Wasteland Angel

By Daavpuke, Posted 26 Jun 2011

"It’s an arcade blaster romp for good clean fun, that’s it."

Developer: Meridian4
Publisher:  Meridian4
Release Date: Q3 2011
Platform(s): PC
Genre: Racing


There is no shortage of vehicular combat scrappers in 2011. Taking a car and strapping it with large guns and explosives is the best way to take on foes and Wasteland Angel wants to partake in this Mad Max universe. And for once, mobility and guns don’t translate to twin-stick shooting, but revert to a classic drive and shoot control scheme. But that doesn’t make it excel by itself, as this baby needs a tune-up.


NoobFeed Preview - Wasteland Angel


The story of Wasteland Angel revolves around our heroine that comes straight out of Tank Girl. She and her trusty, rusty car go around from town to town aiding citizens in need that are threatened by militia and such. It’s the post-apocalyptic mess cliché, but that’s all this badass chick needs. There is nothing more stimulating than a hardy young female rocking the rockabilly look and talking spunk, which the comic book scenes illustrate well, just like Tank Girl. Unfortunately, her in-game persona is repetitive and bland, along with the soundtrack, so the true flavor comes from her depictive chronicle, but that does encourage gameplay regardless.

Now, the presentation itself isn’t above generic detail, with loads of sands and brownish tones as to be expected from levels filled with junkyards. A top-down view with little added scenery makes for a monotone outlook and enemy indicators are the only styling points present in plain sight. However, there is a nice switch between day and night levels with some proper lighting and shadow effects, creating menacing silhouettes looming over the horizon. This creates a feeling of oncoming dread and makes small enemies appear larger than they actually are. But in truth, only boss cars will be towering infernos of death and regular baddies are thirteen in a dozen.


NoobFeed Preview - Wasteland Angel


The point to Wasteland Angel is to protect a town from evil men trying to imprison its citizens and to do so, our heroine needs to destroy them all. There are 3 types of enemies; those that kill you, those that take citizens and the lovely multifunctional kind. As enemies die and burn out, the score goes up, multipliers are gained and power-ups are dropped to upgrade health and weaponry. There are also special weapon drops for some added firepower or to take down an area in times of need. Brandishing all this ammunition, the main goal is to protect towns from all enemy waves, without dying or having all citizens taken away. At first, this isn’t all too difficult and even with a short tutorial there is no real complexity to shooting and driving. But later on, when multiple towns need protection, this can get tricky.

Controlling Ol’ Gipsy, which is a pet name for the car, is sluggish; very sluggish. Mulling in the sand is standard in a desert environment, thus all turns and acceleration take forever to have an effect and this with multiple threats at all times is quite frustrating. But the main annoyance is that with multiple towns, it’s just impossible to be everywhere at once with a slow, unmaneuverable vehicle. In addition, once enemies start becoming more powerful it gets harder to wait until properly turned until one can take down a vehicle.  Additionally, should Ol’ gipsy be bumping bumpers with another car, then it won’t hit, requiring it to back up and lose additional time just to kill the enemy.


NoobFeed Preview - Wasteland Angel


And respawning into the enemy threat doesn’t help. At one point, a level needed only one town to be protected from an array of tanks. But as every movement took ages, it was not long before the car needed to respawn from the shells it swallowed while being immobile. The car came back to play as deadweight and by the time it was turned to the still present tanks, it was picked off once more. This error can virtually continue forever and is screen-breaking angering.

There is still one more highlight to be noted from this build though and that is the bonus levels, which switch up gameplay by providing a first person view. They also provide different objectives, which is a good change of pace, even though there were still glitches present in its execution as well as various glitches throughout the build.


Don’t expect the world from Wasteland Angel; it’s an arcade blaster romp for good clean fun, that’s it. The main focus here is that it offers a throwback to its genre and that it could be an entertaining ride if the price is right and kinks get revised. In particular, it will need to seriously adapt the comatose controls should it want to succeed as a game, because these are things that can break an entire project. If so, then fans of top-down shooters and mindless fun could well enjoy this Mad Max adventure with a feisty heroine and great comic book scenes to boot.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@Daavpuke)

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  • Even though you say it's a fun game, a game like this can steal hours when you start enjoying it. And I agree with you controlling the car wouldn't be as easy as it looked at the video. Specially when you are playing it on PC.

    Posted Jun 27, 2011

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