Wasteland 3 Announced, Features Co-op and Vehicles

Wasteland heads to Colorado.

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Fans of the original Wasteland, the predecessor to Fallout, had to wait more than 25 years for a sequel. That won't be the case with a follow-up to Wasteland 2, as InXile Entertainment today announced Wasteland 3, which it's bringing simultaneously to PC, Xbox One, and PS4, Mac, and Linux--and it's doing it through crowdfunding site Fig.

Like its predecessors, Wasteland 3 is a party-based RPG. This time, you're put in the shoes of the only survivor of a Ranger squad called Team November that was sent to Colorado. "This is a land of buried secrets, lost technology, fearsome lunatics, and deadly factions," InXile explained in the announcement. "No one here has ever heard of the Desert Rangers. Your reputation is yours to build from scratch, and your choices may save this land or doom it. With a renewed focus on macro-reactivity, you'll be picking between warring factions, deciding whether locations are destroyed or saved, and other far-reaching decisions that have a marked impact on the shape of your world."

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InXile deliberately shied away from the more commonplace post-apocalyptic settings in favor of a frozen Colorado. "More than anything, a solitary building or town amidst an unblemished field of snow emphasizes an overwhelming sense of isolation that is key to the post-apocalyptic story," InXile said. "It is this rarely found setting and aesthetic that we want to explore in Wasteland 3."

Beyond a new setting, Wasteland 3 introduces some major new features. While it's still described as a "rich single-player experience," it introduces a new co-op mode. You can play with a friend in real-time, joining together to take part in missions or splitting up to do separate things. Alternatively, each of the two players can play while the other is not online, getting things done that the other player can come online later to discover.

"By making the decision to include multiplayer early on in the process, we will be able to design a game that is true to the core principles of the Wasteland franchise and our studio," InXile said. "Wasteland 3 can be played as an offline, single-player game, and is built from the ground up with a focus on story and reactivity that makes no sacrifices to the multiplayer experience. At the same time, co-op players will enjoy working together to change Wasteland 3's highly reactive world... or finding ways to destroy what their friend has worked to accomplish."

Wasteland 3 also introduces team-based abilities and upgradeable vehicles. These can be used for travel and transportation, but also serve a function in combat. It can function as moveable cover, and InXile mentions that it can be equipped with a turret to attack enemies.

The Ranger base returns, though InXile said this time it's "much more involved," as you're helping to set up a new base. In addition to grabbing new missions and squadmates, you can use to it to do research, set up trade routes, contact factions over the radio, and gather materials, among other things.

A release date for the game was not shared, but the Fig campaign launches on October 5 with a funding goal of $2.75 million. That's quite a bit more than the Kickstarter campaign for Wasteland 2 asked for ($900,000), but less than it ultimately received in pledges ($2.9 million). There's one other key difference: Fig is the crowdfunding site that allows backers to make money from their investment. Wasteland 3's campaign will allow for traditional backer rewards, accredited investment, and unaccredited investment. Expect to hear more details on that as we approach its launch next week.

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