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Wednesday, November 23, 2022

‘Evil West’ Review – Kickass Horror Action Game Brings Vampires into the Wild West

You know what rules? Vampires. You know what else rules? Westerns. Both of them are surprisingly under-utilized in games. Sure you have stuff like Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines or Red Dead Redemption but you never see Vampires or Cowboys pop up in games too often. Let alone together. Until now. Enter Evil West, the new character action game from developer Flying Wild Hog, best known for their brilliant Shadow Warrior reboot trilogy. The end result is a glorious combination that I wish happened far more often.

Evil West is set in an alternate American Frontier and follows Jesse Rentier, a hunter belonging to a secret hunter society, as he navigates the old west terminating undead creatures of the night. Right off the bat the setting is one of the most engrossing and original of the year. The combination of horror and western works so well and features twisted versions of common genre settings. From a wild west town run by vampire familiars who collect blood for their masters to an inverted pyramid that serves as a blood temple where the floors run red with it, there’s no shortage of interesting and unique settings to explore.

The gameplay steals a page from God of War’s handbook – might as well pull from the best! – and players control Jesse from an up close third person perspective during combat and exploration. Players have access to a wide variety of weapons and gadgets ranging from a massive iron gauntlet that deals melee damage to firearms that allow him to stun or hit enemy weak points. As players progress and level up, Jesse’s arsenal grows and he soon becomes a vampire’s worst nightmare as he dodges around and absolutely wipes the floor with the undead. There’s even some high level techniques such as parrying and popping off shots from Jesse’s rifle when an enemy exposes their weak point.

The combat is as deep as you want it to be. And it’s all very satisfying.

When not engaged with combat, players will navigate the world and will be rewarded from breaking off the main path with plenty of lore to flesh out this nightmarish hellscape. Evil West outright features some of the most interesting lore I’ve read in recent memory and I found myself obsessed with finding all my collectibles to fill out my knowledge of Jesse and his world. 

The story moves at a brisk pace. In its opening hours you move from locale to locale and face a wide variety of enemies; every section is bookended with a fantastic set piece or boss fight. If anyone criticizes Evil West, it won’t be because it’s boring. Even better is that Evil West doesn’t overstay its welcome and I was able to see most of what the game had to offer after about 14 hours with it. While some may criticize its length, I feel character action games benefit from how well they play and how willing players are to revisit the game on harder difficulties. If I’m being honest, I can’t wait to hop back into Evil West on harder difficulties, especially with the knowledge that there were a few encounters I barely survived on normal difficulty. 

An aspect where Evil West stands out from God of War is that the entire game can be played in co-op, promising players that they’ll be able to team up with a buddy to slay vampires to their heart’s content. While I wasn’t able to test this part of the game, it’s nice to know its an optional feature for players that are interested. 

Performance on the other hand, leaves something to be desired. I’m cut from the cloth that character action games need to run at 60 frames per second for the most smooth and responsive experience. Unfortunately Evil West runs at 30 frames on every system except for Xbox Series X and Playstation 5. The trade off being that when played at 60fps on those consoles the resolution is locked at 1080p which is disappointing on numerous levels. One can only hope that the developer is able to overcome those performance hurdles and provide players with the best experience.

Evil West in so many ways reminds me of games of yesteryear. The focus here is on telling a cool story with a great setting and kickass gameplay. And it’s not held back by microtransactions, live-service elements, or a bug-filled experience. At its core Evil West is a kickass horror-action game that I hope doesn’t fall through the cracks in a year filled with exceptional horror releases. Its a game horror fans should play, a game western fans should play, and a game video game fans should play.

I’m already hungry for a sequel, and that’s always a good sign.

Review code provided by the publisher.

The post ‘Evil West’ Review – Kickass Horror Action Game Brings Vampires into the Wild West appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/video-games/3741485/evil-west-review-kickass-horror-action-game-brings-vampires-into-the-wild-west/

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