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    dkirschner's Weird West (PC)

    [May 13, 2023 02:31:29 PM]
    I 1,000% thought I would adore this based on the description, but I 1,000% do not. So disappointed! Weird West pitches itself as an isometric immersive sim with twin-stick shooter and action-RPG elements. It looks like a CRPG or tactics game, like Desperados III or Divinity, but plays like a janky version of its influences. Which is too bad because the setup for the story and the world seem really cool! It's the "weird" part of the weird west, a Wild West setting but with witches, cannibals, pigmen, crazy miner monsters, werewolves, and all manner of mystical thing. It seems appropriately dark fantasy.

    So, you begin the game observing some mysterious branding ritual. There are 5 characters being branded (spoiler: you'll play vignettes with all of them), and you begin as a woman who used to be a bounty hunter, but retired to become a farmer, and after some mean cannibal cowboys come steal your husband and shoot your son, you dig up your pistols and go on a journey to find your husband. Unfoooortunately, the story and setting are about the only thing I like so far. So many other elements are mediocre or flat out annoying. Shall I list them?

    1. The worst offender is the inventory. Within two short hours, I was micromanaging it, constantly having to drop items and disassemble guns because it was full. Weird West commits the sin of giving you 10,000 things to pick up (irritating in its own right) and no room to store them. You can loot everything: barrels, crates, book cases, chests, bodies, buckets, the ground, dig up bodies and loot those, etc. 95% of the loot is garbage worth (literally) $1, but you also can find ammo, which is extremely useful, and guns on enemies, which can be broken down into ammo. Why do games give you so much stuff to pick up and then not give you inventory space to hold it? I'm suspending my disbelief and accepting this crazy weird west setting; let me have a decent sized inventory!

    2. Grinding. Yes, I found myself in the early game grinding for money. The game forces you to cough up nearly $300 for a main quest. At that point, I had less than $200. This is how it teaches you about bounties, though I don't know why it has to teach you about bounties (accept the bounty from the board, go kill the person, come back and claim your reward) because every game with bounties works just like this. Anyway, it forces you to collect gold. But on the way to do bounties, I found a merchant selling the equivalent of a skill point for $200 and bought that instead. Woops. Now I needed $300 for the main quest from scratch. That's like 3 bounties. It pains me to have to wander around the map, getting randomly ambushed, grinding for enough money for the main quest.

    3. I grinded through dilapidated towns, partially flooded mines, dilapidated towns, dusty towns, and mines with water in them. The environments are so repetitive! The towns all look the same. The random "encounters" on the way from place to place are pretty much all the same (kill a few wolves, kill a few gang members, occasionally stumble on a merchant or something). I think they could have done better with representing the setting through the environments, making it look "weirder."

    4. The combat is also lackluster. It wants so badly to be an immersive sim. You can stealth or you can go in guns blazing (how novel!). Stealth is boring. Guns blazing is much more fun, but it's very basic. You aim with the right mouse and just fire away until the enemy drops dead. Eventually, you get some special moves with each weapon (pistol, rifle, shotgun, bow), but it doesn't change how you play. The most useful special move is one you get for free, and it's a Max Payne style slo-mo shooting dive. Points spent on gun perks carry over across the five characters, while character perks don't. I don't know why you'd choose to do anything other than save points to buy gun perks. Why would you spend ability points on character skills that you won't be able to use when you have to change characters in a couple hours?

    To sum up, pretty much everything that Weird West tries to do, it doesn't do well. As with the previous SteamWorld games I played, Weird West's influences do it better. Want to play an isometric Wild West game? Desperados III will blow your mind. How about an immersive sim? Go play BioShock or Dishonored or Deathloop. Twin stick shooter? Okay, I know this isn't "twin stick" but the aiming is similar. I've never played one with aim as poor as this. Try Nuclear Throne. CRPG? Divinity: Original Sin. Action RPG? Path of Exile or any old Diablo game.
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    dkirschner's Weird West (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got Bored

    GameLog started on: Saturday 13 May, 2023

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 13 May, 2023

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Not a great immersive sim, twin-stick shooter, or CRPG.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

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