If Fallout was I Love Lucy mixed with Full Metal Jacket, then Wasteland was Fist of the North Star with a hint of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The Wasteland universe was unforgiving, violent, and at times borderline insane. Your team is dumped in the middle of it, leaving you to try to survive all kinds of natural hazards, pummel local crooks and mutated animals in a ridiculously gratuitous fashion, and negotiate with local crackpots to figure out where to get supplies and who exactly needs saving.
The art style in particular really contributed to the overall effect. Right from the start, you'll notice a surreal, almost ghostly shading in the creatures and NPCs you encounter:
This contrast between dark, pastel colors and pale shades or grey creates the effect that the life is being drained from the very creatures who live in the Nevada deserts. It's as if the whole world was populated by shades- forgotten souls, the relics of post-war America.
It's up to you to bring some hope back to the Wastes.