Hard West trailer is full of cowboys bleeding from all angles | PCGamesN

Hard West trailer is full of cowboys bleeding from all angles

Hard West, a turn based squad-tactics game about cowboys that takes a sharp right turn into the demonic quite early on, has now come out. That means our esteemed colleagues have passed final judgement on its quality and, in one of the odder turns of the last few years of games marketing, an accolades trailer showing off what people think has been released. We're posting it because it has some nice footage of cowboys getting shot a lot in it.

Ordering tiny humans around is the best, hence our list of the best strategy games.

First released last month, Hard West seems to have done alright for itself as far as big flashy press quotes go.

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Because we live in a fantasy universe in which only dreams can exist, the game is already in a Steam sale despite not having been out for that long. 30% off puts it to £10.49 / $13.99 / €13.99. Those who can be bothered to review it over there also seem to have enjoyed their time with Hard West, 83% of 378 folks giving it the thumbs up.

Despite an interest in it, I haven't found the time or money to sit down with Hard West yet. The Steam Sale price is tempting, but as is becoming rapidly obvious to anyone who keeps track of this sort of thing, Steam sales are a competitive market where new indie games are never going to win out. For example, yesterday I bought the Borderlands 2 GOTY edition, which is probably going to run me about 100 hours if I bother to finish it all, for little more than a fiver. That's not a winnable scenario if you want to also make money on your game.

Point being, it will take personal recommendations to drag me towards this. Who out there has played it, and what did you think?

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Fattox avatarBen Barrett avatarDog Pants avatar
Dog Pants Avatar
2 Years ago

I've put 8 Steam Hours into it so far, having Kickstarted it way back. It has its interesting points and it has its failings, but overall I'm happy with my purchase.

Starting with the elephant in the room, it's only like XCOM in that you have two actions in which you can move twice, move and shoot, or just shoot. It's similar in that it's fairly simple compared to X-Com or Jagged Alliance. In most other respects it's a different game.

You rarely get more than three characters, so rather than a military fire-and-manoeuvre exercise it's a running firefight of falling back into cover and setting up ambushes to concentrate your fire. I think there is an overwatch mechanic, but it's more like you get a free shot if someone strays too close rather than deliberately lying in wait.

The UI feels clunky to me. It's serviceable, but not quite as intuitive as I'd like from a modern game. Similarly the RPG elements of wandering around set points on a map don't really add much to the game other than a slight metagame that adds a little depth. Not having it would leave things feeling pretty shallow, but as it is it just feels like a tolerable distraction between battles.

The combat system and theme are, I would say, Hard West's strong points. The former makes heavy use of special abilities, and uses a pool of luck points both as a resource for those abilities and as a way of avoiding fire. Essential, since most characters can only take a couple of hits. The latter is, in my opinion, a wonderful blend of brutal Western and pseudo-Christian occult that I've never really seen before. It's refreshing for something to pull out a genuinely different setting.

So would I recommend it? To someone who likes turn based strategy games, yeah I think so. That person might like it, they might not, but it's sufficiently different to other things I've played that I think it would be at least considered an interesting entry in the genre.

Fattox Avatar
2 Years ago

Nothing has satisfied the itch left by JA2 over the past 15+ years, but this game has my interest. I'm not a fan of the recent XCom games though, and i'm wondering if it's anything like those?

Ben Barrett Avatar
2 Years ago

I think I read a review that said that the likeness to the recent Enemy Unknown was pretty surface level and, while it had been used for marketing, didn't really represent the game. Can't remember where though, so could be misremembering.