Wasteland (1988)

by Ji-yeong
7 minutes read


Wasteland (1988): A Post-Apocalyptic Masterpiece

Released in 1988, Wasteland is a post-apocalyptic role-playing game that set the bar for the genre. Developed by Interplay Productions, the game was one of the first to feature a persistent world, where changes to the game world were stored and kept. This meant that returning to areas later in the game would find them in the state one left them in, instead of being reset to their original state, as was common for games of the time.

Wasteland is set in a post-nuclear world where the United States has been ravaged by a nuclear war. The player takes control of a squad of Desert Rangers, a group of lawmen tasked with protecting the innocent and upholding justice in the lawless wasteland.

The game is played from a top-down perspective and features a turn-based combat system. Players can explore the game world, interact with NPCs, and complete quests. The game world is vast and unforgiving, with many dangers lurking around every corner.

One of the things that made Wasteland so groundbreaking was its character system. Characters in the game have various statistics (strength, intelligence, and luck, among others) that allow them to use different skills and weapons. Experience is gained through battle and through the use of skills. This system allowed for a great deal of customization and replayability, as players could create characters with different strengths and weaknesses.

Another thing that set Wasteland apart from other RPGs of the time was its high and unforgiving difficulty level. The game is not afraid to challenge players, and even the most experienced players can find themselves in over their heads if they’re not careful. This difficulty level adds to the game’s sense of realism and immersion, as it forces players to think carefully about their decisions and to plan their actions accordingly.

Wasteland was also notable for its dark and gritty atmosphere. The game’s world is a harsh and unforgiving place, and the player is constantly reminded of the dangers that lurk around every corner. The game’s dialogue is also full of dark humor and cynicism, which helps to create a truly immersive and believable world.

Despite its age, Wasteland remains a classic RPG that is still enjoyed by many today. The game’s innovative gameplay, deep character system, and unforgiving difficulty level make it a must-play for fans of the genre.

The Legacy of Wasteland

Wasteland has had a profound impact on the RPG genre. The game’s innovative gameplay and dark and gritty atmosphere have inspired many other games, including the Fallout series. Wasteland also helped to popularize the post-apocalyptic setting, which has become a staple of the RPG genre.

In 2014, a sequel to Wasteland was released, simply titled Wasteland 2. The game was developed by inXile Entertainment, a studio founded by Brian Fargo, one of the original creators of Wasteland. Wasteland 2 was a critical and commercial success, and it helped to revive interest in the original game.

In 2020, a third game in the series, Wasteland 3, was released. Wasteland 3 was also developed by inXile Entertainment and was another critical and commercial success. The game takes place several years after Wasteland 2 and features a new cast of characters and a new setting.

The Wasteland series is one of the most beloved and influential RPG series of all time. The games’ innovative gameplay, dark and gritty atmosphere, and unforgiving difficulty level have made them classics of the genre. With the release of Wasteland 3, the series is stronger than ever, and it’s sure to continue to inspire and entertain gamers for years to come.

Wasteland Trivia

  • The game’s title was inspired by the 1982 film of the same name.
  • The game’s developers, Interplay Productions, went on to create the Fallout series.
  • The game’s lead designer, Brian Fargo, is also the founder of inXile Entertainment, the studio that developed Wasteland 2 and Wasteland 3.
  • The game’s soundtrack was composed by Mark Morgan, who also composed the soundtracks for the Fallout series.
  • The game was originally released on the Apple II, Commodore 64, and MS-DOS.
  • The game was ported to the Amiga, Atari ST, and Macintosh in 1989.
  • The game was re-released on GOG.com in 2013.
  • A sequel, Wasteland 2, was released in 2014.
  • A third game in the series, Wasteland 3, was released in 2020.


Wasteland is a classic RPG that is still enjoyed by many today. The game’s innovative gameplay, deep character system, and unforgiving difficulty level make it a must-play for fans of the genre. The game’s legacy is still felt today, as it has inspired many other games and helped to popularize the post-apocalyptic setting.

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