The Western genre has been fairly underutilized in gaming. Great games like Red Dead Redemption don’t come around very often. The potential for great content set in the Wild West is there and Westerado: Double Barreled delivers as one of the few good games of the genre.
Westerado is developed by Ostrich Banditos, a small team from the Netherlands. Set in your typical Western world, Westerado tells the tale of a Cowboy setting out to find who murdered his family. The story begins as you herd buffalo with your brother. After going out to chase down one of the stragglers, you come home to find your house on fire and your brother and mother murdered.
The open 8-bit world of Westerado is fun to explore. There are a few towns to visit, along with a desert and a mine filled with outlaws. You are free to choose whether or not you want to help the townsfolk or become an outlaw yourself. Each quest you receive in Westerado is optional; it is advisable to complete as many quests as you can. When you complete a quest, another clue is revealed about who the killer of your family is. After you complete enough quests a definite description of your killer allows you seek him out and identify him in a crowd of people. One thing that really irritated me was knowing the killer’s identity and having to search the entire map to find him.
What would a cowboy be without his trusty weapons? You start off the game with a pistol. If you earn enough money by completing quests or robbing banks, there is a rifle and shotgun available for purchase. Aiming is fairly simple and restricted to either left or right. The hats you wear are your health. You start off with three hats and when you lose all of them the next shot will kill you. If you are skilled enough to shoot off an enemy’s hat, you can pick it up and add a hat to your depleted total.
The game was pretty challenging in the early going with only a pistol and learning how to aim while dodging enemy gunfire. After you get the hang of combat it is very rewarding. Co-op is also available and makes getting through the game an easier task. Iron man mode is unlocked after you complete the game for the first time, giving you the challenge of trying to complete the game without dying.
Traversing almost the entire map took me about two hours on my first play through. My second play through took me only forty minutes to finish, but was just as satisfying the second time. I really enjoyed hearing the Western style soundtrack as I rode my horse or walked around the world. I also enjoyed the freedom of the game letting you do what you want. If you want to be a nice guy and help everyone out, you can do that.
You can also choose to be an outlaw, robbing banks and shooting anyone you want. Anyone in the game can be shot, if want to be that cruel. Finding your family’s killer would be tougher however, as quests are obviously failed when you kill the quest giver. Each time you start a new game the killer’s identity is changed, providing an opportunity for a unique game villain every time.
While short, Westerado serves as a very fun and entertaining title. After finishing the game I found myself humming the game’s good soundtrack, consisting of a guitar and harmonica. The world of Westerado drew me in like the old spaghetti western movies of old. I haven’t had this much fun exploring the Old West in a long time.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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