Wasteland Angel is a virgin attempt from Octane Games at the old “top down shot em up with cars in an apocalyptic setting”. It's hard to imagine that a genre that long isn't original anymore.
For that matter...neither is the apocalypse. When it does actually come, I see many gamers just saying...”meh, done that”.
Wasteland Angel is a retro throwback for the top down isometric shooters that older PC gamers will definitely remember. I myself spent more than a few hours in games like Loaded and Death Rally. (And with the latter's re-release on mobile phones, I spent a few more too).
So the story for this game is thinner than paper in a rainstorm. All you need to know it that you are Angel, a woman with car. That car has guns. You protect towns from bandits by using said car with guns. BAM! Story in a nutshell. Not really anything else to say about it.
Moving on to the graphics, as you can see by the screen shots, they aren't exactly anything to write home about...or anywhere else for that matter. The game feels and looks like it was meant for mobile phone gaming, and somewhere along the way in development they decided to release it for PC instead. The game supports gamepad use if you prefer, though I found mouse and keyboard combo does nicely as well. There were times during gameplay that minor graphical issues seemed to pop up around the game just out of sheer spite, but nothing that was game breaking in the mix.
At certain “bonus” points in the game, you are taken to a first person perspective where you can get up close and personal with the death spewing business coming out of your car. I've said before I was a spoiled gamer, and looks really do matter to me now a days. The graphics in the first person segments were a bit more of sore at this point as some of the blandness starts to get to you. It really tends to stab into your joy at times.
Speaking of bland, the missions, or should I say overall gameplay digs in pretty hard with a rinse and repeat formula that never really lets up. You enter the playing field with the town in the middle, and proceed to wait until the enemy cars pop up from the map edge. It's pretty straight forward here, drive over to them and fill them full of lead as only gun with unlimited ammo can. It doesn't take much to take down the cars coming at you. In fact I didn't really even aim in most cases. I hit the trigger and let go when everything stopped moving.
There are also Slaver types, (vans or trucks), that will try to steal away the population of the town. This I would assume is done with a mix of assault rifles and offers of candy. They try to mix it up a bit by having different enemy types show up, (even copters). They could either attack you or steal people. At first it seems to pump a little extra into scene, but ultimately everything boils down to the same simple goal of shredding with your weapons. Now, don't get me wrong, I love this as much as the next gamer, but even this can get tiresome and tedious. Stronger waves of enemies do appear to progressively, but there never seems to be any real challenge. The Boss fights are interesting to say the least, and have a bit more going for them by helping to break up the game in way. The game features different factions to fight against, though you could consider this more of the same with a new placeholder.
Over the course of the game, the weapons will upgrade themselves to be faster, stronger, and even include some nifty secondary weapons to smite the badlands filth aside. Flames and rockets among them, you can dish out steaming helping of ammo with gusto as the game has no problem issuing your awesome car equally awesome weapons. Makes me wish I could have trekked through Fallout with one of these actually.
Now I know my review seems a bit on the negative side, but there is fun to be found in Wasteland Angel. It defiantly harkens back to an older genre of gaming that deserves it due. It is nice to be able to sit down for a few moments and slay the wasteland best (or worst) combat drivers at the click of a mouse. I feel if Octane had more polish to the overall experience we would have a pretty great game here. As is, the game is just another drop in the bucket. But for $10, it’s hard to complain a lot.
If you’re feeling nostalgic give it a go, but I don’t recommend this for most gamers.
FINAL SCORE: 5