New release Review

Review – Weird West

Weird West absolutely lives up to its name, combining everything that is great about westerns with an array of fabled and fanciful creatures that share the same world. Developed by WolfEye Studios and published by Devolver Digital, Weird West takes its player on five separate journeys of equally as unique characters, with intertwining stories that affect the outcome of each individual’s narrative. A top-down immersive sim, the player is given total freedom to play out their journey the way they see fit, but choices lead to consequences.

When first starting, there is a small intro that details the strange world of Weird West. Shortly thereafter the player is transported to a small room where their character is collapsed on a chair. Two characters explain that they are counting on you and the players character is branded. The player is then required to select their preferable difficulty, with the four options being Story, Normal, Hard and Very Hard, before being transported into the body of a bounty hunter, where the first of five journeys begin. It leaves some unanswered questions and the answers eventually do come, but with some patience.


The five characters throughout the journey are:

  • The Bounty Hunter
  • The Pigman
  • The Protector
  • The Werewolf
  • The Oneirist

Avoiding any spoilers, each character has a very unique goal and path in which they travel and there are many decisions the player must make during each story that can impact the world around them. Important characters can be killed, innocent lives can be lost, and the story can be substantially altered by the players personal decisions. Freedom of choice that can shape a game’s story is always a feature that I love and though I only experienced one story thus far, I am eager to jump in and see how my next playthrough unfolds.

Players can gain reputation by positively influencing the Weird West by completing side missions for non-playable characters, collecting bounties and by making the appropriate decisions when coming to a fork in the story which can at times feel quite repetitive in nature. To the contrary, reputation can be lost by murdering innocents, stealing, and subsequently making the wrong decisions in the story. Coming to the aid of some NPC’s can also form a Friends for Life bond in which they can show up randomly to assist in combat situations but do wrong by them and a Vandetta can be established.

While the map is not vast in size, the explorable areas within are quite dense. Areas are travelled between through use of the world map and the in-game time taken to reach each area is dependent on whether the player is riding atop a horse or walking. While travelling between areas random events can be triggered by a number of various passer-by’s that vary from a gang attempting a robbery or a pack of hungry wolves, to a strange witch that knows a little too much of the player’s story, a caravan of traders or even an unknown NPC that is just looking for some help. While the confrontational events are unavoidable, the player can simply ignore the others.


Looting is an important part of gameplay in Weird West. Preparation can often be key and the search for better armour, weapons and healing options is always a priority and while there are traders within the world, it’s often easier to find an item than buy one as money can take some time to collect. The weapons that can be wielded by the player are:

  • Revolvers – Ranged weapon that lets the player remain agile
  • Shotguns – Close range weapons that pack a punch
  • Rifles – Powerful and long range
  • Melee – Saved for when ammo is scarce
  • Bows – Saved for silent approaches
  • Throwing – ie; dynamite, flashbangs, molotovs

Weapons and armour range from a one to a four-star rating and with the right materials they can be upgraded rather than discovered or bought, though I often never felt the need to use the upgrade system. Combat is a core dynamic to Weird West and there are several ways to win a fight.

Nimp relics that are collected throughout the world can be spent on abilities. There are four weapon abilities for each weapon class that are available to all characters, with a number of class abilities that are unique to each character, though unlocking an ability with one character does not mean that it is unlocked with another. There is also several Golden Ace of Spades Cards strewn throughout the world that can be collected and used to unlock perks. Once these perks are unlocked, they are permanently available for each character and they include things like chances of saving a lockpick when used, to upgrading health and finding more gold in containers. Each perk has three levels, with each one costing more cards to unlock.



If the player so chooses to take a quieter approach, stealth is always an option. Enemies have a small circle appear above their heads when they’ve caught a glimpse of the player and if it fills up then they will attack. The mini-map is very helpful when trying to remain unseen as it displays each enemy’s location and the direction in which they are faced. Remaining crouched and quiet, the player can also sneak up behind enemies for a silent takedown but be sure to hide those bodies or the gig is up. Though it never takes too long before an enemies poor AI loses interest and walks away like nothing happened.

The world of Weird West is dense with interesting locations and WolfEye Studios have done seriously well in encapsulating the elements of classic western environments, while combining with some otherworldly, fantasy ridden themes to spice up its world. The lighting is fantastic, especially at night and during thunderstorms where the dynamic weather really comes in to play.


Weird West’s audio falls a bit off the radar, with no voice acting outside of the narration during some small scenes throughout the story and there is an absolute heap of dialogue to get through, being such a narrative driven game. The gunplay is a highlight of Weird West’saudio where gun sounds really pop and explosions power through the sound of the speaker. It was unfortunate that, given Weird West’s western theme, there was no real music that would have fit in nicely. Music very much takes a back seat to gameplay, sometimes even remaining silent during some sequences.

Weird West is most definitely for mature audiences, with quite a bit of gore and coarse language. I would not recommend playing this around the kids, though the quick save feature makes it easy to turn it off at any time without risk of losing any progress.


Brandon Waite

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