Hard West preview (PC)

We take an early look at Hard West, an upcoming squad/turn-based strategy game that takes place in a crazy version of the wild west.

We’re also taking the opportunity to introduce our brand new format for previewing upcoming games. We think it neatly organizes facts, a little backstory to the preview and our own thoughts on the game. Let us know what you think!

What we know:

Hard West is a tactical turn-based game in which you control a crew of up to 4 members within a Wild West-inspired world. The setting has been heavily modified by adding supernatural influences through cults, rituals and demons. Originally a Kickstarter project, the game is now gearing up for its release – currently scheduled to come out later this fall.

hard west

What we saw:

During Gamescom, we attended a hands-off presentation of the game – hosted by CreativeForge Games’ lead designer for Hard West – Kacper Szymczak. We were taken through some of the basic gameplay concepts available within the game, and were given some additional background info regarding the game’s supernatural influences and how they relate to the gameplay. For instance, one of your characters might be able to look into the future – but could at the same time be someone who is very vulnerable in battle.

Just after Gamescom, we also had the opportunity to go hands on with the game during PAX Prime. We had different people attending this event, but it allowed us to discuss our thoughts regarding the game.

What we thought:

“A supernatural XCOM, set in the wild west”. While the strategic gameplay might not appear to be as refined as Firaxis’ recent hit games (which are partly based on a ruleset defined by a proven franchise that’s been around for 20+ years) Hard West tries to make up for that by offering an experience that’s different. It’s still a solid strategic/tactical combat game, but it doesn’t go down the road of hardcore strategy and it’s not afraid to add fun little twists here and there. These can be little gameplay gimmicks such as outlandish skills or items, but they can also be found in the diversity and originality of the animations. The game dares to be different, so we’re looking forward to uncovering protagonist Warren’s full story when it comes out later this year.

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