Hard West Review – Not You’re Fast-Paced Shoot-‘Em-Up

If you’re expecting a fast-paced, gun toting action of a Western-style game, then you won’t get that from Hard West. This is like controlling who gets to die first as you shoot baddies one at a time. This is a turn-based tactics game that is set in an old, supernatural Western setting. And yes, it can be fun as there are cool features to be expected. For instance, there is banking off a shot off a spittoon. However, it’s mostly about staying put and waiting for your turn.

Hard West Review - Not You're Fast-Paced Shoot-'Em-Up

Hard West is a New Take on Western Gun Fights

The premise behind Hard West is told in a series of short frontier stories. You will play these out according to your own adventure style as text will prompt in an overworld map in a similar way gamers can see from XCOM-like turn-based scenarios.

Stories are a bit… commonplace, and they are all bundled up together from the most basic of elements found in the acid Western genre. There are betrayals, searching for lost treasure, and the occasional pacts with devils are all existing here.

For example, there is one story wherein your posse will be wandering throughout the map as you mine gold while there is a crime lord who just siphoned the profits. There is one point wherein you can build an escape tunnel which would let you sneak out during a combat encounter on the later part of the story. On the other hand, if you get greedy with the gold, you may end up staying there for more time and end up busting one of your character’s hands in the process.

The variations are what can keep you going in Hard West (PC) as the combat can leave you dulled and tired. After all, when you think about the Wild West, you might automatically think about fast-paced shooting action, which inevitably cannot be found here. Still, there are enjoyable parts in the game but most of them are found to be quite easy to deal with.

Combat is something that is all too familiar with the likes of XCOM, but it’s no clone though. Sometimes, this western game has elements that are even better than that futuristic strategy game. For instance, reloading will only take one action point, so it is possible to reload on the same turn (for as long as you don’t move).

Hard West is a new take on a wild West action setting, minus the wild part. There are pieces that are individually fun to play around with. It has a great musical score and the stories are mixed with a frontier myth that has demons and the usual Western baddies mixed in. Still, most of the scenarios are boring and devoid of that fun flare. It may even leave players wanting more in terms of excitement.


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