It’s been almost a year since we reviewed Wasteland 3 and, let’s admit, we had a little unlearned how to play: it took us to stretch our fingers before addressing the new problems that have decided to afflict the Patriarch, in the first DLC entitled The Battle of Steeltown. These are five hours of content that not only bring with them a slice of very interesting plot but also new objects and above all new mechanics that embellish the combat, enhancing even more the tactical aspect.
As you can well guess, the whole story takes place in the Steeltown industrial complex and its surroundings and you will be committed to solving a more delicate and multifaceted issue than it seems. Will you be able to restore order where chaos reigns more king than ever? The Patriarch is counting on you but not only, on your shoulders also weigh the hopes of those who in Steeltown, despite its ups and downs, have found a new life.
It is vitally important, therefore, that the complex remains standing however, as always happens in Wasteland 3, the undertaking is far from simple. The minimum level to access it is 9, however, considering the delicacy of certain discussions, we suggest you start the DLC with an intelligent team, determined and even ready to smooth the hair a little when needed: with only brute force you will not go far.
Here is ours Wasteland 3: The Battle of Steeltown review.
As always, we start from premesse narrative. You are sent to investigate in Steeltown because production, so important to the Patriarch, has suffered an inexplicable slowdown. A quick tour of the site is enough to begin to understand the gravity of things: due to the inhuman conditions to which the workers are subjected, a real revolt has broken out on the lower floors of the complex, which sees the workers use strong manners against the manager Karl Ludow. Knowing how things are in Wasteland 3, you will have to investigate how things really are and then make the decisions you think are appropriate and confront all the time with whoever created Steeltown and now runs it: Abigail Markham. The balances are as subtle as they are fragile, a wrong answer is enough to ignite the fuse of a bomb that is about to explode.
Abigail’s interest in not killing the workers, simply putting them out of action, is the basis for the introduction of one of the new mechanics: it is the Suspension, a condition whereby those who suffer it are knocked out without dying. With the right weapons, which will appear in the game at this specific juncture and will be precisely non-lethal, you can apply a suspension field: once accumulated up to ten times it will shock anyone who has suffered it, making it harmless.
If at first glance it may seem useless to you, in a short time you will learn that it is not only an excellent fallback to get rid of annoying enemies quickly but, above all, an essential requirement for your reputation: to save civilians who, despite the hard way, are protesting something that is due to them will put you in good light in the eyes of all in Steeltown, going so far as to make some bargains easier.
They are then added to all this the elemental shields, a rather explanatory name in itself: humans and robots alike will be able to apply, to themselves and to their companions, protections that will minimize the damage and can be broken only by attacking them with the respective element – or waiting for the rounds of permanence of the shield. Again, Wasteland 3 adds a small piece of strategy to its gameplay already very reasoned in itself, forcing you to review your strategies by virtue of these new mechanics: we did not find them invasive, the enemies do not use them at every turn and it was rare to see more than three shielded at the same time. This is because, however, the firefights throughout the course of the DLC are always on a large scale and the shields are just one of the many things to eat that will touch you; in fact, just as you can apply the suspension, in the same way you can suffer it and once the maximum value is reached we will not only be paralyzed, unable to act, but we will also be at risk of submission by the enemies. Translated, we will be knocked out regardless of the amount of lives and trust me, it will happen more often than you would like.
The Battle of Steeltown doesn’t just offer a substantial narrative compartment, new mechanics, weapons and even elements for your headquarters, if you are flawless enough to earn it, but also unreleased material: he tellurio. This name should not be new to you, as there is a mine on the map where you can start a secondary mission, but until the DLC it was not possible to obtain it or, of course, to exploit it: from now on it will be available to build new equipment or mod weapons, while keeping well in mind that it is a material in very limited quantities. You will not be able to build everything, so choose well how to invest it and do not rule out the possibility that some armor will still be able to recover it along the way.