Eagle-eyed readers (and, indeed, human-eyed eagles) may have noticed that Wasteland 2's beta version was released to Kickstarter backers yesterday (opens in new tab) . There was much rejoicing among those who stumped up to fund the game, because Wasteland 2. But what about the rest of us? When do we get to click and talk and shoot our way across inXile's scorpion-infested post-apocalyptic wasteland? Right now, in fact - the game is now on Steam Early Access (opens in new tab) for your consideration.
The twist, of course, is that price ($59.99 / £29.99), which is rather a lot more than you may be used to paying for Early Access stuff. (The alternative - pricing this lower than the Kickstarter's beta-access backing tier - could well have incited a riot, so you can understand the decision for pricing parity.) In addition to immediate beta access, your $60/£30 will also grant you a few bonuses "over time" including a copy of the original Wasteland and the soundtrack. inXile admit in the description that they "expect the final release price will be lower".
How does the beta version of Wasteland 2 hold up? According to the developers, it's "basically feature-complete. We're including 30% of the game levels so you can see how Wasteland 2 plays: AI, gear, inventory, creatures, line-of-sight, exploration, world-maps, fast travel, dialogue, and more. Oh yeah: you'll also get to test out the combat system. Hell, that's a big part of the fun here. We've got a cartload of quests, memorable characters, NPCs who'll be happy to join your party for a price (or for vengeance), and all the explosive fun of a radioactive monk without any of that actual radiation."
inXile will adding more content during the course of the early access phase, including new levels, NPCs and "killer weapons".