Weird West - PS4 Review

Weird West by developer Wolfeye Studios and publisher Devolver Digital GamesSony PlayStation 4 review written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes.

I have been on many ‘a journey but some take weirder routes better than others. Coming to us from Wolfeye Games and Devolver Digital, Weird West is just the right amount of weird when exploring the “wild west”. Split between five different protagonists, you’ll be exploring a world filled with some rather weird sights, weirder people and the weirdest creatures? Who ever thought humans were a good idea!?

What I really enjoyed about Weird West is that each individual journey is tied in some fashion to one another. As one journey comes to an end, the next starts up chronologically which lets you see some of the ramifications of some of your previous decisions. Let an outlaw go? Cleaned up an abandoned town from outlaws or monsters? Maybe even cleared out a bustling town by having gunned everyone down. In any of these cases, you’ll see the world change around you, if, and only if, you can even get into town…

This is where some of the magic happens. Split between the five protagonists, each have their own backgrounds but not all of them are currently human or entirely mundane, allowing them to be able to use supernatural powers. The more human of the characters, such as the Bounty Hunter, will have no issues walking into town and perusing the local goods as they buy ammo and offload the metric ton of loot from the defeated. By immediate contrast, your second journey will see you in the form of a Pigman, a man hacked to pieces and magically sewn into a human-like pig creature and will shoot you before you can even tell them that you’re not mindless and would like to buy some ammo.

These limitations on how you can go about your journey will lead to some creative problem solving. In one way, you could just decide to sneak around town and grab whatever isn’t nailed to the floor. In another, you could simply lay waste to everything, not feel bad, and take everything that you want as there will be other locations willing to do business with you. Finally, you could just be “the” better person and walk away and find other ways of making it big. Ultimately the decision is up to you and the developers know their clientele as they straight up tell you about the quick save features in order to do all of the crazy and simply reload if it doesn’t work out.

These spaces and towns that you’ll explore are spread across a fairly large map that can take a bit of time to fully uncover but nothing is stopping you from doing this in your first journey. A lot of this wide open space is pointless to really explore unless you really “want” to, which I did… my OCD kicked in and I needed to know if I could wipe off all of the fog from the map but it takes time especially when traveling by foot. So what was a Bounty Hunter to do? I hunted a few bounties for cash, “borrowing” horses when needed to make it go faster until I could finally buy my own that not only added more storage, but also didn’t run away once I reached my destinations.

Now whether on your first or fifth journey, you'll be exploring the world and leaving your mark(s) in a similar fashion. Set between three zoom levels, you'll be looking at the world in a top down third person isometric view and maneuvering through the use of your two joysticks for some rather slick twin-stick action. If you want to look in a particular direction, you just have to move the right stick, if you want to aim, hold L2 and use the right stick. Just don’t try to move the camera and aim at the same time as it really doesn’t end well if you’re in the middle of combat which is just fun.

Twin-stick combat tends to require a bit more concentration of your surroundings in order to properly know where and when to shoot at your enemies. Are they ducking behind a rock? Did they dodgeroll behind the wall of a building? Or are you standing out in the middle of the field of battle essentially saying to everyone to come and get some? Regardless of which case you’re looking at, you’ll have access to a small variety of weapons that handle for better or worse depending on your situation. Pistols are fairly versatile, shotguns need to be up close, rifles can bring death from afar, melee weapons require a certain level of insanity to be that close in combat and finally bows bring about the silent death.

Adding to these are various other fun objects in your environment such as the ability to crouch in tall grass or hide behind giant boulders. If they can’t see you, they can’t see it coming which can often allow you to sneak up, knock them out, loot them for everything they are worth, and let them simply sleep it off. Just because you can lay waste to all of your enemies doesn’t mean that you actually have to. Passed out or dead, the loot is the same. The only difference is if you can actually eat the freshly dead to recover health. What? It’s “Weird” West for a reason.

Combining the above with other more elemental elements such as water on the ground, you could easily send electricity through it to damage those around you. By comparison, you could also knock someone out, throw them close by an explosive or toxic barrel, let everyone go on high alert as they come close to see what happened, and then throw a stick of dynamite. There’s a lot of options and while some require some levels of creativity to pull off, there’s no wrong answer and like the developers said, there’s always the quick save until you get it right.

Now while I had to keep reminding myself that Weird West is not an RPG, as it can often feel like one with its third person isometric style, it does have some RPG-esque elements to it. Split between purple looking Nimp Relics and Golden Aces of Spades, you’ll be able to level up both your current protagonist and your entire future crew respectively. Nimp relics can be used to either unlock core character abilities to use in combat or specific weapon abilities. The Golden Aces of Spades however will unlock global perks such as being able to strengthen your NPCs, move faster while in stealth and so much more. Only needing one Golden Ace of Spade to unlock the first level of a perk, you’ll soon need a lot more to get to the higher levels and really unlock their potential.

The great thing though is that you don’t have to do this alone. There are plenty of NPCs around the world just itching to take it out on someone and while some will join for free, others? You’ll have to pay them some crazy fees and more often than not, they won’t even hold up their end of the bargain as they are dead on the ground after a shootout. The. Nerve. But they are useful to pull enemies' attention away from you, hold onto some of that extra loot as well as accept new weapons and armor to last a bit longer in combat.

The greatest thing about NPCs though starts to show up in your second journey. By this point, you know what works, you know what doesn’t, and best of all? While you may have lost access to your stupid expensive horse to travel around, your previous protagonist is now an available NPC that will follow you no questions asked. By the third? Why look around for some generic NPC when you can go grab BOTH your previous protagonists. By the fourth journey choice paralysis sets in and you really have to weigh the pros and cons.

Overall it works very well and if something doesn’t quite seem to be working, you can always try it again, and again, and again, and then hope that time works. If there’s one element of Weird West that didn’t quite work so well it was in the inventory management. It was awful at times as you always had to be careful as to not sell your current equipment which while equipped on your character, was also right there in your inventory lineup still taking up valuable slots. When you’re looting as much as you are, one zone will generally fill up your inventory and all depending on the rest of that small crusade, your NPCs and horse’s inventories as well.


Weird West was fun. Combining an RPG like third person isometric style but without having to grind for experience points with a real time twin-stick shooter throughout five different yet attached stories and there will be plenty of tales to tell. With plenty of different ways to go about each protagonist’s journey, Weird West has the capacity to not only hold your interest for a while, but make you come back for more.

Score: 8 / 10



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