Evil West mixes the Wild West with monsters in an entertaining action game package.
Polish developer Flying Wild Hog is out with its latest game. The Warsaw-based studio has released a new Wild West-themed action-horror game called Evil West. While the idea here is not completely original – Red Dead Redemption added a zombies DLC over a decade ago – it is still a neat concept. But in this Evil West review, we really want to get to the core question: is it worth playing?
Before we do, let’s just take a quick look at how the game got here, starting with Flying Wild Hog. The developer has brought us some really solid releases in the past including the Shadow Warrior trilogy and Trek to Yomi. So they automatically start with credibility.
The developers say that they drew inspiration from franchises like Hellboy and Castelvania, although there’s one that they did not mention that stood out to me: the God of War reboot. You have fantastical creatures and physical combat with various upgrades. It’s not a perfect comparison – and this game is certainly not nearly as good as God of War – but the two are surprisingly similar.
Wild West meets Transylvania
You play as Jesse Rentier, a gunslinger with a penchant for violence and a particular liking for monster-killing action. Jesse comes from a line of monster hunters and is a current member of the Rentier Institute, which aims to completely eradicate vampires from existence. In addition to vampires, the game also features a motley crew of monsters – from werewolves to Boo-Hags.
To do your job, you use a combination of old-fashioned firearms and mystical sci-fi technology. These come in the form of a revolver, a shotgun, and the Rentier Institute’s Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is an electricity-charged weapon that you can use to stun and impale enemies. This mixture of melee combat with ranged weapons and upgrades is a fun interplay that keeps things fresh.
That’s not to suggest that everything about this game is peaches and cream. Even though there are a decent number of monsters to fight throughout the game, there is a decent chance that you will grow bored of fighting one horde after the next. You will learn the strengths and weaknesses of each monster pretty quickly, so the real challenge only comes once they start throwing overwhelming numbers at you.
The developers were smart to try to weave in story elements and cutscenes interspersed between levels as the combat can get a bit repetitive. Unfortunately, the story and central characters here are not all that interesting, even if the setting and the monster designs are still pretty neat overall. As a result, the game’s ability to hold your attention wanes.
If you are looking for something that mixes multiple genres – namely the Wild West, sci-fi, and horror – into an action game that feels a bit like the God of War reboot if only Kratos had guns, Evil West just might scratch your itch. Just do not expect a AAA game experience.