Earlier this 12 months, Arkane Studios disenchanted on Xbox Game Pass with Redfall, a recreation that dropped a lot of the studio’s immersive sim experience for an underbaked multiplayer journey. But what if I instructed you that the one that based Arkane and helped create sequence like Dishonored had left the studio previous to Redfall and made a wonderful immersive sim that can be obtainable on Xbox Game Pass?
Well, that truly occurred, and the sport in query is Weird West.
In March 2022, former Arkane Studios founder Raphaël Colantonio launched Weird West underneath the newly shaped WolfEye Studios. While it swaps out a third-person perspective for an isometric one, Weird West is a joyfully odd supernatural Western recreation that manages to faucet into the immersive sim design philosophy that made most of the video games Colantonio labored on wonderful.
Unfortunately, Weird West is leaving Xbox Game Pass on September 30, so we suggest you give it a shot earlier than it’s gone.
Surprisingly, there aren’t quite a lot of video games set within the Wild West, and even fewer that lean into creepy, supernatural components like Weird West does. The recreation’s world is filled with supernatural cults, magic, and creatures like pigmen, zombies, and werewolves. Its story is instructed throughout 5 distinct campaigns, beginning with one a couple of retired bounty hunter whose baby is killed and husband kidnapped, setting her off on an journey to get them again.
The particular person tales of all 5 of Weird West’s playable characters are emotionally charming and fairly distinct from one another. That’s very noticeable as quickly as you soar over to the second story, which follows a human changed into a Pigman. Still, it’s a dwelling and reactive world, so selections made and characters killed in an earlier character’s journey do have an effect on subsequent characters’ adventures; you possibly can even discover and recruit characters that you simply beforehand performed as.
It’s right here the place Weird West’s immersive sim roots begin to shine, as quite a lot of emergent narrative moments with impression really feel crafted by the participant. This carries over into gameplay, which is completed from an isometric perspective. Like Arkane’s greatest video games, there are at all times a number of options to any goal, and getting into with weapons blazing isn’t at all times the best choice. Instead, gamers are inspired to stealth round, sweet-talk characters, and even use some magical talents if the playable character can be taught them as they progress by means of a personality’s journey.
With these extra dynamic components, the isometric perspective, and the narrative focus, Weird West can really feel like as a lot of a CRPG as an immersive sim at instances. As such, it may be an pleasurable follow-up to Baldur’s Gate 3 for gamers lastly coming off that prolonged RPG. At the very least, should you take pleasure in video games that emphasize participant freedom and likewise discover novel methods to make it affect the sport’s broader narrative, then you definately’ll take pleasure in Weird West.
The recreation had some technical points and tough edges when it was first launched, so it has flown underneath the radar. Most of these have all been smoothed over by now, although. Post-launch updates have fastened a lot of the main bugs and improved the character development, aiming, and companion and stealth programs by including extra depth and UI readability to them. Weird West is in one of the best state it has ever been in, however nonetheless feels as distinct and unusual as ever.
In a 12 months with nice video games that prioritize giving gamers a unique-feeling journey, like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Baldur’s Gate 3, it’s probably the greatest indies you possibly can play on Xbox Game Pass — and significantly better than Arkane Studios’ final recreation. That’s why it’s a disgrace that the sport received’t be on the service for for much longer, because it’s a must-play for immersive sim followers.
Weird West leaves the PC, console, and cloud variations of Xbox Game Pass on September 30. If you need to have the ability to play it after that, it’s at present obtainable at a 20% low cost for Xbox Game Pass subscribers. It’s additionally on Steam, PS4, and PS5. You may even play the Bounty Hunter’s entire journey free of charge on Steam.