ReviewsReview: Evil West

Review: Evil West

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I love horror/vampire games, and I adore the Wild West. Consequently, when my brother sent me the trailer for Evil West, it piqued my interest. This game is the love child of Red Dead Redemption and Gears of War. As such, it has a hearty filling of cowboy shenanigans, plenty of blood-sucking monsters, and some smooth combat mechanics. Accordingly, its unusual blend of violence and fantasy made it tough to put down.

Developed by Flying Wild Hog and published by Focus Entertainment, this is a linear adventure title. Moreover, it has some gruff characters, plenty of gory moments, and an incredible story with excellent cinematic. As such, you’ll adore exploring each stage as the story unfolds. On top of this, I adored the drip-fed mechanics, the vicious monsters, and the dark interpretation of the American Frontier. However, its strict linear approach may disappoint lovers of open-world games.

Evil West is dark, sinister, and brilliantly unrealistic.

Though I love fantasy games, I often frown when they go into massively unrealistic realms. As such, I worried that Evil West would perhaps take it too far. Instead, the extroverted plot and the gruesome creatures were unbelievably brilliant. Subsequently, I lapped up the strange story, and couldn’t wait to see the plot evolve. 

You are Jesse Rentier, an agent of a top-secret vampire-hunting agency. Your role is to vanquish every vampire you face and save the American public from this growing threat. However, unknown to yourself, the world is more dangerous than you could ever imagine. A new breed of monsters is on the rise, and they plan to wage a war against mankind. Accordingly, you must use your wits and new technology to defeat each creature and save the day. 

The hero coming face to face with two enemies in Evil West.
Hold it right there!

A solo or co-op experience. 

What I cherished about Evil West was its solo or cooperative approach. As such, every element of the game can be enjoyed by yourself or with another. This was a fantastic decision by the developers as it opened up the action while enhancing the manic combat moments. Furthermore, if you are tackling this on a harder mode, you’ll be glad of a friend to back you up. 

Alongside this, the game has a great skill tree, some amazing lore, and a plethora of weapons to slay each vampire. Moreover, there are some mind-blowing combos to execute, stunning killer finishes, and some tactical nuance to master. Therefore, it isn’t a mindless fighting title. Instead, you’ll have to understand and exploit each monster’s strengths and weaknesses. This was incredible as it enhanced the difficulty while giving you something to get your teeth into. 

A phenomenal world but a linear structure. 

Another excellent idea was the episodic gameplay. The story is broken down into bite-sized manageable chunks. Each chapter follows on from its predecessor and wonderfully progresses the story. On top of this, there are an array of collectables to find, money to steal and upgrade chests to locate. The collectables pad out the excellent story and help to give depth and meaning to each character. The cash is used to improve your skills and weapons. Finally, the upgrade chests improve your abilities while giving you another string to your bow. 

What may disappoint some gamers is the strict linear structure. The stunning world deserves to be explored. However, the developers have kept us on a tight leash by funnelling the gameplay and story in a rigid fashion. For me, this worked perfectly, as the crazy combat and insane weapons added enough drama to the proceedings. Yet, I still yearned to explore the dark environment, and maybe this was an error from the developers. 

Jesse taking down an enormous winged creature.
You sure are ugly.

Amazing combat. 

Gears of War is renowned for its slick and overwhelming fighting. Fortunately, Evil West captures much of this insanity in its gruesome encounters. Jesse is loaded with guns and powerful fists. However, that isn’t all! If he so wishes, he can use a gauntlet to electrocute his opponents to devastating effect. What’s more, you can use this power to fly through the air and dodge projectiles. 

This may seem a little OTT, but it matters not. Instead, you’ll adore the futuristic mechanics that juxtapose the dated imagery. Furthermore, different abilities are used to overcome each monster you face. What must also be considered is how each weapon is used against the gargantuan bosses. These hardcore pains in the arse will kick you, smack you, and cause you no end of problems. Yet, with some quick thinking and the right tool to hand, you can turn the tables and overcome each monstrosity. 

Evil West looks amazing, but it isn’t problem free. 

My love for Evil West extends beyond the superb mechanics and phenomenal story. As such, I cherished the incredible cinematic and sinister world. The earthy colour palette and muted tones create an ominous environment. Moreover, the buttery smooth combat and awe-inspiring settings will fascinate you throughout. However, there are many minor glitches, bugs, and screen tears that taint the finished product. They are not game-breaking by any stretch, but they impact the finish and stick out like a sore thumb. 

What was equally good was the amazing audio. The acting is fantastic and is a credit to the team. On top of this, both the sound effects and the music are incredible. What’s more, the screaming vampires and striking cinematic are captivating. Consequently, they are some of the best cutscenes I’ve experienced in a long time. 

Jesse tackling his foes with his special abilities.
Use your abilities to overcome your foes.

Excellent controls. 

With so much going on, Evil West could have been a horrible mess. However, the excellent UI and controller layout is easy to understand. Moreover, the responsive inputs and drip-fed mechanics ensure it isn’t overwhelming. I loved that the learning curve complemented the introduction of new monsters. On top of this, simple-to-follow tutorials help to bed in each new mechanic before you progress. 

Thanks to the cooperative mode, the range of difficulty settings, the collectables, and a new game + option, this oozes replay value. Furthermore, the skill tree allows you to customise your approach depending on your play style. Consequently, each of these elements ensures that longevity is enhanced. 

Evil West blew me away. 

I may be biased, but Evil West blew me away. My love for the theme and the genre meant that I was always likely to fall for its charms. Yet, I was genuinely surprised by the excellent aesthetics, awesome cinematic, and fascinating story. On top of this, the lore and gruff characters add a gritty edge that is hard to ignore. There are minor visual issues and a few bugs, but these are few and far between. I absolutely loved it and I recommend that you buy it here! Can you protect mankind and destroy the vampire threat? Upgrade your gear and unleash hell on the vile undead. 

SUMMARY

Evil West is a fantasy adventure game set in a grim and sinister world. Can you master every ability and save mankind? Search every level, find the collectables, and tackle every vampire you face.


+ Spectacular cinematic.
+ Great stage design.
+ Excellent controls.
+ Plenty of replay value.
+ Wonderful acting.

- Some visual issues.
- Screen tears.
- Minor bugs.
- The strict linear approach was frustrating.

(Rating: PEGI 18 Bad Language, Violence Release date: 22/11/2022 Price: £49.99+)


(Reviewed on Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam),PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)


Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com
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<p class="has-text-align-justify" style="font-size:14px"><em>Evil West</em> is a fantasy adventure game set in a grim and sinister world. Can you master every ability and save mankind? Search every level, find the collectables, and tackle every vampire you face. </p><br/> + Spectacular cinematic. <br/> + Great stage design. <br/> + Excellent controls. <br/> + Plenty of replay value. <br/> + Wonderful acting. <br/> <br/> - Some visual issues. <br/> - Screen tears. <br/> - Minor bugs. <br/> - The strict linear approach was frustrating. <br/> <br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(<b>Rating:</b> PEGI 18 Bad Language, Violence <b>Release date:</b> 22/11/2022 <b>Price:</b> £49.99+)</p><br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(Reviewed on Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam),PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)</p><br/>Review: Evil West