Wasteland: A Landmark of RPG Innovations
A picture is worth a thousand words -- unless...
Melee battles are handled by the computer once the decision to attack, use something, run, or evade is input by the player. But when the results of a battle are printed, it's not enough to get a boring report of who took damage and how much, and Interplay knew that. Following the trend they established with their Bard's Tale series, battles spill a continuous display of who is doing what and the results, in plain (or very colorful) language. For example, it's not uncommon to see something like this scroll by as the battle takes place:
Mayor Pedros attacks and hits one Pistolero for 20 points of damage reducing him into a thin red paste just as he peels off a final shot.
Lucky hammers the Woman for 65 points of damage spraying her into a fine red mist.
Vlad attacks and hits one Ozoner for 17 points of damage exploding him like a blood sausage.
Chunk hammers the Thug for 89 points of damage ripping him into a scarlet side of meat.
Vlad launches an RPG and hits one Chopter for 34 points of damage reducing it to platinum shards.
These are some of the more colorful descriptions, but you get the idea. The running battle descriptions make for some fantastic visuals in your head.
Detailed Character Animations
Todd Camasta's character portraits, which are animated with clever facial expression changes, are inspired and give Wasteland a certain flavor that helps immerse you further into the game universe. It's clear they were composed with their medium's limitations in mind, and they really shine. Just take a look at some of the people you'll meet--both friendly and not--in Wasteland (and keep in mind that the portraits in the game are animated, while these screen captures are not):
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