ARMA II: i44 Wasteland Review

Welcome to the i44 Wasteland Review. A while back I reviewed Wasteland, a sandbox mod for military shooter ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead that put players in to an apocalyptic scenario where they must fight every second for survival. Choosing between one of two sides, or operating as an independent and free survivor – players must gather supplies, build bases, and protect what they claim.

The mod itself has become quite popular amongst the ArmA community, but now Wasteland fans have something new to keep them busy as the mod is combined with popular WWII mod known as Invasion 1944. Offering exactly what you might expect, Wasteland in a World War II setting. I recently joined up with Erika who you may remember from our Minecraft Feed The Beast series to try it out first hand and see just how it holds up to the original.

Situated in the traditional Chernarus map, players can initially spawn within a town, a beacon, or a randomly selected location across the map. Entering the world, a survivors first goal is generally to find some basic supplies – food, water, and weaponry. These essential supplies are littered throughout the various towns and hotspots, often found in abandoned cars and buildings. So this is what we did, we set out to search for working cars and guns.

Finding a good stash of food and a handy weapon to protect yourself are often your first steps in i44 Wasteland, but it’s not all there is to it. Players must feed themselves, stay hydrated, and treat their wounds – often requiring a decent amount of resources as time goes on, which means a survivor is going to need a place to stash their supplies, ready to be used when needed. This is what makes Wasteland unique and interesting as a mod.

The true core of Wasteland is its base building mechanics, amongst the cars and supplies littered throughout the towns there is also building objects – walkways, walls, bunkers, and other structures. While it’s not required to build a base, if you have a group of players you will generally need a lot of supplies, hard to take with you as you are limited on carry capacity – meaning a base for defence and storage is often the best solution.

With three factions, the two teams generally create their own mega-bases where each side pools their resources in an effort to dominate the map – while the independent faction’s players seldom team up and are often lone wolves or small squads. All three sides spend a significant amount of time not only building their own bases but raiding those belonging to others, stealing all the supplies they had managed to collect up until that point.

Players can go from rags to riches within moments of logging in if they are lucky enough to stumble upon another players base. Obviously those who have a lot of valuable goods in their base will leave a few players behind to protect their base while they are out raiding others, resulting in many Metal Gear Solid infiltration style moments when raiding.

While not gathering, building, or raiding, players can take part in side missions – dynamic events that randomly pop up on the map providing any player who passes by an objective to complete. Sometimes this might be ambushing a convoy with a valuable vehicle, or gunning down a group known to have advanced weaponry. These missions give players a chance to reap great rewards if they can step up to the challenge, often facing difficult a small army of difficult AI while also trying to fend off other players also seeking the bounty.

All of this is presented in a realistic World War II era, filling the map of Chernarus with authentic WW2 weaponry and vehicles. Almost instantly, both Erika and I fell in love with i44 Wasteland due to its historical weaponry – players were running around with bolt action rifles and inaccurate greaseguns rather than AS50s and backpacks full of assault rifles. Suddenly the game becomes increasingly about your skill as a player with a bolt action rifle.

The concept is simple, if building a fortress and defending it against waves of attacking players or stealthily sneaking in to a base only to hijack a tank and blow the place to pieces sounds like an epic time to you – Wasteland may be just the mod you’re looking for. Combined with Invasion 1944 it ups the anti and forces provides a more challenging environment for players used to the high-powered weapons of modern warfare.

In order to play Invasion 1944: Wasteland, players require a purchased copy of ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead – which can be purchased at the official site (also available on steam) – and the Invasion 1944 mod which can be downloaded from the official site.

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