Hard West

Since I have put my master’s program on pause, I’ve had some time to play some computer games, and an interesting one that I’ve just started is Hard West.

Now, being a PC player, I don’t have access to Red Dead Redemption. I really liked Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood and Gunslinger, but the only other Western-themed computer game I’ve been recommended is Gun, which I started but which never really held my interest. Hard West is something different – a turn-based tactical shooter. That’s cool, because gunfighting is what I was looking for, but the story elements are a bit lacking. Not that there’s not a story, there are multiple stories, but the player’s input into the stories is minimal. This is the same as the Call of Juarez games, which are Western shooters on rails.

Right now, I’m finding the game fun and the mechanics of the fights – with the importance of cover in reducing damage, and the importance of luck in avoiding getting shot – but it’d be nice if there was more customization of the characters and less of a railroaded story. The graphics are quite good, but it takes a while to figure out how to do anything on the map, and I started my second playthrough after a couple of scenarios as I began to realize just what I could do.

I may need to get back to Gun and see if maybe my initial impression was perhaps too quickly formed.

I would give Hard West three and three-quarters rounds from a Volcano pistol out of five (And, yes, Hard West does have a version of hard-hitting hand cannon from Volcanic Repeating Arms). It has a great combat system and graphics, but it is lacking in character customization and player input into the story.

You can find out more about Hard West here.

It is available on Steam here.

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