Never run a bluff with a six-gun. Weird West is here and lovers of western and dark fantasy are in for a ride. Strolling through the land, being a saviour or an outlaw, freedom is upon you. However, is Weird West a worthwhile adventure or should you turn your eyes to something else?
Continue on to find out our opinion on Weird West!
From the very first moments playing the game, you’ll find out that this is not just western adventure, but a mysterious, dark tale as well. You’ll start the game controlling Jane Bell, a retired bounty hunter that is thrown back into action by the death of her son and abduction of her husband. Scouring the land for her missing man, she uncovers a plot between common outlaws and supernatural forces. Without striding too far into Spoiler Land, her tale is not the only one that you will hear. You will take control of four other characters, each with a story to tell.
The story of Weird West is surprisingly compelling, having a very nice pace that keeps you invested in the characters. The five episodes it depicts are all tied together and it is nice to see the interactions between the characters as you find them throughout the world. Another important aspect is the various choices you are given which have a great impact on the development of the world. These choices could affect one character and even entire settlements. It is a nice story that gives you the sense of importance tied to your actions. Very few games these days can do that, and Weird West is one of them.
Probably the most important aspect of the game is its gameplay. Being a game developed by veteran developers that have worked on games such as Dishonored and Prey, you immediately discover the freedom of gameplay. At its roots, Weird West is an immersive simulator that does a extremely good job at give you just that; immersion. From the various ways to approaching combat, from stealth or gun-blazing, to mechanics such as cooking, camping, and stealing, it is a joy to experiment with them.
However, while giving you a lot of options, Weird West fails in a way to offer equal satisfaction for each one. Take stealth for example. It is a rudimentary mechanic that involves sneaking up behind enemies and taking them out, hiding their bodies, and keeping undetected while sneaking. There is not much else to do other than that, while the actual combat of the game is much more diverse. Abilities tied to each of the five weapons of the game give you various approaches to each encounter, and they are all viable.
There are a lot of activities in Weird West. You can take up bounties, search for loot caches, side-quests, random encounters while travelling, there is so much to do in here. Admittedly, the side content tends to get repetitive after a while and fails to rise to the quality of the main content. Still, there are a lot of things to do in the west and the gameplay is highly entertaining, offering a plethora of options to choose from.
Weird West is an isometric game and it values art direction instead of high fidelity graphics. Yet, these two aspects are probably one of the few really big critiques about the game. The isometric camera, while great during exploring, gets extremely frustrating during combat. It is very difficult to see your enemies, especially during indoor combat, and sometimes you cannot even see if you are actually hitting them. There are various zoom levels, however there is no point in keeping a close zoom as you can literally only see the character.
In terms of art direction, it certainly has the wild west vibe of games such as Red Dead Redemption or Desperados, yet it fails to differentiate with something special. The is little variety in terms of locations, as they sometimes are just copy pasted and given new names. We have tested the game on PC and we haven’t witnessed any graphical bugs or glitches. Nevertheless, in terms of graphics, Weird West fails to impress as it does on its other categories.
The sound design of the game is closely tied to the western vibe mentioned previously. The soundtrack is great, as it conveys the tensions and unpredictability of the world. The sound effects, especially for the weapons are very well done as well. Each bullet fired from a gun holds a certain impact audibly and the various environment sounds are great.
The dialogue is good, yet it doesn’t surprise with anything in particular. There are a few clichés here and there, but it is to be expected for a western setting. One problem however is the lack of recorded dialogue. There certainly is quite a bit of it, yet it is only during cutscenes and random monologues from the narrator. It is a shame since the game could certainly benefit from it, yet it is still an indie game after all.
The world of the Wild West feels great and holds true to the immersive nature of the game. Although it is not quite as vast as it appears initially, the density of the locations is enough to keep you invested in it. While these locations are not all unique, as mentioned previously, the game keeps you hooked in it all throughout the approximate 25 hours it takes to finish it.
The vibe of the wild west is here and combined with its grotesque and supernatural characteristics make the game’s atmosphere a very interesting one. There were few moments were the game felt dull, given the many things that you can do in it, and as such it can compare with other games of this genre or setting.
Weird West is the type of game that not many will play, but it cannot be denied that it is immersive and excellent. Probably one of the most pleasant surprises of this year so far and a great indie title to sink a lot of hours into. We kindly recommend it for anyone that wants to get into this genre.
Our criteria at Games Row for rating games are as objective as can be. Of course, reviews are influenced (also) by personal experiences. So our ratings may not meet everyone’s expectations.