to get new players to come to the game and I know that this helps. However, for someone who has put the time and effort into all the hard work, it seems that this caters more to the new players than the ones who have been there since day one. Now I am not saying this ruined the game for me, but I will say that it made this DLC feel like all the time, and effort and that I have put into this game felt like a slap in the face. It all went to waste and I was getting gear and such that made all my time in the game feel like a moot point. Now if this is what they wanted to do, then I say next time, please just start me out at level 1 and have me go from there.
I did enjoy the playstyle, music, and tone of this DLC. It has the same violence and language as the original game. Since I play the game religiously, it was an easy flow to get into this expansion. The new stacking status effect was a new experience for me. I prefer to put holes in people’s heads, but I see why they wanted to go non-lethal takedowns for some of the game. The new enemies were a nice change of pace, and I loved seeing some of the robotic villains.
The narrative is the same as well. You still get the rough and gritty dialogue. Just like in the base game of Wasteland 3, your decisions will change the outlook of characters and how the game plays along with you. I did make a few bad decisions the first time around to make the game more difficult, but it was neat to see the different outcomes of my choices. Now the DLC took me a little less than 6 hours to go through. I did all the side quests and along with the main quest. The final battle was a little bit of a letdown, but I still enjoyed the game overall. I went through the whole DLC two times and I’m starting on my third playthrough just to look at the different comparisons.
I know inXile is supposed to be having a second DLC coming out later this summer. I am hoping that they do a few things to tweak the gameplay, but I will be glad to keep the game moving forward. I think even though it is a bit pricy for a 6 hours gameplay, this DLC is still worth it. The challenging new gameplay is a nice change, and you do get new stuff for your characters to keep you playing. Wasteland 3: The Battle of Steeltown is out now for PC through multiple PC Stores for $13.99. It will be coming to Xbox and Playstation consoles on June 9th.
This review was written based on a digital review copy of Wasteland 3: The Battle of Steeltown for the PC provided by inXile Entertainment.