Well partners! It’s yer old Cousin Jessi here with a rootin tootin good ole review of the old cowpoke classic West of Loathing! So grab yer horse and moosey on over for a lasso swinging good time! Yeehaw!!
Ok, got that outta my system! Besides I really don’t think they had too many mummies in the old west…Anywho, Asymmetric, the people who brought you that awesome text-based RPG Kingdom of Loathing, have created a new adventure RPG West of Loathing. As you might have guessed, the new game takes place entirely in the old west. The game play is very similar to its predecessor except instead of being completely text-based, you also have a cool little stick figure to move around! The actions of the game are still narrative style, meaning you don’t see the action but rather read about it, but being able to move around and click on things makes West of Loathing a little more satisfying.
In West of Loathing, you will visit dozens of locations, dress your character in lots of different hats, pants, and accessories, and weld lots of different swords and guns for use in tons of turn-based fighting. You even have a choice between being a melee or magic user, which affects your stats a bit but not too much since you can level up the stats as you play. The weapons and attire all include special bonuses which can also be upgraded
The best part is you get to pick your own route for playing the game! I chose to complete all the side quests before continuing on with the main quest, but you are free to skip any or all of the side quests. You also get to pick who will accompany you on this adventure and what horse will ride you along, I of course picked the ghost horse because it fit with the rest of my family so well. I also chose yo be a "Beanslinger" which is the magic user because I always found magic to be more fun. you start out with a few magic attacks and learn more from "cook books" you find laying around. Be aware that the horse and partner you pick will stick with you the whole game so pick wisely! It is possible to get additional partners though but it’s mainly just the one.
If you have ever played KOL, you know that Asymmetic doesn’t like to take itself seriously, well, neither does West of Loathing! In fact the game is downright wacky! Every location you visit is basically a pun or a satire of classic western era locale. For instance the Ghostwood which is a town full of ghosts just living their ghostly lives, and the ole Abandoned Pickle Factory. All the attire pieces and food items are also puns as well such as the “prototype Stetson” hat and “cooking pistol” which is also used for cooking apparently! If you are looking for a serious Western adventure…girl you in the wrong place!
I love how opened ended West of Loathing is as well. There is a main quest which is very simple; to get the manifest destiny railroad moving to the other side of the county, but there is also tons of side stuffs. There is also a little side main quest you can partake in that is based on who you pick to accompany you. I picked Alice a drunk medical doctor (don’t worry she performs better when sloshed!) who is also very interested in the occult and necromancy. So her side mission thingy had us visiting a lot of cemeteries and haunted locations. I’m not quite sure if I completed that quest though, I was expecting a “yes! This is what I was looking for!” type ending for it but never received it. By the way, if you choose to just stick with the main quest and beat the game, you can do all the rest after you see the ending. However, the ending adds nice closure to some of the side missions too so you may want to complete it all first.
You also have a few options for how to complete tasks and when talking to people. If you are skilled in different things such as the “outfoxing” ability, you can often sweet talk your way out of fighting an enemy. There are lots of other skills that help you accomplish tasks such as lockpicking, foraging, mining, and other old westy stuff! The nice thing about skills is that as long as your skill is high enough to accomplish the task, it will never fail! So if a lock requires a 10 in lockpicking, you will successfully be able to pick it as long as you have 10. If you don’t have 10 or higher than you won’t even be able to attempt it. One thing to be aware of is you ABSOLUTLY CANNOT save the game! It autosaves as you play so if you decide you don’t like an action you picked…oh wells!
But the best part of the game is of course the humor! The entire game is packed with humor from random encounters to just picking up an item off the floor. If you are a fan of KOL then you are familiar with the sarcastic/satire you’ll come to find in West of Loathing. The game even likes to break the forth wall a bit and tease you the player for certain choices you make, such as insisting on sticking your hand in a disgusting spittoon despite the many many warnings by the narrator of how utter revolting it is (btw just do it, it’s totes worth it!)
The game was a decent length as well, I would say about 10+ hours, but obviously much shorter than KOL since West of Loathing. has a definite ending. It would be nice to see a possible expansion in the future…just throwing that out there! There is actually very little I can complain about except the fact the game autosaves so you can’t go back and try a different option. So overall I give it 4 ½ outta 5 Ankhs!
Guess what? West of Loathing. is out now! And available on Steam for only $10.99! For more info check out the website here West of Loathing I highly recommend this one kids, so go check it out RIGHT NOW!
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