The potential is there but the game is too bare to make anything of itself

User Rating: 4 | West of Dead XONE

I think what makes West of Dead such a unique game is the gameplay itself. It is a cover-based, over the top style gameplay that really does require you to pick and choose which weapons and abilities carefully. You can't just go in guns blazing as that typically means certain death. You have to really think about your actions as you attempt to clear out a room and as the game goes on and gets more difficult, This becomes even more apparent. The gameplay provides a nice challenge and while frustrating at first (especially due to a bug that allowed enemies to shoot through walls), It grows on and actually becomes pretty fun.

I was also a fan of the variety of weapons and special abilities you can unlock as you play the game. However, These do require souls to unlock them and you can only gain souls by defeating enemies and finishing the level without dying, which is kind of cheap TBH. I hope if they do a sequel that they allow you to just play to grind out souls and quit whenever you want, As well as keep the souls you gain even if you die. My reason for this is that by the time you finish the game, You won't even have half of the items unlocked so it kind of defeats the purpose to have all these things available without an easier way to gain them. It's a glaring flaw with the game IMO.

Also, The rest of the game is nowhere near on par with what the gameplay offers. Calling the story a minimal effort as best is insulting to minimal efforts. There's no story here, no background, not even a remote attempt to explain things. You're just there working your way through a level and that is about it. And the only bits and pieces of a story you get are told by Ron Perlman, who voices the main character and will occasionally chime in with a one-liner. Ron is fantastic but sadly he really isn't given much dialogue to work with and it can become real repetitive real quickly.

The level designs are also pretty uninspired and the same goes for the enemy designs. There are still occasional bugs, including one which will make your HUD disappear. Sometimes your game will freeze on you and require you to quit and reload it. What kind of irritates me the most is that the game has been out for quite some time now and these issues still haven't been addressed. I can't say I am really surprised though considering everything else I mentioned before but still, They could at least fix the few bugs plaguing the game rather than letting them be.

Overall: 4/10
I clearly enjoy playing the game despite its glaring flaws considering I put 20+ hours into it. However, West of Dead isn't the kind of game where you can simply overlook these issues as the cons far outweigh the pros. Two simple things that would have greatly benefitted this game would have been an improved story and fewer bugs. If those two things weren't an issue, This game would be a 6 or 7 to me. Sadly, That isn't the case and that is why I rate it so low.

The potential is there though but if they're gonna do a sequel, They need to add far more content than what was offered in this.