70 hours. That’s what I spent playing Wasteland 2 these past few weeks. I hadn’t been hooked to a game like that for a long, long time, probably since Just Cause 2.

Two years ago, when I backed Wasteland 2 on Kickstarter, I kind of expected I’d have to free up some/a lot of time to play. I never tried the first Wasteland, an old-school post-apocalyptic RPG, but I knew very well the first two installments of the Fallout series, a spiritual successor to the original Wasteland game. Back when I was a kid, I used to rent Fallout 2 every weekend at my local video store and played the shit out of it. And this definitely wasn’t a kid’s game : drugs, violence, sex, you name it. It had sub-par graphics (which probably explains why I could rent it at a young age) but the storytelling, the writing and the acting was so spot-on that I was immediately drawn to it.

So it goes without saying that I instantly relived those glorious days when I first fired up Wasteland 2 : the desert, the radiation, the energy weapons, the factions, everything is there expect Fallout’s 1950s vibe (which, from what I understand, never was a part of the Wasteland universe anyway). The learning curve was kind of steep for my taste and I got really frustrated for the first few hours. But once I mastered my characters strengths and weaknesses and understood combat tactics, the game got fun really quick.

This was my first experience with Kickstarter and I’m really glad I helped fund this game. This is why Kickstarter exists : projects that wouldn’t be funded otherwise because they’re deemed too risky. Wasteland 2 isn’t a “beautiful” game, it’s not “action-packed” or “massively multiplayer”, but it fits within a particular niche : people that have grown up with slow-paced, turn-based games with lots of rich dialogues. It’s not cool, it’s not trendy, but there will always be a market for that.

Counter-culture through crowd-funding is a beautiful thing.