Blood West, a horror-tinged immersive stealth FPS, has been available in Early Access on PC for some time but is finally about to see its full release on December 5, 2023. In this Blood West review, therefore, we decided to analyze what the guys at Hyperstrange have wanted to package with this product. If you are a lover of the old Wild West and killing monstrous creatures has always been one of your dreams, continue reading this review to find out what we think of Blood West.
Game reviewed on PC
Become a gunslinger
In Blood West, we take on the role of an undead gunslinger condemned to wander the barren lands in search of a way to break the curse and free his soul. The developers wanted to create an alternative version of the Wild West, mixing real legends with completely invented ones to make the game original. In this case, for example, there is no shortage of references to Lovecraft and his creatures.
Everything in the Blood West game world, be it a person or not, has been infected by this curse that has called creatures of various types from the darkness. For this reason, the other characters with whom we will interact during our adventure have also been affected by this plague. In this regard, during our adventure, we also have time to have a chat with the various NPCs present in the game in order to understand further details on what happened. Furthermore, these characters will also give us secondary missions to carry out and based on our actions, they can become our allies or enemies.
Thiet meets S.T.A.L.K.E.R. meets Hunt: Showdown
From a gameplay perspective, Blood West is a mix of various things. As the developers themselves have defined it, the game takes inspiration from various games, such as the Thief series (the most nostalgic fans will be happy to know that the protagonist has the voice of Garrett), that of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and, for younger players, there are also references to Hunt: Showdown. Consequently, it is certainly not a game where you have to adopt a Rambo approach; on the contrary, the game rewards those who manage to remain in the shadows without being discovered.
A peculiarity of the game is that you will not be guided hand in hand towards your goal. Consequently, it is vital that you are able to explore all three scenarios that make up the game thoroughly so that you know how to proceed. To make things easier for you, however, you have the option of purchasing a map from a vendor.
Our advice, in any case, is to stop and explore the game world well. Blood West can be completed in more or less 20 hours if you dedicate yourself only to the main missions, while the hour counter rises to around 35 if you decide to discover everything that is hidden in this cursed land. Exploration is certainly an important part of the game and dedicating time to it can prove essential to better dealing with the threats that lurk in the game world.
We said that the game rewards players who manage to have a more stealthy approach and manage to finish the various missions without being discovered; however, in case this isn't really your preferred approach, the game also gives you the option of having a more direct approach. However, we advise you to use this strategy only if there are not many enemies or if you have a huge advantage; otherwise, things will get more complicated than expected.
Resource management, weapons, and character progression
At the beginning of this Blood West review, we told you that the game also has immersive sim characteristics that can be perceived in the management of resources, weapons, and the progression of your character. In fact, in Blood West, you will have the opportunity to explore the various areas in search of very important resources that you will need to craft explosives, artifacts, potions, and much more.
Since we play a gunslinger, we also have the possibility to choose between many different types of weapons: shotguns, rifles, and revolvers are just some of the weapons present in the game. Furthermore, know that these weapons can be infused with magic or possessed, so you will also have to take these characteristics into consideration when facing the various enemies that infest the game world; in fact, some will be vulnerable to some things and others to others.
Finally, a character progression system and perks certainly cannot be missing in a game like this. This, in fact, gives you the opportunity to create a character that suits your way of playing, letting you choose between many different perks that will allow you to shape the perfect character. In fact, it will be up to you to decide which skill to focus on so that you can have everything you need to best face the game.
Blood West review – 8/10
Blood West is a good game that manages to blend the various genres and influences from which it draws. Although it is a game in which a more stealthy approach is rewarded, a more direct approach is certainly not penalized, giving players the possibility to choose between the two or combine them according to their needs. The game's plot takes inspiration from things already seen but tries to add something new to give it a more original touch.
The secondary characters provide us with secondary missions in which we can take part, which, however, in some cases, are not so memorable and therefore not very influential. However, the game features a good variety of weapons and abilities that you can choose from, so you can create the perfect character for your way of playing. The gunplay in some situations could be a little revised and improved to make it more precise and fluid, but in general, it's nothing that debilitating.
The choice of graphic style may make some players turn up their noses, especially younger ones who are perhaps looking for photorealistic graphics, but we can say that the developers' choice, in this case, seems to be more than apt. Same thing with regards to the soundtrack and the sound effects, which are always on point and manage to make the player empathize even more. Ultimately, we can say that Blood West is a game that needs some adjustments to be “perfect,” but in its current state, it is still a good game that is worth trying.