26 years is a hell of a long time to wait for a sequel, though it's arguable that Wasteland 2 is as much an alternate Fallout 3 as it is the continuation of the original post-apocalyptic role-playing game. At the very least, it's the two branches of the family tree finally wrapping around each other. Here, Wasteland's more whimsical apocalypse and tongue-in-cheek style - where you're as likely to face giant mutated rabbits and toads as radioactive scorpions - meet Fallout's combat, exploration and interface. Also its feel. And its moral choices. While original Wasteland was definitely this game's alma mater, it's obvious where it got its PhD.
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Wasteland is not Fallout. It's worth remembering that, because inXile certainly has. It's a series with something of a convoluted family tree though, and that other post-apocalyptic role-playing game's branches haven't exactly been pruned. Mechanically at least, Wasteland 2 is every bit as much a spiritual successor to the original Fallout games as they were to the original Wasteland, with exploration and turn-based combat that have next to nothing in common with how the original game handled things. In both soul and setting though, it's unmistakably the sequel it claims to be; a trek through a rather more tongue-in-cheek apocalypse where, for starters, rabbits have as much chance as scorpions of being rapidly promoted up the food chain.
This Early Access version is, however, firmly a sneak peek at the full game, and quite a short one. As in the original Wasteland, you're not simply a wandering nobody with a knack for finding trouble, but a squad of four rookie Desert Rangers - self-appointed protectors of the wastes. They're not the only such faction out there, nor quite the beacons of law and justice they'd like everyone to see them as, but they are always there on the end of a radio when settlements under their protection need a helping hand and would prefer it to be holding a gun of some kind.