IF you don’t follow me on social media there are two things you need to know about me. I love Xbox and a great Western. I love cowboy anything. So when Focus Entertainment initially announced Evil West, I was pretty excited.
When I first saw the start of the trailer, I thought they were reviving Darkwatch, a 2005 Xbox and PlayStation 2 title with which this game shares many similarities. The wild west and vampires. But even though this wasn’t the case, this game is still a win for gamers.
You play as Jesse Rentier, who is as you will find out a soldier and next in line to take the lead of the Rentier Institute in this alternate version of the wild west. A secret agency that works under the US Government to tackle the forces of evil in the form of Vampires led by Peter O’Abano who is doing his best to use modern science to breed new mutations and create an army.
As you start out the game, you start off with your trusty six-shooter and your fists. As you get further into the game you will find and gain the ability to upgrade more weapons such as a rifle for long-distance shooting and a shotgun to help stun bigger foes you will encounter.
Your first mission is to track down the leader of the vampire army, Peter O’Abano with your father’s best friend Edgar Gravenor. As any good wild west story should start, Evil West opens with a train heist, sort of. You’re not robbing the train, but in search of the vampire leader, this will lead you to a deserted town, then to the lower regions of a mine shaft.
After you find and detain the vampire leader, his adopted daughter, who seems a bit cuckoo to start with, absolutely loses her mind which leads to an all-out assault on the Rentier Institute which results in your father going missing, this then starts off the game’s story as you find out about all the experiments and true intentions of the Vampires.
The only way to describe combat in Evil West is gory, unadulterated fun! It is easy to see the inspiration the developers took from the God of War series as you will combo punches and have the ability to launch enemies into the air with an uppercut punch with your metal gauntlet which can be upgraded over time to electrocute, block and pull enemies towards you or just give yourself some space to breathe if you’re overwhelmed.
Other inspirations that can be noticed in this game are definitely The Order 1886 and Bulletstorm all fun and great games in their own right. Especially when they were the best parts such as gameplay, story and humour.
When you are not taking on hordes of Vampires and the huge variety of monsters you will encounter in your time with Evil West, even though this is a liner experience of a game, there are many opportunities to stray from the direct path to your next checkpoint to collect money which is required for upgrades, lore notes which will fill you into the history of the world or just the area your currently in or even in God of War inspiration, smash open chests with your gauntlet to collect more money, perks or skins.
There is also a great variety of areas to explore as you get further into Evil West such as mines, swamps, deserted towns and dense forests, just to name a few. Each offers a different looking place to explore and find new monsters and experiments.
I did however find it strange in the game that offers a graphic or performance mode on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, you actually are required to reboot the game in order to make these changes. It’s something I have yet to come across in any of the newer console games out to this day. Maybe it will be addressed in a patch further down the track. I found both settings to run the game fine, obviously, adjust to your preference.
I’ll also note that if you want to co-op this game with a friend it does offer this for this liner 15 hour or so experience.
I really enjoyed my time with Evil West, obviously, this is a game that is marketed towards me, but I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of effort that the development team put into the voice acting and material of this game as a whole. There was really nothing I could fault with this Evil West and am more than happy to recommend this to anyone willing to read or ask. The game mechanics are fantastic, the story is interesting along with funny dialogue and great visuals.