Evil West: a bloodsucker by the numbers

Evil West is a third-person action-adventure in which the player can take on the role of linebacker-like Jesse Rentier as he fights against hordes of the creatures of the night to save his family and his country. On the surface, this seems like a premise that could be fit to burst with gory fun, but sadly fails to ascend to greatness, in part due to way too many glitches along with a repetitive nature that makes Evil West falling behind some of its cohorts in the industry.

For a game that hints at the idea that Abraham Lincoln was responsible for creating an underground organization that mass-produces giant electric fists for its members to hunt the undead, Evil West has a serious lack of fun when it comes to its story, effectively staying on a straight line throughout its run. Jesse is joined by his partner in crime, Edgar Gravenor, which opens up the possibility of multiplayer co-op, but it fails to convey a sense of friendship between the pair of gunfighters. Like the overall story, Jesse and Edgar simply don’t have many layers to work with and it’s a shame because the game’s inability to take big risks and create an unusual story doesn’t live up to its premise. It just feels hollow.

All is not lost though as there are some diamonds in the rough when it comes to From the evil west supporting characters, along with its main vampires who put a spin on the traditional bloodsuckers, including one of the big bad events of being a little girl. Unfortunately, the game once again falls into a trap for failing to live up to its potential when it comes to repetitive types of enemies that you shoot, smash, burn and blast your way through. Far too often you’ll find yourself battling the same vampires that look like chunks of flesh shaped like they’re made of clay and while the details can be seen in the character designs in a pause menu, those details are lost thanks to graphical decisions that will wash out scenes often in presumptuous hues that drown out all artistic choices.

While you can see the same type of enemies popping up at a steady clip throughout your blood-soaked journey, Evil West certainly gives you a myriad of ways to drive a metaphorical stake through their hearts. Your weapon of choice as Jesse or Edgar is the electric fist at your disposal, which can help you ricochet “ticks” into an environment or into well-placed explosives. You also get a good helping of firearms to mix things up, along with an electric shield that gives you the ability to teleport in front of opponents or drag them your way for Old-West Justice.

It is in its gameplay that the real shining star of Evil West can be found as you string together combos and devise inventive ways to hunt the supernatural. However, this fact leads us to our next critique of the action-adventure, and it’s a doozy.

When I was charging Evil West on my PlayStation 5, the game crashed hard for me five times in the first hour. Dealing a Superman punch to a lowly vampire sent both the Creature of the Night and Jesse launching over a nearby cliff where I found myself unable to return to the path of the game, rather trapped into a “T-Pose” before needing to manually hit the restart button to get back into the fight. There were more than a few times in combat where hit detection was almost non-existent, especially when it came to fighting bigger enemies like the bat creature with the “damage sponge”. This became especially frustrating when an enemy relied on electrocution while standing in a pool of water and Jesse sniffing his blows, unable to connect his electric dash to a target that filled the screen.

There are also some truly unforgivable graphical complications, where environments will take some time to load and serious screen tearing will occur once they do. I can’t tell you how many times I found myself panning the camera around Jesse, only for him to see all-white environments before loading a second later. The art design for the game’s characters is big and bold, but simply falls under the weight of its lack of polish.

There is fun to be had Evil West but there are far too many chinks in this armor to make it worthy of being worn in the field.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Evil West is currently available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, and PC. It has been rated on the PlayStation 5 with a rating code from the publisher.

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