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Wasteland 2 Game of the Year Edition free for current owners, loaded with improvements

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Wasteland 2, among the most financially successful Kickstarters of all time and the 10th-highest game project to date, is getting a Game of the Year edition. The team at InXile Entertainment announced it would be available free for everyone who already owns the game.

Wasteland 2 Game of the Year Edition will be coming to Linux, Mac and Windows PCs, as well as Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The new version includes a raft of improvements, including an upgrade to the Unity 5 engine, which will allow for improved environmental textures, revamped character models and "more impressive lighting," the backer update reads. You can see some of those changes on display in the screenshots gallery below.

In addition, the new release will add a "Perks & Quirks" system, allowing players to build out their party with "over 80 Perks & 20 Quirks, which let you fine-tune your characters throughout the game with unique bonuses and trade-offs.

"For instance," the update said, "with Way of the Squeezins you'll become a little bit dependent on that special sauce, but gain some short-lived combat bonuses; Raised in the Circus will make you more nimble in combat, but you can bet there's a downside or two to looking like a clown."

Finally, the update will improve overall game balance and add a called shot mechanic that will let players target individual body parts, called the Precision Strike system.

"Aiming for an enemy's torso will reduce their armor value, letting you hit them harder with your other squadmates, and firing on their head (or CPU, as the case may be) has a chance to stun or even send them into a psychotic state where they won't be able to tell friend from foe. With Precision Strikes the battlefield becomes much more dynamic and chaotic."

Wasteland 2 Game of the Year Edition is expected to launch sometime in 2015.

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