The old American Southwest has proven to be a compelling setting for many sports in recent years. It’s a time that lends itself to stories about entering the unknown in a terrifyingly quiet, dusty land. Naturally, supernatural stories full of things that go bump in the night become fitting for such a setting, and many games are starting to take notice. hard west 2Developed by Ice Code Games, the budding “Strange West” is the latest game to embrace the genre and one of the first to embrace a world full of cowboys and ghouls.
hard west 2 Takes XCOM-style turn-based combat Hard West 1 And doubles down on the action, taking a more “gunslinger” approach to gameplay that rewards high-risk plays with high rewards. Ice Code Games also increased the production price for this title, Beautify hard waste‘s Oregon Trail-like presentation, creating a unique and visually stimulating package. It’s not the most mechanically complex strategy game, nor does it have the most compelling story, but it’s good enough to be a worthwhile experience.
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hard west 2 Tells the story of a gang of outlaws chasing a ghost train in the American Southwest. At center stage is the straight-faced and tough Jin Carter, the leader of a diverse squad of gunmen with a roster including witches, a pastor, and a dead cowboy. The gang is specifically hunting a demon-possessed man named Mammon, who has taken the spirit of Kastral Colt, the best gunman ever. Every genre trope and cliché exists hard west 2, Looking for a pretty funny western story lifted from a comic book page to satisfy any player with enough bank robberies and train robberies. However, the story generally relies more on Western aspects than the supernatural and doesn’t take much of a turn from the main plot in the beginning.
the presentation is hard west 2 Really sells its narrative. Ice Code Games clearly admires its comic book inspirations, and this is reflected in the beautifully crafted artwork throughout the campaign. Often, single-frame cutscenes at key moments in the story steal the show with their exceptional color work and detailed characters. Those elements also transfer nicely to the in-game dialog box, which means hard west 2 There’s never anything too good to see regardless of what’s going on.
Additionally, some key voices drive the dialogue. hard west 2, Including the work of Kevin Conroy, best known for voicing Batman, and Darien Sills-Evans, who voiced Weaver. days gone, hard west 2 Text Panel delivers its story in a choice-based text adventure style where it’s broken down into those excellent voice-overs on top of descriptions of the game’s environments and character expressions. In the absence of big budget animations, hard west 2 Surprisingly that leaves much on the player’s mind and headcannon as they grow to get to know these characters and take control of them in battle. It may not be to everyone’s liking, but its old-school text-based approach to storytelling can certainly feel refreshing to those who enjoy this genre of game.
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As the story progresses, players get to make important decisions for each pose member in several side missions, giving the narrative a minor role-playing element. These decisions will grant a designated team member loyalty points, unlock more dialogue options and more combat skills as players build their relationships. However, most of these parties are straightforward and do nothing more than click on the right dialogue option and pose member receive loyalty points. Decisions lack weight and consequences, which amount to a shallow sense of player agency. Overall, the combat is what will keep the players engaged hard west 2,
the original hard waste used to compare popular XCOM Series of strategy games. Even in the sequel, it can be hard not to notice their similarities. right off the bat, hard west 2 It has no reservations about where it gets its UI and visual language inspiration. Stays even closer to the game’s tried-and-true strict rectangular level design XCOM compared to the more loose design of gears strategy, mechanically, hard west 2 Most are staples of the genre, including the use of action points, a cover system, and percentage-based attacking mechanics.
Success depends on how to best use these mechanics in any combat scenario while mastering positioning and finding the best lines of sight for the best chances to hit. It all plays out like one big puzzle where the player has to figure out what the next best move is consistently. hard west 2 Implements these strategy concepts well and understands how to make the process of learning, adapting and enacting quite rewarding. However, the game has some tricks that make it different from other strategy games.
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hard west 2 It differentiates itself as a more action-focused strategy game, leaning its gameplay system toward short-term, high-risk plays rather than long-term strategy and pre-planning. It accomplishes this by reworking the previous game’s Luck mechanic and introducing the Bravado mechanic. In hard west 2, Whenever a player misses a shot or takes damage at an enemy, the player earns Luck Points. When the player accumulates enough luck, they can redeem it to get a guaranteed hit on the enemy. Additionally, the Bravado mechanic ensures that every time a player defeats an enemy on the battlefield, they get all their action points back and effectively get another turn for free. As long as players keep hitting, they keep getting turns.
Bravado opens up the game in new ways, challenging players to think outside the realm of traditional strategy, creating a more free-combat system in the process. Often, the best approach in combat scenarios might be to stand in the middle of the battlefield, cash out some of the stored fortune, and field everyone when the poses have stunned the attackers enough. It is closer to high octane gunslinging as a strategy game. It’s a remarkably satisfying experience when everything is ready for the player and the opportunity to demolish an entire horde of enemies at once. However, the combination of luck and bravery can also feel like a crutch at times.
While Luck and Bravado offer strategy gameplay hard west 2 A unique twist, it often feels like it comes at the expense of the game’s other systems. Many players may find themselves only trying to cultivate luck during their shootouts, eventually redeeming it all at once to end a scenario. Ironically, the combination of luck and bravado can be so powerful that it often becomes the safest option in any given turn, wasting fewer resources and guaranteeing that a turn is successful. When paired with a shallow set of overall strategy mechanics, the gameplay loop can feel a little stale after a while.
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The only combat option with the players hard west 2 To move, to shoot, to use an object, or to take cover. Unique abilities also exist but are often very situational, and some characters have powers that can significantly turn the tide of battle. Play It lacks proper class specialization for Overwatch states, reload mechanics, and characters. All of which are standard for the genre and could have greatly expanded the game’s tactical skill set. As it stands, combat is contingent on finding the best lines of sight and using Luck and Bravado. Additionally, the pool of enemies in hard west 2 Relatively short, after the first chapter mostly went for humans or human monsters without introducing any new enemy types. Disappointingly, the only mythical creature players will occasionally fight Wendigo. It feels like a real missed opportunity to fight some interesting ghosts and monsters with as much potential as Strange West.
Outside of combat, players can expect to find a far more fleshy out-of-this-world than Hard West 1, The game takes place in three different settings, each with a new climate and a new set of sights containing side missions, rewards and weapons. These areas are visually sparse and act more like an interactive map rather than any strong and engaging open world experience. Still, it’s a huge step up from the initial map of the first game and makes hard west 2 Much more compelling to play.
hard west 2 A solid experience despite a few shortcomings and missed opportunities. Ice Code Games created a unique and action-packed combat system while maintaining much of what makes this type of strategy game so appealing. It cannot have either the output value or the depth XCOM either gears strategy, But hard west 2 Still manages to be an addicting and satisfying turn-based strategy experience.
hard west 2 Available now for PC. Game Rant was provided with a PC code for this review.
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