Evil West Review: Doesn’t Suck

The cycle of nostalgia seems to close. Tamagotchis are back on sale, My Chemical Romance is cool again (they always were), and now that we’re two console generations away from the heyday of silly (funny) action games, Bad West brings back this particular niche with aplomb.

It’s the culmination of how I, as a particularly busy, nervous young teenager, envisioned the potential future of video games. You play as the kind of guy who swears and doesn’t look back on explosions, who’s armed with as many quips as he has real guns, and has papa issues to tame Oedipus’ own looks by comparison.

And beyond that joking faux-badassery lies a truly standout racquet the likes of which we don’t see too often anymore Bad West making it one of the surprise hits of 2022.

The levels here are varied and aesthetically interesting, which often belies the fact that these are mostly linear combat corridors. There aren’t even that many enemy archetypes – a small handful – but given the game’s title, you already know what those are: monsters and cowboys, and sometimes hybrids of the two. Those are both things I’m usually pretty strict about in action games, but Bad West is such a bang from start to finish that I just didn’t care.

Given that most of what you do in Bad West scrapping, I’m happy to report that it doesn’t disappoint in that regard. Combat is clunky and satisfying, and each punch lands with a satisfying weight. And wow what a flow state game this is; A few hours and a few upgrades, it all falls into place as you effortlessly eliminate those bigger issues that have been plaguing you in opening hours, while looking damn good doing it.

There is a surprising resemblance to the recent one God of War Entries — 2018 And Ragnarok – also in terms of combat, with the fixed camera angle over the shoulder only adding to the vibe. Although you don’t get the same feeling from the mid-level pattern, it has to be said. You even smash crates the same way.

Your arsenal of tools, which grows throughout the game, keeps fighting the Horde varied and fresh throughout. While it’s pretty humble beginnings with a six-shooter and the most powerful brass knuckles you’ve ever seen, things escalate into the absurd pretty quickly as you unlock more ranged weapons, electric abilities, and a whole bunch of stuff that’s just too much fun make spoil here.

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A handful of the games’ 16 levels fall off a bit when they deviate from the formula of smashing your way straight through a predetermined path, and I found myself once or twice wandering around trying to find the objective that I had missed out on a level now littered with enemy carcasses, but those moments were rare.

Bad West could perhaps use a few more set pieces as there isn’t much spectacle in the game aside from combat and while the world itself looks amazing I wish I had brought a bit more of it to life.

There’s a story, but it’s a deliberately wacky B-movie affair where you go to places where beating vampires is fun. The writing Bad West is also full of anachronistic gibberish – there are some particularly contemporary swearing mixed in with old-fashioned swearing, and protagonist Jesse Reintier loves to call his support staff nerds. Which, for all pedants who read, didn’t see an upswing in usage until the 1950s. So, uh, there.

Evil West Review – The Bottom Line


  • An endearingly silly great time, from start to finish.
  • great fight
  • Outstanding graphics.


  • Non-linear levels disturb the tempo somewhat.
  • Fairly short running time, although this is offset by the co-op replayability.

Similar to the Flying Wild Hog flagship series shadow warrior, her latest release in Bad West is yet another totally over-the-top and bombastic affair, designed to both get a giggle and soothe your lizard brain with its almost non-stop action.

But Bad West has done something pretty remarkable, dragging the kind of shlocky-b-tier action games of the 360 ​​era into 2022 with basically all the quality-of-life improvements you’d expect from a modern-day title. This is how games are remembered from about 10 years ago as opposed to how they actually play today.

[Note: Flying Wild Hog provided the copy of Evil West used for this review.]

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