A modern action horror game for PS2

A modern action horror game for PS2

Depending on how old you are, you may remember the concept of “The Weekend Game” as in the title you rented or borrowed from a friend and played 2 or 3 sessions between Friday and Sunday. And that was it. You might replay a few levels to get your hands on some collectibles, but no more than that. You had a good time, watched the credits roll and moved on. Western horror hybrid Evil Westout tomorrow, feels like a weekend game. In a world full of constant updates, complex endgames, long battle passes, and endless loot, it was nice to play something linear, simple, and fun.

Developed by Flying Wild Hog, Evil West is a third-person action-adventure game set in an alt-history version of America’s classic Wild West era. Unlike reality, this version contains much more vampires, steampunk-like machines and magic. Evil West stars Jesse Reitner, a man who looks a lot like Arthur Morgan from Red Dead Redemption II.

As part of the high-tech and secretive Reitner Institute (founded by his father), Jesse battles evil monsters, vampires, and other creatures of the night to keep the land safe. But when a new type of vampire arrives and begins to form a massive, hard-to-kill army of undead bloodsuckers, Jesse and his friends are the few who can stop them and save the day.

A cowboy in a dark raincoat stares at a large, dead monster.

Screenshot: Flying Wild Boar / Focus Entertainment / Kotaku

You can not ignore it: Evil West is crazy, but in a good way. The story has much in common with the best B movies and pulp stories of the past. Characters behave more like people pretend to be people, then real people. Dialogue is filled with swear words and expositions. It’s all cheesy and silly in the perfect way. Combined with the steampunk gadgets, monsters and violence, it really plays out like a grindhouse movie that you would have seen on TNT on TV at about 2am in the 90’s.

An important force in From the evil west The upside is that it’s a good action game, combining fast-paced melee combat with precise, mix-and-match firefights. When you start Evil West, the game really focuses on learning each new element, slowly building you into a vampire killing machine. This is fun because there’s a lot to learn and by the end you’ll be juggling a few different weapons and devices through some of the more difficult combat encounters. Frustratingly, I found a few battles towards the end that got really hard, so be prepared for some difficulty spikes.

For a Western-themed game, it’s perhaps surprising that the star of the show isn’t a revolver or gun – though they’re both good and useful here – but the silly gauntlet Jessie wears. This thing is great. You can use it to electrically yank over enemies, stun them, send them flying into other monsters or off cliffs, and more. As you upgrade Jesse, you gain access to more electric attacks and counters, eventually becoming a one-man, lightning-breathing, vampire-slaying army in a trench coat. And no, it makes no sense how this glove can do so much, but who cares. It fits perfectly into this B-movie world and universe. It’s also another piece of it Evil West that reminds me of those PS2 games of yesteryear. Games that were more concerned with having fun than trying to make everything feel realistic or logical.

But what I really fell in love with Evil West is not the hard, solid battle. Nor was it the horror-infused Western vistas and locations, though those are fun too. No, which I love Evil West is that it’s just a (voice of Hank Hill). simple, fair to god, linear and fun damn video game. There is no battle pass or microtransactions. No crafting and no loot to collect, upgrade or exchange. No MMO lite features or other players doing things. No copy-paste sidequests or gigantic, but empty open worlds.

Flying Wild Boar / Focus Entertainment

It’s a linear action game with 16 missions and some simple skill trees to make your character better and that’s it. Most players will beat it in about 11-13 hours. This may seem like a weird thing to praise, but in fact, removing all the superficial elements you’ve come to expect from modern games means just that Evil West focuses on what it does best, rather than going beyond its strengths.

Of course, if you look closely, you can see the seams and corners cut into it Evil Westprobably because of the smaller budget compared to other single player action games like God of war. Characters outside of cutscenes don’t move their lips when they talk, sound quality can dip at times, and levels only look good if you’re not poking around windows to see beyond the mission’s linear region. But where it matters Evil West works well. Playing on PS5, I ran the game in performance mode and found a rock solid 60fps experience, with only a few dips at one point in a late game mission. Camera and motion controls are always responsive and work well. This may be a budget game, but Flying Wild Hog has spent the money in all the right places.

For me, Evil West is the kind of game I miss these days. I fully admit, I love games like Destiny and Fortnite, games that never end and are filled with battle passes, crafting, loot, etc. Those games can provide hours of fun and are great to play while chilling with friends or listening to a podcast. But I don’t want everything to become a complex, all-encompassing, time-monopolizing social experience that continues to grow and evolve as time goes on. And Evil West is a wonderful example of the kind of games I want more of. Not everything needs an endgame or a crafting table. Sometimes I just want to go ahead, hear some bad banter and punch some monsters in the face for a few hours. And Evil West gave me just that. Not anymore. Not less.

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