InXile Entertainment faces a big challenge in bringing Wasteland 2--a game that's at home on PC, but doesn't necessarily lend itself to being played from a couch with a controller--to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. In dealing with that, the developer says XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a game that it's keeping in mind.
"Their UI on console was the gold standard for handling a complex game in a way on console that was very satisfying," InXile's Brain Fargo told Eurogamer, referring to the Firaxis-developed XCOM. "We recognize that. We always look at the body of work that comes before us. We want to make sure we're looking at what gamers gravitate towards, and what they think is done right."
"[XCOM] is certainly a starting point for us," added Wasteland 2 lead Chris Keenan. "We want to make sure we have similar ease of use in controls."
Enemy Unknown was lauded for bringing what was a PC-style game to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (and later, mobile) in an approachable, easy-to-play way. And, like Wasteland 2, it was the revival of a long-dormant PC franchise (11 years in XCOM's case, and 26 for Wasteland).
However, Wasteland 2, as players of last year's PC version can attest, contains a tremendous amount of text for players to read, and more complex inventories to manage than in XCOM.
"We know, and everybody else has stated, that how this thing plays and the controls are going to make it or break it on console," Keenan said. "So we've been putting some good time into the controller, the inventory and what moves the camera versus the characters. You're going to be able to see a pretty big upgrade."
One such upgrade is allowing you to compare items from a vendor's screen without having to back out to your inventory. Keenan also said, "Anything that needs unique UI for console is getting its own special UI."
Regarding the previously announced visual upgrade coming to the game (both on PC and console), the character models and terrain are two points of emphasis. "Every single scene is getting basically a complete treatment," Keenan explained. "We're not starting from scratch, certainly, because we have a pretty good foundation to everything. But we're just going through and putting a little extra love into every scene."
You can see a comparison between the existing version and the upgraded version in the image above.
The console versions of Wasteland 2 don't yet have a firm release date, but Fargo mentioned that Keenan had promised "late summer" as the target--something that drew a laugh from Keenan, so you may not want to write that in stone just yet.