Wasteland Angel – Review

Wasteland Angel Game Review

developed by Octane Games  &  Meridian4

Here’s a tasty little recipe for a cool action / shooter game.

– First – get out your blender.
– Add some Robotron, Smash TV, Vigilante 8, and Twisted Metal
– Now add a dash of Defender
– Next pour in the post apocalyptic setting of Mad Max
– Finally – mix thoroughly

And Voila!  You have yourself Wasteland Angel, a top-down arena based shooter with fast and fun arcade style gameplay.  Developed by Octane Games and Meridian 4, Wasteland Angel feels like the kind of game that has been developed by Action / Arcade game players and fans of the genre.  That’s a good thing because Wasteland Angel will will mostly appeal to fans of the action / arcade genre specifically for it’s frantic gameplay, destructive weaponry, boss battles, and entertaining bonus levels.

The story and setting in Wasteland Angel is entertaining and enjoyable.  There are a lot of comic book style vignettes that progress the plot between stages with fully voiced dialogue and narration.  You play a spunky heroine named “Angel” who journeys across the wastelands in a fully loaded, totally modified, and heavily armored muscle car.  Her life is comprised of surviving and driving.  Along the way she helps those in need and protects those who aren’t able to protect themselves.

Having a story for this type of action game isn’t really necessary, but it’s a welcome addition because the story is fun and it seems like the developers put that extra bit of effort into the story so the players would enjoy themselves in-between playing the game and watching the cutscenes unfold.  If nothing else, these cutscenes give a break to the player every few stages since some levels can become pretty intense, especially during the latter half of the game.

The gameplay is actually quite simple.  Drive your car around the various levels defending yourself while picking off wastelanders and raiders while protecting innocent townfolk who are simply trying to survive the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust.  On paper the story sounds much more serious than it actually is because the gameplay is actually quite simple.  Wasteland Angel at it’s heart is a fun action game with arcade style gameplay and point scoring.

The objective of the game sounds simple: Defend towns from the wastelanders which are comprised of gangers, renegades, and mutants.   Every stage is made up of waves of enemies, much like a tower defense game, where you must defend yourself and the different towns from the relentless enemies.  Each new level becomes more and more challenging.  These enemies approach in waves and every stage is comprised of several waves of enemies who want nothing more than to destroy you and to capture and enslave the innocent townsfolk.  There are tough boss battles and interesting bonus stages as well.  For these reasons the gameplay feels very much like a classic arcade experience at times.

Much like any good arcade style action game, Wasteland Angel is very easy to get into but tough to master.  I’d say that I did a pretty good job of defending townsfolk and blasting wastelanders, but I still need practice if I want to get my name higher on the scoreboards.  There are a lot of levels to play through and quite a bit of replay value if you enjoy competing for a high score and climbing your way to the top of the leaderboards.  Either way, the fast paced destruction will keep action game fans occupied for quite a few hours if not a few days.

The controls for Wasteland Angel are intuitive and easy to come to grips with.  Driving, shooting, and utilizing the various secondary weapons are as simple as pressing a few buttons on your keyboard or gamepad.  The simple controls make playing through the game a smooth and entertaining affair.  This makes it easy to enjoy Wasteland Angel as an arcade game as well.  The real challenges in gameplay revolve around defending townsfolk while quickly destroying the onslaught of enemies and protecting yourself.  You’ll do a lot of multitasking if you want to save every last civilian while racking up a high score.  Speaking of scoring, you’ll need to destroy enemy vehicles in rapid succession and pick up the bonuses they drop if you want to rack up higher point multipliers or upgrade your weapons and loadout.

Graphically, Wasteland Angel looks like your average top down isometric action game, but when you start blowing up enemies with your guns and secondary weapons that’s when the game starts looking great.  The in-game graphics aren’t cutting edge but they’re well animated and sharp enough to distinguish what’s what when blowing up bad guys and rescuing the good guys.  The bonus levels are interesting because it does change up the gameplay a little by switching to a first-person perspective.  I think it might have been nice to be able to switch to a first person view during the regular levels as well, but having it in bonus levels is a fun addition nonetheless.  The cutscenes and art design are great and they do add to the experience, especially if you appreciate the story that goes along with them.

The music and sound fx are forgettable but they get the job done.  The memorable feature in audio design here is the fully voiced dialogue.  Voice-overs accompany each cutscene but there is also dialogue that will open up during the middle of a level between Angel and the townsfolk she’s protecting.  This really adds to the gameplay and it increases the intensity while trying to protect each town and the folks that live in them.

Wasteland Angel is a must buy for any action game fan.  It’s a fast and fun action game that provides an arcade-like experience.  There are a ton of weapons and weapon upgrades, simple objectives, and challenging levels, especially during the later stages of the game.  Thankfully there are multiple difficulty levels to choose from including Easy all the way up to the brutal Nightmare mode.  The gameplay is very smooth and the story might seem like filler at first but it actually creates and adds to the atmosphere while increasing that sense of urgency when defending a town and it’s people.  If you enjoy your games with lots of action, explosions, and mayhem, then you’ll definitely enjoy Wasteland Angel.

Wasteland Angel can be purchased through any of these popular portals: Steam, GamersGate, Direct2Drive, and Impulse

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