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It just adds to that sense that Hard West is a turn-based strategy game with a strong core surrounded by a fragmented, uncertain exterior. I'd say it's definitely worth picking up if your XCOM and Jagged Alliance itches currently feel unscratched, but expect something to dip in and out of, not some grand timesink opus. The best times with it will come from playing it on maxed-out difficulty in Iron Man mode, and its wounds system – whereby the injured are weaker in the short term but even stronger in the long term – turned on. Make the central battles as long as involved as possible, because that's where Hard West has the surest footing.
Lovecraft meets John Ford and they duke it out in a turn-based western-style shootout. Cowboys and demons for a game with a strong narrative bent and solid, if a little too by-the-numbers, tactical combat.
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Depending on the tactical depth you want to approach, the title can take dozens of hours to complete, so you do get a lot of content for what you pay. In the end, Hard West is a solid tactics game set in the wild west.
There are a few missteps, like a lackluster tutorial stage and no real explanation of certain mechanics (I had to watch a YouTube video before I learned how to "Subdue" enemies), but the game is fun to play even if you fail a mission or two while learning. The graphics and music are solid, but nothing that will blow your mind.
Hard West does a ton of things right in my book. It offers quite a few of what I would call mini campaigns that not only keep the player engaged, but constantly add new elements to gameplay while progressing the storyline. It's a pro and a con, as every time a new story section is introduced, each lasting a few hours, the next is almost as if starting anew, which might rub players the wrong way. At the same time the player is constantly engaged with something new to do or way to play, even if it only feels minor at times. It's not the longest or the most in depth RPG, but for the price, the theme, and unique style, Hard West is clearly worth your time in gold and offers a fairly authentic western experience, well besides the demon and supernatural overtones that is. Saddle up partner, the west might be hard, but it's also a worthy, fun time.
If everything about Hard West was as great as its combat and strategic layer, it would easily sit near the top of a list of memorable Old West-themed games. Take away the cowboy costumes and it's still an excellent turn-based game with some clever mechanics to mess with. A kind of bland overworld game experience combined with a hokey story arc bring Hard West down just a couple of notches. Still, it's a Western, and a great turn based strategy game, and we need more of both.
Getting into a fight in Hard West feels more like a subtle, silent standoff, waiting for your enemy to slip up… it definitely nails a kind of silent, nail biting tension that I think is definitely missing in most games
Hard West is a strategy game that enjoys exploring its Wild West theme. There are strategy elements both in the RPG story segments, as well as the turn-based combat, which keeps the player invested. Unfortunately, too much time is spent outside of the gun-fights, and the RPG elements quickly get repetitive, meaning they end up being more filler than fun.
X-COM was a really great game, and Hard West is flattered by the resemblance. But when it comes down to it, there is nowhere near as much genius in it as there is in Firaxis' predecessor. As a tactical shooter it's fine, if simple, and the fairly gentle system requirements and low price point bring it back to the table a little. Lacking in obvious flair and with sub-games that often do little to add anything to the game besides unnecessary management, the gunfights still manage to keep Hard West from being a failure.
Hard West is a good but limited game, and at its current price, it offers a solid set of mechanics for those who are twiddling their turn-based tactics thumbs while they wait for the sequel to XCOM to arrive next year.
Hard West isn't the deepest game of its kind, but it does a good job of walking the line between cold, hard tactics, and Weird West-style personality. Its mystically-inspired abilities add a fun twist to the X-Com formula, even if they do remove some of the need for tactical forsight. A richer world outside of combat would have been nice, but as is, Hard West still presents a fun, unique take on turn-based tactics.
Hard West is a great example of a turn-based tactical strategy game that blends both the Old West and the supernatural together seamlessly. Though it's fairly derivative of games that we've already played, the intriguing way that the narrative plays itself out makes it worth a look, even for veterans.
So, like the Wild, Weird West it's set in, Hard West is a little off-centre and rough around the edges. What's admirable, however, is its evident that the developers who created it have a clear love for what they're doing and that the Kickstarter budget that funded this game made every cent count.
The game is solid. It's not going to be legendary in any aspect, and has a few problems such as broken abilities, but is enjoyable all-around and nice to play. Effort was put in and it pays off in the form of actually feeling like its own unique title instead of just another rip-off even if the occasional flashback to fighting aliens happens.
Hard West gets a lot of things right, with a number of clever ideas that help to broaden the scope of the standard turn-based formula it draws upon, but a lack of checkpointing and other game design faux pas can spoil the fun.
It's hard to deny the charm and wonderful atmosphere which so warmly embraces this unique subgenre title. There are some good moments in Hard West, but the overworld struggles with lifeless text-based action and the gunfights lean more toward frustrating than tension-filled.
A decent enough turn-based tactical game with a genuinely excellent atmosphere, let down by limited tactical options, poor mechanic explanations, and a number of issues that make it seem as though the lofty ambitions outstripped either time, money, or ability.
Hard West has a strong concept and is fun for a while, but because the core gameplay soon becomes monotonous, along with having some awful overworld segments, the game is difficult to recommend.
This is a world worth exploring, and I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of it. Maybe that'll be in the form of a huge patch that puts this broken machine back together, or a sequel that brings the best of Hard West to the forefront. What I'd really like to see is a tabletop game in this setting, because it honestly feels like it might be better suited in that realm. Either way, I hope there'll be a reason to come back.
As much as the comparisons to XCOM don't tell the whole story of Hard West, it's probably fair to say that if you enjoy that brand of cautious run and gun, turn-based action, you'll probably be able to forgive Hard West its sins.