Evil West Review – Undead Redemption

Evil West Review – Undead Redemption

Evil West asks a simple question: What if cowboys fought vampires? It’s the kind of off-the-wall thinking that gets a Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford movie greenlit, and developer Flying Wild Hog is certainly getting a lot of mileage out of its whimsical concept. Set in an alternate version of 1890s America, Evil West is the Wild West at its wildest. A familiar backdrop of revolving-door saloons, rolling tumbleweed and abandoned gold mines is interwoven with Nikola Tesla-inspired electro-steampunk technology and a collection of voracious bloodsuckers. Evil West shines in the heat of battle when the first question can be answered, but its strengths are often diminished by the dated design around them.

The story is a fairly by-the-numbers affair, pitting a vampire hunting organization against a vampiric enemy force that threatens the continental United States. You’re strapped into the rutted boots of Jesse Rentier, a typically gruff protagonist with very few emotions beyond mild indifference. His occasionally pragmatic response to the absurdity that occurs around him is a little endearing, but it’s telling that I had to look up his name before writing it here. The narrative periodically takes up some interesting topics; for example, one of the Highborn vampires is worried about humanity’s ever-growing technology and the threat it will pose to his fellow sanguisuge – but these threads never really go anywhere. The only one who does involves a slim and misogynistic civil servant, but his performance is not as satisfying as it deserves to be.

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