West of Dead: A Great Concept But Misses The Mark

West of Dead has all the makings of a great game but lacks in certain aspects. The bland world does little to add to the excitement that the game itself promises to bring to the player. While the game has a few saving graces, it is not enough to sway me over quite so easily.

The rogue-like gameplay works very well in this universe. It’s simple, easy to pick up and harder to master. That being said, I was not a fan of the art direction this game took. It’s dark and gritty and it leaves little to the imagination in terms of scope of this world. Compared to other rogue-like games, it doesn’t really stand out.

Back to gameplay. The mechanics are, once again, simple and very familiar. You get 2 weapons from the start which you can swap out throughout each venture with new weapons found or bought. This makes for choosing the best weapon combination that works for you. I prefer a 6 shooter with a shotgun, myself.

You also get two special weapons to equip each run such as dynamite, throwing axes, etc. These are especially useful when more difficult enemies start to show. Using a combination of your favorite weapons and abilities makes for a powerful punch and when stacked with passive upgrades to your character, can be lethal. This is the best part of this game.

The enemy designs don’t really stand out much aside from mid-bosses and bosses themselves. They start off as generic looking humans and demon dogs and then finally start to progressively get more interesting. The first boss I encountered, The Wendigo, was the first one to really catch my eye in terms of unique design and attack patterns and even then, it isn’t saying much.

The movement and shooting of the game feels a bit off at times but progressively gets better when you get used to it. The only real issue I kept running into (literally) was the character automatically goes behind cover if you are close to any sort of cover and it threw me off of my aim and movement at times allowing me to get hit. I was not a fan of that.

Overall, the game itself is smooth enough to play but not unique or different enough to keep me engaged compared to other games in the genre. Some things work and some don’t and I felt this one did not work for me and I am usually a huge fan of Westerns.

3 stars out of 5