Go west, young stick figure!
I have to admit, when I first saw the image for West of Loathing, I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t thinking too much going into the demo/playtest but I was pleasantly surprised. The adventure RPG tells the tale of your character heading west, leaving your family for a better life.
You start out by deciding your character class: Cow Puncher, Beanslinger, or Snake Oiler. The job you decide on will help you start your journey. I picked Cow Puncher and my father gave me brass knuckles to fight when in battle. You interact with pretty much everything in the West.
You can use almost anything like in most RPG games; everything has a purpose. There was one part where you need to win a game of cards to win more meat and buy a horse. It appears that everything is connected somehow. The Sherriff needs you to find his jail cell door so you need to take care of the criminals that took it. You can take care of them anyway you see fit, like killing them for instance.
The writing is pretty good in the game and RPG games need strong writing. The part where you kill the criminal, the game basically asks you quite a few times if you want to kill the guy, who’s sleeping and then says you’re a cold blooded killer.
There is another part in the demo where you need to gather horses and you need to go to the graveyard and the horse is a ghost and then there’s another horse who’s ditzy looking. It’s little things like that show Asymmetric put the time into the game.
There is a lot of reading in West of Loathing but that doesn’t deter from the fun of the game. It plays a lot like a “choose your own adventure” book or a text based adventure book. You would read a passage and then pick a scenario from the pages/scenarios given.
The battle screens are really fun and I really enjoyed the ones where you fight the snake and when you help the bartender in his basement. Using the gun and brass knuckles is really fun in battle! The minor details in game are really fun as well like walking into a cactus or animal droppings in the desert.
I have to say I really liked the animation of the zombie in the graveyard when you were looking for horses and hard to fight him. Everything looks charming and fun and it looks like you can choose to play it quite a few ways! I didn’t know what to expect going in but I’m glad I was pleasantly surprised!