The west is unforgiving…
Developer Adult Swim Games’ Westerado: Double Barreled thrusts this in your face within the first five minutes of gameplay, and players of the game will quickly find themselves having to come out top when outgunned and outnumbered in a dry and hot world overrun by bandits.
The player saddles up as the son of a farmer hunting down the murderer of his family across the old west by collecting various clues about his appearance. These clues are obtained by exploring Westerado’s open world, talking to people you come across in the towns and ranches you stumble upon; sometimes a clue will be a quest reward for a quest or quest line.
These quests will form the bulk of your experience and can range from talking to various npc’s in the world or shooting down some bandits or Indians in the desert.
The game takes every step to make you feel immersed in the spaghetti western setting with effective use of music, sound effects and a simplistic but beautifully crafted pixel art style, drawing you into the wildest west in video games since Red Dead Redemption.
With that said, the game will not take long to complete for the majority of players; though you can take any number of different paths to the identity of your killer, it is also possible to figure out who he is and stumble upon them in the world starting the end game sequence early. Those who do choose to make the most of the world by either exploring it completely in one playthrough or taking advantage of the games replayability, will find their time to be well invested.
The game includes four unlockable characters, each offering a slight twist on the games dialogue, co-op for those who want to shoot up the wild west with a pal and iron man mode for those who want to experience Westerado at its most unforgiving with your save deleted on character death.
Character death - and it will happen to you at least once in Westerado - usually comes from being shot by one of the many trigger happy inhabitants of the wild west. Combat is simplistic with shooting limited to a single axis and four directional movement allowing you to dodge guns pointed in your direction. Often you will be overrun by the enemy, but a small variety of weapons will allow you to easily dominate the hordes of bandits that comes your way.
Other combat sequences will occur during the game on horseback, creating an enjoyable if not sometimes awkward selection of western shootouts throughout the game. One amusing side effect of the game’s top down area exploration turns up in these shootouts with the ability to reset your enemies position by simply leaving the area and coming back allowing you to cheese particularly tricky encounter.
Still, once you get the hang of aiming only on a single axis, the satisfying click of you pulling back the hammer on your iron and letting the trigger loose will you keep you going from shootout to shootout.
You don’t have to just be a goody-two-shoes either. Those who want to threaten people with guns or shoot up a town will be just as at home in Westerado as those who follow the quests and story. You can pretty much shoot everyone in the game and threatening people with your gun is actually a useful tool of persuasion in a town of tough guys and cowards.
The use of simple mechanics to create a easy-to-understand but grabbing western experience means that Westerado is sure to provide you with a good amount entertainment. Clever use of mechanics in the early stages of the game allow the player to learn everything they need to survive in the harsh and wild west creating a game that’s both an immersive experience and great slice of fun.
Howdy Partner! Have you played or plan on playing Westerado: Double Barreled? Please tell us your thoughts on this western adventure in the comments!