West of Dead Review

West of Dead is top-down action roguelike that was developed and published by Upstream Arcade and Raw Fury. Raw Fury is also known for publishing recognizable indie games such as Bad North and Night Call. West of Dead got released on June 18th, 2020 and received a positive response from the community. The game got a lot of praise for it’s stylish approach on western-themed games. 

Jump into the boots of the dead man William Mason. In West of Dead, you will explore a place known as Purgatory. To put it simply, a place between life and death. You will encounter bizarre creatures and friendly faces that will aid you on your journey through the depths of Purgatory. During your time in Purgatory, you will encounter memory fragments that will piece by piece, reveal your past. Will you be able to find the truth about yourself and figure out why you are here?

West of Dead plays like a twin-stick shooter with the tactical usage of your surrounding. Hide behind covers as you plan out your approach on your foes. Lanterns will be scattered around the rooms that have the possibility of containing foes. Lanterns can be used to bring brightness to the room and stun your enemies for a short amount of time. Around the area, you will encounter altars that will make things easier. Some altars contain weapons and some will level up. Leveling up means an advantage in health, firearm damage, or ability cooldown. About the foes in West of Dead, you will encounter beasts, hunters and sometimes outlaws. You will also encounter foes that are even more powerful on your journey through Purgatory, they are just lurking in the dark waiting for you to come. You will also have access to an arsenal of weapons that you will find scattered around the areas.

As mentioned earlier, weapons can be found in altars scattered around the map. The chest can also contain items that you can use, the only downside is the cooldown. The items can be anything from a stick of dynamite to a badge that will reduce your reload speed. Due to Ammunition being infinite, you can reload as much as you want. You will be the most vulnerable in the period you’re reloading. Between the stages, you will also be able to talk to a witch and a bartender. The witch functions as a shop in which you can purchase permanent unlockables such as a bottle to store health potion. It is also there you will be able to access more weapons and make them acquirable in future chests. The bartender will aid you by restoring you to full health as well as filling up your bottle. The bottle will be your best friend in the later stages since foes will become more powerful.

West of Dead must be one of the most stylish games out there. The cartoonish art style combined with the gothic western theme really brings out the game even more. I can without hesitation say that West of Dead looks like a masterpiece. Everything from the shadows and lighting was perfectly executed. The soundtrack feels just right for this game! It is a soundtrack you would expect for a western-themed game since one of the instruments most noticeable is the guitar. West of Dead also plays really nicely with mouse and keyboard! The controls are easy to learn and it feels really smooth! But if you prefer using a controller, West of Dead supports that too! 

West of Dead is challenging and you will die a lot. If you die, you have to play through the chapter again in order to make any further progress. Dying in this game also feels really rewarding due to the permanent upgrades you can unlock when interacting with the witch. Unlocking permanent upgrades make the game more fun and really encourages you to keep playing. You will also get to know the mechanics of the game as well as knowledge on how to act in certain situations. If you want to get into the roguelike genre, I’d say West of Dead is a good place to start. It throws you right into the unforgiving nature of these types of games.

At the end of the day, West of Dead really sticks out for the better. It is stylish and looks absolutely gorgeous! It takes the right turn for the roguelike genre and I would love to see more games like this in the future!

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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West of Dead Review
  • Gameplay - 9/10
    9/10
  • Graphics - 10/10
    10/10
  • Sound - 8/10
    8/10
  • Replay Value - 8/10
    8/10
Overall
9/10

Summary

At the end of the day, West of Dead really sticks out for the better. It is stylish and looks absolutely gorgeous! It takes the right turn for the roguelike genre and I would love to see more games like this in the future!