May 14, 2022 — Evil West is the newest game to be created by Polish developer Flying Wild Hog, best known for Hard Reset and the popular Shadow Warrior franchise. Revealed in 2020 at the annual Game Awards, the game’s publisher Focus Entertainment has drip-fed details to keep players excited.
While some elements were shown at the end of the initial trailer ((video glimpses below article) and the Steam page that came later, more information has come to light as we have seen a proper glimpse at gameplay and a brief explanation of what to expect from the game.
“Story protagonist Jesse Rentier is equipped with a steampunksy, sci-fi like gauntlet with various weaponry including a huge iron knuckle, lighting discharge, retractable claws, and more.”
The footage shows the presumed protagonist, Jesse Rentier, battling through numerous demons with traditional weaponry as well as his gadgets-featured gauntlet. With retractable claws, a huge iron knuckle, and a massive discharge of lightning, it is safe to say that players will have many options when it comes to repelling the demonic incursion.
Evil West is coming to a wide array of platforms including PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One, and Windows. The current release date has yet to be established, but we know the game is slated to come out sometime in 2022.
Blasting the Past
So what is the gameplay supposed to be? At its core, Evil West is a third-person action game with a focus on explosive, visceral combat set in a Wild (Weird) West that has been overrun with demons. The title is confirmed to offer multiple options that let players improve their character and weapons, with the former getting stronger through different perks and the latter through upgrades.
Additionally, the game’s various mentions around the internet mention ‘tools’ as part of the player’s arsenal. What exactly this entails is still a matter of discussion, but the consensus appears to be something that will allow the player to manipulate the flow of combat in various creative ways.
Speaking of, the combat is most assuredly going to be gory as per the preview material which has also emphasized style. While it might not have the over-the-top combat of something like Devil May Cry, the snippets of gameplay we have seen from Evil West seem to indicate the game will have combo strings. A prime example is in the gameplay reveal trailer that shows the player launching a demon with an uppercut from their gauntlet before unloading their six-shooter into the still airborne enemy.
Evil West can be played in either a solo or co-op setting with some clips from the gameplay trailer showing a second character interacting with the protagonist. Whether the second player will control this other character in co-op mode or a copy of the protagonist, is a topic of wild internet speculation.
Narrative & American Folklore
The premise of the game is that darkness has consumed the American frontier. Jesse Rentier is the last in a long line of secret vampire hunters, tracing his ancestry all the way back to the legendary Van Helsing. You take up the mantle as the last line between humanity and the encroaching forces of hell, with the ultimate goal of liberating the frontier, saving the United States, and becoming a hero of the west.
While the game will have its own self-contained narrative, promotional material mentions it will also feature famous myths and legends retold within the game’s weird and wild universe.
There is currently no explanation as to what that might result in, but fans have speculated they may encounter cryptids and creatures from American folklore, especially those pertaining to Native America and the Wild West era. Some guesses include the Chupacabra, the Beast of Busco, and the Pope Lick Monster. Some have mentioned that the game may lean into Native American folklore with creatures such as the Wendigo, Miniwashitu, and even the Piasa.
What to Expect from ‘Evil West’
By the looks of it, Evil West has a lot of promise going for it. From the unique blending of genres, the fast and visceral gameplay, to the potential of a weaving narrative, there is a lot to be excited for. However, at this point in time, we have access only to the highly limited promotional material of the game.
The initial reveal trailer was released back in 2020 and the game was meant to launch back in 2021 already. Development had to be pushed back due to the pandemic according to the developer, which is why the release date was extended.
While information about the game is sparse, the first gameplay trailer was released only a few months ago. Some fans are highly excited to get their hands on the game, although the general internet consensus is geared toward cautious optimism. This could, of course, change in the months ahead assuming more of the Evil West is showcased and received positively, as its pending release date draws closer.
“Fans of Flying Wild Hog are highly excited to get their hands on Evil West, although the general internet consensus is geared toward cautious optimism.”
As it stands, Evil West has so far shown a lot of potential from the few snippets made available to the public. Only time can tell if the game will live up to its cautiously optimistic expectations, but this is definitely a title to keep your eyes on as the concept, gameplay, and lore is clearly intriguing.
Evil West is expected to release later in 2022. Slated for PlayStation 4/5, Xbox Series S|X, and Windows/Steam, the game is currently in development at Warsaw-based Flying Wild Hog and published by fledgling publisher Focus Entertainment.