Weird West Preview – Cowboy and Stranger Enter Saloon

Sheriff says there’s a Stillwater bastard locked up in a cell nearby who knows exactly where his pals have dragged your bruised and bruised beau. Works with the same guys who offended your son Huck – “no meat on the bones”. The words echo in your head all the way to Grackle PD. Of course, Stillwater is there, curled up in a corner as Jane Wood kills the door, pulling shackles at the ready.

Where are they? Scumbag Stillwater doesn’t respond – you break his little finger. “I can’t tell you anything,” he said. “He is going to kill me !”

Annular. Scumbag Stillwater’s lip loosens. Trigger finger – this one must hurt for a raider. They set up their camp five hours north. The Weird West awaits.

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I’ve only played Weird West for about two hours so far. During this time, I looted three gold dollar coins from a dead man in front of his grieving wife. “I can’t even wait for the body to cool your little recovery shit,” she said. I feel bad, so I bury the corpse – it turns out she wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I took a lantern from a crashed cart, squeezed through dense foliage, threw it in an oil spill and saw my enemies waving with fear and fever so that their mortality struck like hot iron. I typed the numbers “0451” into a sequestered safe to access important logs revealing the next known location of my elusive prey – it’s no surprise that WolfEye Studios boss Raphael Colantonio is from training in immersive simulation design.

bizarre west preview

Weird West, despite having a drastically different aesthetic than Deus Ex, Dishonored, and Prey, is an immersive simulation in the purest sense of the word. The fire spreads; locked doors can be picked up, destroyed or moved creatively; innocent spectators will respond to your benevolence or lack of benevolence; cacti can be pierced and drunk to restore health; sound can be used to distract enemies who would otherwise intercept and slaughter you before you can say “gun”. I would say the miracle of Weird West is how well connected his systems are, but what’s actually miraculous is how oppressive such abundant systems should be, and yet – miraculously – don’t. never.

This is due to the way these systems are intelligently contextualized in terms of narrative depth. Take Tactical Mode, for example, which highlights nearby enemies in red and slows down time to help orchestrate a measured approach in a given situation. It’s obviously very gamified, but it also shows how you were once one of the weirdest West’s most feared and revered bounty hunters. You strategize before committing because you know better than being impulsive. You can spot the tales of your opponents because you saw hundreds of their predecessors fall under your gun. On the contrary, when people see Jane Wood coming, they would run otherwise because victory would immortalize them. Every design decision made in the development of Weird West also serves the story it wants to tell.

This caliber also extends to all quality measurements. Weird West opens with the clean grunge of a detuned guitar, but layered synths texture the soundscape so that it’s both eerie and western at the same time. It’s also stupidly elegant – after spending time with the game, what excites me the most is the art that I haven’t seen yet. The writing, on the other hand, is sober but intensely dense. Everything combines to assert a tone that oozes attitude and authority. It is spectacular.

bizarre west preview

If you took a cross section of Weird West and trapped it like a bug in amber, all of the above would be true and you would be fine. Weird West, however, only comes to life when played – no amount of screenshots or trailers will do it justice. Even when he consciously recognizes limitations – the world is divided into individual levels, for example, between which you quickly travel – he somehow manages to turn them into unique advantages. Missions must be completed within a certain amount of time, and fast travel is defined by the number of hours it takes to travel a certain distance. If you are thrifty, you may be able to set up a camp and rest before a job expires. If you’re not, you better say goodbye to that bounty. Nothing about Weird West goes unnoticed – someone, somewhere, has thought of all the possibilities.

The pace is also brilliantly measured – you won’t want to leave a deserted town as there is so much to discover, while 30-second fights are tense enough that time slows down until it stops. . At one point, I saw three enemies standing guard next to a cart loaded with explosive barrels. By detonating one of those barrels, I simultaneously killed the first guard and sent the other two into a frenzy. I chose the one on the left, replaced my rifle, and by the time my last enemy realized what was going on, I propelled myself back as the weather slowed down and my crack shell sent its brand to its manufacturer. It happened in about four, maybe five seconds, but still acts like a perfect vertical slice of the layering of everything.

Put as simply as it gets, Weird West is gorgeous. I only played a few hours, but I think all I can do is wonder about all the other brilliant ideas he might have up his sleeve is a compelling testament to the quality of what I have seen so far. We’re all already aware that next year will be huge for games, although personally Weird West has skyrocketed to the top of my list faster than Samuel Beechworth could pick up a pint.

Weird West will launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on January 11, 2022.

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