Evil West: Cowboys, Vampires, and Tesla Coils (Review)
Banjos set to stun
WACO, Texas (KWTX) -
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Right from the opening title sequence this game shows you exactly what you’re in for. Part Van Helsing, part wild wild west, and part superhero story. If this sounds like a good time, then Evil West may just be the game for you. This new game from Flying Wild Hog is exactly the kind of over-the-top action with some good humorous moments you would expect from the makers of the Shadow Warrior series. Set in an alternate universe wild west where monsters and vampires called the sangusine are a constant threat to mankind. This threat has been fought back again and again by your character Jesse Rentier and the Rentier Institute .
The story revolves around Jesse an expert monster hunter raised and trained into the life by his father, the leader of the Rentier Institute. In this world the Rentier Institute is the establishment funded by the us government to hunt down monsters and keep people safe. The story isn’t bad by any means however it is straight forward without any large surprises or twists. This is a little bit of a fresh breath of air in a market that can sometimes feel over saturated with massive 100+ hour games with what feels like a million branching paths. Sometimes having a straight forward 10 to 15 hour game like this allows you to just enjoy the narrative without feeling like you’re being pulled every which way. Speaking of narrative most of the story telling in this title is done through cut scenes with more detailed lore scattered around as pickups through the various levels. While most cut scenes happen smoothly there were several that seemed to jump cut very abruptly and felt out of place. Altogether the supporting characters weren’t especially memorable, but the overall narrative did feel like a complete package. For those of you looking for replay ability while there are no alternate storylines, side quests, or any choices to be seen there is a new game plus for you to carry your fully fleshed out arsenal into higher difficulty play-throughs.
Speaking of your arsenal there is plenty to say on the combat here. You begin with a relatively meek set up. Comprised of a standard six-shooter and the special Rentier Gauntlet, a set of brass knuckles on steroids made to demolish both barriers and monsters alike. While this may not seem like a lot of equipment at first by the time the game is finished, you’ll be a walking armory delivering death to the deathless with a flurry of lead, electricity, and skills. Speaking of skills there is quite a bit of upgrades and skills at your disposal as well. Ranging from adding electricity to most of your equipment to making your punches hit harder, faster, and wider; all the way to supercharging yourself to launch around the area in a flash of lightning. If there’s a way to kill monsters Jesse has probably found it.
Now as for graphics, and set design go I will say this. This is an obviously stylized game. It does a great job of looking like what you think games used to look like. Bringing back the feeling of playing of the mid to late ps3 era games that many of us grew up playing. I had several moments of thinking back to the early Infamous titles and those were some of my favorite games of the times. It truly feels stylistically that they grabbed that form of game and brought it to modern graphics without loosing its core charm. There were a few times where creatures and set pieces in the background were stuttering as if at half speed mostly when it was large groups of enemies or particle heavy effects such as fire or smoke. I only had one encounter near the end of the game that I experienced any actual performance issues with the game itself and I’m certain it was due to the loading of three of a certain enemy type with a particle heavy entrance. On to set design this is one of the games where you can clearly tell every time you are about to be in combat. Whether it is environmental items to help fight enemies or just large open areas that lend themselves to this style of combat you can always tell if an area is just an area to explore and traverse or if you’re about to be ripping through some ticks.
With visceral sounds of strikes, gunfire, and brutal takedowns the audio in this game truly harmonizes with the perfectly fitting background music keeping itself from getting too intrusive and making it always feel like it’s high noon. Unfortunately, I do have to pick out one recurring audio glitch that happened after fighting a specific enemy type several times. This glitch happened if you killed and enemy during a beam attack that left a static electrical like sound behind that lowered all other audio sources and persisted through cutscenes and dialog until death and reset. Other than this all audio was clear and crisp.
Overall Evil West feels like a blast of superhero game nostalgia brought into the wild west onto modern machines. A well-crafted but at times hollow story has enough drive to make you feel like you want to continue. A visceral and genuinely fun combat system with numerous upgrades gives you plenty of ways to handle any given situation you may find yourself in. Some very well-done set pieces that bring you the wild west feeling without feeling stagnant or overdone, and audio that hits home as hard as Jesse’s punches. In a time where it feels like every game must have a massive open world, branching storylines, or multiple different choices Evil West helps show that a well-crafted linear story can still be a lot of fun. I give Evil West an 8/10. For hardwired I’ve been Alex Richardson and If you liked this video please like and subscribe for more reviews and gaming news thanks for watching.
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