West Of Dead Review
In a world of unforgiving duels and fearful monsters, will you walk 20 paces? Or will you draw early and blast your enemy behind their head? This dilemma is very common in the roguelike game, West of Dead.
A roguelike game should be unforgiving and difficult, but what this game does a little bit different is the way you get to your enemies. Most games such as this one are mostly based around needing the perfect build in order to get to the very end, but for West of Dead, things are different. This marksman named “Mason”, bases his strength around his skills. Every battle being a learning experience and there’s little reliability to the hand of fate to progress towards his goal.
From the very beginning, the game shows promise, showing you that there are two types of souls down here, the ones on the East, and the ones on the West. The marksman you are playing, doesn’t know why he is there, but after every death and every encounter, you discover a little about his past. This sets up the game perfectly, since even having a drawback during your walkthrough, such as dying in a roguelike, have meaning. Every piece of information you acquire from your journey to the West, is another piece of the puzzle of understanding why this certain marksman is here, making the time you put into exploring have a rewarding outcome.
What I personally really enjoyed were the graphics. The way they are and the way the environment is, I couldn’t help but compare it to Darkest Dungeon’s graphics, but in 3D models. But yet another detail that caught my attention was the witch’s room and mechanics, being quite similar to the Collector’s in-between stages room in Dead Cells. This particular room can give you permanent items of which you can encounter later on or use them in your current run, being a huge addition to the game’s variety of weapons and builds.
But alas, in every game there is also the negative.
West of Dead handles an action roguelike quite well, but there are some issues. One of the issues I encountered, that are worth mentioning is the enemy AI. It can range from an enemy standing completely still, running in the same spot, or mindlessly running into the wall. Due to that, I could easily exploit it by just standing back right before the entrance to a room. Another issue is that the combat itself after a while, is not that appealing. Every battle becomes fairly the same, having to adapt your approach, but without the mechanics themselves changing in any way whatsoever. The game lacks in finding interesting ways to mix things up and the guns don’t help much with that. While the guns are indeed a lot, they aren’t necessarily special, bringing only a small change in gameplay in your run.
After all of this, the question that one would ask is; is it worth buying?
Short answer? Yes.
Long answer would be that, West of Dead offers rewards through progress so giving it your time means keeping the game interesting.
Every stage and chapter has its own enemies, so you’ll have to adapt and face quite a few challenging foes towards the path of discovering who “Mason” is and what secrets and terrors his past truly holds. While there are some drawbacks, they can be avoided if you are looking for a quick experience in a roguelike game.
So what’s your answer? A mission with an objective towards the West? Or sitting idly in a bar waiting for someone else to pick up your rifle?
West of Dead was developed by Upstream Arcade and published by Raw Fury.
You can find the game on steam and on the official site.
We would like to thank the developers/publishers for providing us with a copy of this game for coverage purposes. As a non-commercial press team, it is our honor and our delight to be able to provide our opinion on it.