Hard west video game Any situation can benefit from the inclusion of the supernatural. With its ghostly buccaneers, Pirates of the Caribbean discovered a winning formula; Stranger Things introduces demons to D&D; and Hard West hits the mark with its tales of the bizarre wild west. Hard West 2 introduces some contemporary ideas to the poker table in a tactics game that sometimes resembles XCOM and other times doesn’t.
As with many of the best things, it begins on a train. Naturally, you’re robbing it, and based on your study, you’re confident that there aren’t many guards. In this instance, “you” refers to Gin Carter, a horse-riding, hat-wearing, six-shooter enthusiast who serves as the official leader of a group of outlaws. You’ll see that this railway heist will make him wealthy. Along with him are trick shooter Kestrel Colt, Native American melee expert Flynn who seems frail and stays in the shadows, and Laughing Deer.
Except there are more of them than you anticipated, the train guards have no chance. Fortunately, you have a few benefits that help you out throughout the game. The first is that, as opposed to the customary two, your characters have three action points. They may therefore relocate, rehabilitate, and still fire. Alternately, for a higher chance of dodging approaching fire, rush into cover and burrow down.
Hard West Video Game
Trick shots are when you outflank the adversary unfairly by bouncing your bullets off solid objects to remove the effect of cover. Wheelbarrows, rubbish heaps, and non-explosive barrels are strewn across the levels to help with this. Even bullets can be launched off of hanging light fixtures. Then there is luck, which increases the precision of your assaults.
However, bravado is what really makes a difference. When you defeat an adversary, your action points are replenished. It’s so basic, but it has such a big impact on battles. All of a sudden, they are chains that can be pulled to see how far they can go. The risk of overextending and being destroyed the following turn or leaving other characters behind as you take one on a killing rampage makes living adversaries stepping stones toward your goal.
Laughing Deer is a killing machine as a result, at least in the beginning. If you get him near enough and with a little luck, he can club anyone to death while instantaneously replenishing his AP so he can go on to the next unfortunate victim. He will ultimately run out of luck and face foes with greater health, yet he still strikes fearlessly. Because of this, it is far too simple to leave him defenceless and far from any cover or allies when the turn is done just because you were having too much fun slicing through the bad people.
You’ve returned to the train and are now in the driver’s compartment. Everything gets dark as the locomotive enters a tunnel. It is unusual for a steam locomotive to emerge from the opposite side crawling on hundreds of metal legs resembling centipedes. A guy is seen stoking the boiler there who later reveals himself to be Mammon, the devil himself, and who possesses some interesting abilities of his own. He also desires to play poker.
You play, of course. You inevitably lose. It was simply your very soul on the line, but even so, it was a very alluring proposition because if you had won, he would have given you the centi-train. He also came across as a really trustworthy man. It’s strange that losing your soul prevents you from casting a shadow. I’m unsure of how that operates.
Instead of the XCOM-style base-building globe, you awaken in the overworld map, which is more akin to Total War’s strategic layer combined with a 2D RPG. You explore the area up here, coming across cities, mines, and strange objects beside the road, generally getting into danger and transitioning to the turn-based combat mode to escape it. You find new members of your posse with new skills by digging them up (sometimes quite literally), engage in quick chats, choose whether to take supplies or leave them for the starving locals, and look into the paranormal.
Mammon and his Centipede Express to Hell are still out there, thundering over the countryside, mocking schedules and 19th-century engineering methods. Your soul might be returned to you if you kill him. Anyhow, it’s worth a go. And it might be enjoyable.
Once your posse has a few more members, you can consider various tactics for completing missions. More than just a setting and a penchant for save scumming are shared between this game and Desperados 3, which also grants each character unique powers. Gin Carter possesses a short-ranged skill that allows her to shoot through cover while dealing damage to all foes in its field of effect. Flynn can switch places with any character for the price of one hit point each, which is useful for dragging a stubborn foe out of cover or dispatching enemies who are down to their last few health points. Others possess more eldritch gifts.
A group of six outlaws with unique skills and weapons will eventually become available to you, ready to annihilate the riflemen, shotgunners, exploding drunks (grenade launchers with seemingly endless ammunition), zombies, and witches that plague every rickety wooden edifice. The sequel Hard West 2 lives up to its name with a large and increasingly difficult enemy population.
They begin as one-shot kills but quickly gain two hit points, ending your bravado-fueled rampages unless you spend some time first softening them up.
Characters can carry two weapons in addition to throwables, each of which has a unique AP cost. For instance, rifles require all three action points to fire, but they have unmatched damage and range. Shotguns and explosives can harm your allies because they have an area of impact. However, killing an ally might cause bravado, so maybe it’s worth it, especially because team members never truly die; they just come back to life after a combat with one hit point, ready for a trip to the doctor, provided you have the money.
Then there are the cards, which you will sporadically pick up as you explore the map. They are ordinary playing cards with a light enchantment that alone can increase hit points, luck, or speed. Giving a character a good poker hand, however, earns you something extra because this is the old west. A skill may be unlocked by holding two pairs, but it is improved by having a full house and a royal flush. Unless you’re a real cowboy, it can be useful to have a poker handbook or Wikipedia on hand when dealing cards.
For example, Laughing Deer requires two to use his devastating Wild Run ability, which does additional damage for each additional two squares he charges into combat. A straight flush improves base damage and rewards allies, while a flush with additional cards adds an area of effect war cry to stun adjacent adversaries. One of the most thrilling sights the game has to give is sending him zigzagging around the area in a maximum-range killing spree amid dispersed adversaries and watching the fires of bravado blaze each time he hammers another rifleman to the ground.
The things you’d anticipate to happen but don’t are less satisfying. The buildings appear to be thinly built and tinder dry, which should have a catastrophic effect when a stick of dynamite is thrown at them. There isn’t. With shotguns, which you should be able to use to knock someone off a rooftop, area of effect assaults are frustrating since they are two-dimensional, limited to the level you’re on, and they don’t affect people directly above or below.
And while your heroes do a decent job of pathfinding the rest of the time, climbing ladders and bursting through windows, cover cannot be blown away or vaulted over. As stages are more like puzzles to be solved, enemy locations don’t change if you take another shot at them, and there is no multiplayer, replay value may be restricted.
Over time, foes with similar magical prowess to your characters start to surface, which feels unfair of them as their hit points quickly restore to normal following a barrage of shooting. Then there are the massive quantities of explosives that other adversaries carry. They frequently charge in and start throwing grenades everywhere, which causes your characters to rapidly lose hit points. Naturally, there are countermeasures to this, such as the Heads Down manoeuvre to stop the bleeding and meals to regain lost points, but they all need action points.
However, none of that really matters because Hard West 2 is as sturdy as the safe in the bank in the township. the one that the neighbourhood bandits have been meticulously planning to rob. The ghostly cowboy environment still has just enough gloss to be captivating, the fighting is crisp, and the interludes don’t go on for too long. Our community has enough of space for a game like this.