Evil West Review: Old School Vampire Slayin’

Vampires in the Wild West. We’re not sure it’s better than that, either. I would like to bad west to the best parts of old-school horror movies and exploitation movies from the ’70s and ’80s. It’s classy and gratuitous, all while taking itself a little too seriously. Its overall pacing and combat mechanics feel functional and confident, but I can’t help but feel like it’s a game out of time; a blast from the past if you will. While it does provide an admirable narrative and some really fun combat moments, its linear nature and design prevent it from feeling fresh and new.

The hunt is on

Set in an alternate version of the Wild West, players take control of Jesse Rentier, an agent of the secret Rentier Institute, an organization dedicated to taking down a syndicate of supernatural creatures known as the Sanguisuge. The game begins with protagonist Jesse and retired agent Edgar on the trail of D’Abano, a high-ranking vampire. As they discover his whereabouts and finally claim his head, his return to the institute is greeted with a sigh of relief, but unfortunately too soon. His headquarters is attacked by D’Abano’s vengeful daughter, Felicity, who claims her head and swears revenge on the Rentier Institute. From there, it’s an admittedly straightforward narrative, as our protagonists try to recover, rebuild, and face the impending threat. While the simplistic story takes itself too seriously, I can appreciate its simplicity, as it rarely gives the story a reason to hit the brakes.

Unfortunately, Jesse is pretty bland as a lead. As a cool vampire hunter, I would have liked a personality that was more lively or intentionally comedic. As Jesse responds with an odd joke or two, he feels more like an empty shell for players to inhabit. Supporting characters like retired agent Edgar carry most of the weight in terms of comic value, but they also do so infrequently.

easy trigger

In terms of gameplay, bad west plays out like a traditional third-person action title. Players have access to both melee and ranged attacks, and can mix those attacks on the fly to create devastating combos. Jesse will gain both weapons and abilities as he progresses through the narrative, with most of the essentials available in the first few hours. The overall combat feels responsive and punchy, with various weapons mapped to certain buttons for immediate effect. With a single dedicated shoulder button for melee attacks and another for your trusty revolver, you’ll be juggling vampires in no time. However, aiming down with the left shoulder button will automatically equip your tier action rifle for those pesky enemies that like to attack from afar. A double-barreled shotgun is also assigned to one of the face buttons, on which Jesse can unleash a wide-range attack for crowd control.

You will also be able to find currency in the form of dollars to upgrade weapons and buy new outfits, while XP earned in combat can be used to upgrade your skill tree with new abilities. Of course, it wouldn’t be the Old West without some exciting new innovation just around the corner. And with that, Jesse has been given a shiny new electrically charged gauntlet to test out, allowing him to block, grab, and throw enemies while filling them with more volts than they can handle and leaving them open to a flurry of attacks. .

The ability to mix them up at any time makes things feel satisfying for the most part, but it’s from the bad west linear design that holds you back. You’ll be met with some stunning views and the occasional optional route for further exploration, but it feels like you’re wasting significant portions of the 10-15 hour story just going from one enemy-enclosed arena to another. bad west it does its best to spread out enemy types and new weapons evenly throughout the narrative, but lingers for too long in the end, especially in the last quarter of the story.

By the time the last two hours are underway, he’s upgraded almost all of his weapons and abilities and tried everything else in the book. This simply because bad west it is not trying to get you off the beaten path. While its story rarely slows down, it’s only disappointing because it feels like there’s so much more this world can offer in terms of creative freedom. Cooperative play appears here, in which a second player can jump on board online to enjoy the entire campaign. It doesn’t necessarily change the experience significantly, but it does provide an added layer of fun while killing with a friend. However, I do wish the second player wasn’t an identical copy of Jesse, but a separate character like Edgar, who is present for most of the ride anyway.

Old west, new look

next generation versions of bad west they include quality and performance options, running at 2160p at 30 fps or 1080 at 60 fps. While I think the performance option is the way to go, bad west works fine in both modes. The game does experience minor frame drops at times, but it’s by no means constant enough to throw you out of the experience, particularly during hectic moments in combat. It also looks pretty good at times, providing some stunning vistas and panoramas to gawk at, and some detailed textures and lighting effects to boot. The vibrant color palette on display here also feels super saturated and equally fitting for a game with such a unique setting and premise.

final thoughts

bad west it’s consistently functional and downright fun at times, thanks to its frenetic combat. Its versatile upgrade systems and controls keep things lively for most of the experience, even if the linear layout and respective mission structure eventually rears its ugly head towards the end. As a result, bad west it feels a bit dated, which is a shame considering the unique premise and alternate setting. That said, the 10-15 hour story does its best to keep things light and fast, providing a pace that rarely feels bogged down or bloated with anything unnecessary. For most who are looking for a new third person action adventure, bad west in fact it is worth a try. Carry on, cowboy.

THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Reflexes: fun combat; Evenly paced narrative; progression and variety of weapons; solid performance
Negatives: Repetitive mission design and structure makes the experience feel dated
Developer: flying wild hog
Editor: focus entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Windows PC
Available: Now

Review made on PlayStation 5 with a pre-release code provided by the publisher.

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