> # Welcome to GameGrinOS v1.01 > # How can I help you? > # Press ` again to close
Hello… | Log in or sign up
Weird West Review

Weird West Review

I distinctly remember watching The Game Awards in 2019 and seeing the announcement of a world premiere trailer from new developers Wolfeye Studios. Before anything was shown, the co-creators of Dishonored and Prey — Raphaël Colantonio and Julien Roby — joined host Geoff Keighley to talk a little bit about their new company before going on to describe the team's debut game: Weird West. What followed was a short teaser that made me want to know more about the game; an isometric, Wild West themed action-RPG with some horror undertones? “Release it immediately!” was my first thought. Well, almost three years and a handful of trailers later, the day has finally arrived, and I couldn’t wait to explore this dark fantasy world, so let’s get stuck in!

weird west image2

Yep, definitely weird!

The journey starts with a hooded figure strapped to a chair surrounded by five altars, each with a silhouette of someone (or something!) etched into them. This unfortunate prisoner is then branded by their captives, causing the silhouette on the first altar to glow blood red. So far, so spooky!

After this relatively unexplained introduction, we begin with Jane Bell, an ex-bounty hunter who left her violent past behind her to settle down with her family on their ranch. Jane is woken by a burning sensation on her neck (which had me thinking of countless different theories relating to the opening cutscene!) to find her only child murdered and her husband kidnapped by a local gang. Thus begins Jane’s journey to exact revenge on those that ruined her life, but there is much more to Weird West than a simple revenge story. It doesn’t take long to run into a strange young girl who seems to know exactly what’s going on with Jane, calling her “The Passenger” before mysteriously vanishing.

Without going into too much detail for fear of spoiling this enjoyable plot full of twists, you’ll actually play as a variety of characters during your time spent with the game, including a werewolf, each with their own plotline and quests that culminate in a final chapter that ties the fates of all of them together in a very satisfying way.

weird west image3

No matter how you approach a situation, Weird West encourages trying different methods

Artistically, Weird West had me conflicted. On the one hand, the comic book style and overall look of the environments are a great stylistic choice and reminded me of the first Borderlands game (from a different perspective, obviously) but with a darker, less comedic tone. The audio adds to this serious tone, with some music tracks giving off an 80’s horror movie vibe. I’ll admit I didn’t much care for it at first, but the deeper you dive into the story on offer, the more it makes sense not to have grandiose orchestral themes pumping through your headset. My confliction regarding the style mainly boiled down to the fact that yes it’s meant to be gritty and drab, and some areas do have a more varied colour palette, but it just isn’t very eye-catching. The lack of voice acting — aside from the narrator — also impacts Weird West in a negative way, but it shouldn’t deter players from the intriguing story and engaging dialogue coupled with its best aspect: gameplay.

Weird West plays like most isometric shooters, but with more in-depth mechanics and added RPG elements. In fact, it’s easy to compare this to the ex-Arcane developer’s previous games, with a boatload of things to interact with, physics to play around with, random food found in the environment used to recover health, and decisions that affect future events. You also have a choice of how to approach most situations; stealth is as much of a viable option here as going in all guns blazing and can really make all the difference if you find yourself low on ammunition. Thankfully, you’re never tied down to being a strictly sneaky character or a bullet sponge tank, which is good news as the moment-to-moment combat encounters are a blast to play.

The combat plays almost like a twin-stick shooter, just without the automatic shooting, allowing players more precision during a gunfight; perfect for aiming past a group of enemies at an oil barrel to set them all ablaze! Each character has their own set of abilities that can be triggered to give you the edge in battle, whilst perks are carried over across all of the protagonists and act as passive buffs both in and out of combat. In addition to these, you also have a dodge mechanic, slowing down time as you dive Max Payne-style whilst peppering your opponents with bullets, something that never became stale.

weird west image4

Combat is quick, flashy, and most importantly: violent

Weird West is full of interesting side quests given to you by quirky characters that can lead to some incredibly useful rewards. Not all of these rewards come in the form of a new weapon or upgrade; “friends for life” are earned by gaining the respect of certain NPCs and can be a literal lifesaver as they come to assist you in sticky situations. Just like with the main quests, these smaller tasks can have multiple routes to complete them, so if you’re finding a gang of outlaws backed up by a human-eating monster too difficult to face head-on, there will always be a back entrance to give you the advantage of picking them off one-by-one.

Travelling between key areas is done by selecting points on a map, with random encounters procedurally generated so you never quite know if you’ll chance upon a travelling merchant selling a rare item or come face-to-face with a pack of hungry wolves desperate to tear your throat out. It’s a nice touch that adds variety to your quest, whilst also not taking up too much of your time, which is particularly invaluable as some of the quests are limited to a number of in-game days before they’re gone for good.

weird west image5

Dialogue is engaging, but not presented in the most interesting way

Whilst a lack of voice acting and one too many bland scenes may have dampened my mood in the early hours of my time spent with Weird West, the fast-paced combat and unique story was more than enough to push those thoughts aside. Kudos to Wolfeye Studios on their debut game; even with industry veterans at the helm, this could not have been a better first outing for them.

8.50/10 8½

Weird West (Reviewed on PlayStation 4)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

Weird West blends a lawless world of gunslingers with the supernatural to great effect, and had me gripped the entire time. This is one adventure you need to experience.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Mike Crewe

Mike Crewe

Staff Writer

Bought a PS5 and won't stop talking about it

Share this: