I absolutely adore cowboys, but you know what I love even more? Cowboys who fight and slay monsters! My interest in the supernatural, or what some might call “the Occult,” is practically an obsession. From werewolves and vampires to zombies, witches, and a whole manner of ghouls, I am completely fascinated by it all. These types of stories are often set in gothic locations and feature Victorian-era cities and characters. However, there is a lesser-known genre known as “Weird Westerns.” Unfortunately, there haven’t been many games in this category, but one great example is the “Undead Nightmare” DLC for Red Dead Redemption, which turns the entire game into an open-world zombie survival cowboy game. Now, there’s a new addition to the Weird Western genre: Weird West, developed by indie studio Wolfeye Studios and published by Devolver Digital. It’s an isometric RPG that lets you shape the world and its five main characters through your actions.
The Bounty Hunter
So far, I’ve only had the chance to play as the first character, retired bounty hunter Jane Bell. Her child was murdered and her husband taken, so she’s on a mission to track down those responsible and save her sweetheart. However, there’s something else at play, with robed and hooded figures performing some sort of ritual and possibly even controlling Jane. That’s the overarching story, but as Jane travels through the Weird West, she’ll encounter different towns and people along the way. The game has a unique travel system where players must take the time of travel into consideration and watch their icon move around the map as they journey from one zone to another, potentially encountering ambushes, wandering witches, or random encounters with pigmen along the way.
The world of Weird West is filled with strange and unsettling events, which I absolutely love. The game also encourages players to make use of the quick save feature, as anything can happen, such as a stray bullet hitting a key story character and causing their death. The story simply carries on, regardless. This means there should be plenty of replay value.
The combat combines twin-stick shooter elements with Max Payne’s Bullet-time feature, allowing players to be stealthy and take out enemies quietly. You can even pick up and throw objects in the game, like I did with a paintbrush to get someone’s attention (though it ultimately led to my demise). The mechanics are very detailed and immersive, and I’m thoroughly enjoying exploring this world. Characters you’ve helped in the past may come to your aid if you find yourself in trouble, while those you’ve wronged may show up at the wrong time and blast you in the face.
Weird West is a lot of fun, though extremely difficult. If you are into all that weird stuff, then you can check it out on Steam, Epic Store, Xbox, Xbox Gamepass (for PC & Xbox) and Playstation!