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Evil West: A Review

Written by
Sarah Hook

If you ever thought Red Dead Redemption needed a more supernatural elements and less side missions then Evil West may be the perfect game for you - first announced at the Game Awards in 2020 with an original 2021 release date it's finally time to get into the gritty adventure of Jesse Rentier, one of the members of a group of Vampire-hunters at the Rentier Institute, and he's tasked with protecting the American frontier from a host of supernatural enemies. First things first, check out the trailer below;

A dark menace consumes the Old West. In solo or coop, fight with style in visceral, explosive combat against bloodthirsty monstrosities. Eradicate the vampiric hordes with your lightning-fuelled gauntlet and become a Wild West Superhero.

This linear, third-person game is essentially a level platformer with each level having a clear start and end with masses of enemies to fight along the way and collectibles to find but it doesn't feel same-y thanks to the gore effects, impressive character design, simple story and boss battles. As you progress through the game you unlock the ability to upgrade your weapons, hunting tools and unlock new combat perks, examples of upgrades range from the small (increased magazine capacity) to the extravagant (loading your rifle with electrical powers) The story itself could have done with a bit more fleshing out for my preference, but the game still feels full and alive with the backdrops of the game setting the scene perfectly, also the flamethrower is pretty damn fun. The developers really leaned into the "Weird Wild West Universe" with this one with the inclusion of portals to hell and demonic little girls.

Weapons

The weapons in the game include a Gauntlet, Revolver, Rifle and Scorcher. All of which can be upgraded throughout the game for more perks and gameplay styles with some weapons more effective against certain monsters than others.

Characters

You play as Jesse Rentier, "an extremely proficient vampire hunter" who's father William began Rentier Institute to fight against the supernatural evils, Jesse is set to take over from as the Rentier Institute Director when the time comes and "embodies the creed of all RI agents"

Not monster hunter would be complete without a trusty partner and in Evil Dead the trust partner comes in the shape of "Edgar Gravenor" on the cusp of retirement Edgar is a "stoic but loyal man who always covers Jesse's back, no matter what happens."

Emilia Blackwell is a Doctor at the institute and her "set of skills eventually opened the door to The Rentier Institute" not only is she a medic but she's also the one who's leading research into the Sanguisuge monsters.

Having this trio goes to show that character design is just as important as a character having a rich history and it helps bring us into the supernatural world of Evil Dead.

The Sanguisuge Monsters

The monsters you'll be coming up against have their own categories and styles, from your run-of-the-mill vampires or "Boo-Hags" in this context up to the strongest of the Sanguisuge monsters, The Highborns. Their powerful wings allow for devastating aerial strikes and they can call on swarms of bats to both damage goes and regenerate their own health." Now you see why those upgrades are so important.

From vampires hiding in plain sight to bloodthirsty monsters sent on rampage, the Sanguisuge, long hidden in the shadows, are now becoming a first-level threat to mankind.

Overall it's an impressive game if you're into supernatural and action, the story is enough to keep you engaged and the graphics hold up against other games of the same genre. Enemies you battle are varied enough to not get bogged down by monotony and the weapon upgrades make any grinding for resources worth the time and effort. If you're not looking for a bulky game then the roughly 12 hour run time is ideal, and with the game being spread across 16 different missions it's the perfect amount of time to get a quick game session in between a busy schedule

So what are you waiting for? Time to don the cowboy boots and fight some vampires.

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