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Thread: Weird West

  1. #1
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    Weird West

    The only thing weirder than the west in Weird West is how weird it is that there's no thread for it on TTLG! So here!

    Yeah it's an isometric* immsim** that feels a lot like Satelite Reign or the latest Desperados but with more direct control. The overworld structure is very Fallout 1. The shooting is a bit clunky and the stealth is pretty barebones, but this is one of those games that manages to feel like more than the sum of its parts. The emergent gameplay is good and the storyline feels quite malleable. A shady powerful business man just asked me to do a shady task for him in return for some info, but after leaving his mansion I instead just snuck past his guards, made my way upstairs and looted the info from his safe. It really is one of those games where if it seems like you should be able to do something, you probably can!

    I'm playing on PS5, but it's the PS4 version, no separate PS5 version exists. The graphics here aren't gonna tax even the og PS4 so I guess it makes sense they didn't bother with a proper PS5 release. Anyway, yeah, it's good! I'll post more about it later!

    *y'know, kinda
    **I mean kinda, y'know

  2. #2
    Yeah someone should really start a thread about this game.

  3. #3
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    It's a wonderful game, that's for sure.
    Also, and I'm sure this is no spoiler, but I thought that because you play multiple different characters, each would feel quite short.
    But on the contrary!
    Having completed both the Bounty Hunter and the Pigman's stories so far, each felt like a fully fleshed out story, and impressively, as long as I wanted them to be.
    I'm sure on a replay, I could dash through missions, and there's an impressive amount of give and take here for speed-running.
    But at the same time, I can also spend hours with each character, wringing every last perk and ability out of them, and still end up with more to play thanks to the game's relaxed structure.

    I'm also in disagreement with samIamsad, who raised an issue where they thought that action points that replenish over time are overpowered. To me, the whole point of the game is to give you lots of overpowered toys, then let you go wild with them; indeed, the game's insistence that you use quicksave to experiment indicates that they're not really interested in restricting the player.
    And that's one of the best things about it.

    As henke says, a lot of its systems feel under-developed when taken on their own, but blossom in to something wonderful when combined. The potential for things to gloriously fuck up is great, and with limits placed on the toys, I feel you'd miss out on a lot of emergent scenarios.
    As in a lot of games with some degree of fire propagation, it's a wonderful example of this; where amulets that grant you a chance to set targets on fire when you attack them become a massive liability when hunting bison in the long grass of the plains.
    On the downside, EHRMAGERD, FIYAH! RUN!
    On the plus side, the meat comes pre-cooked

    I'm also really impressed with how deep the story and character interactions can feel given the light touch the team have taken here.
    There's none of the expansive dialogue trees that you'd usually expect in a game like this, but at the same time, it doesn't feel like it has lost anything for the lack, and consequences and character actions can be surprisingly nuanced.

    But one of my absolute favourite things is how previous characters you've played as can become characters in subsequent playthroughs!
    Your direct control over their story may end, but they can still be a part of yours!
    This is freaking awesome, and there's a gradual build-up of little nods acknowledging this continuity of characters throughout.
    It makes me giddy to see where they go with it; indeed, the story is one big exploration of one soul hopping between many bodies.

    Of course, it's going to be more than a little hard to choose between companions with the posse size being restricted to three when I'm on the fourth and subsequent stories, but that's a delightful dilemma to have!
    I feel massively invested in all of them so far, and I'm sure they'll all be my favourite companion.

    Such a fantastic idea.

  4. #4
    Registered: Oct 2006
    Location: Germoney
    Wooh finally!

    Yeah, I really like it too, would absolutely buy again. Still playing the 2nd character's story (after ~20 hours in). The world building and narrative are intriguing, the art and audio is nice, and the mechanics are quite decent as well. There's also some real neat touches, such as the in-game newspaper reacting to events accordingly (even though news seem to sure travel fast in the Weird West, if I may say so...) It's also the first game in a while that kept me up all night last weekend. Looking at the positive, but also not overwhelmingly positive reception, in particular once this is fully patched (and perhaps also got a frew decent DLC as well), this may end up just as underappreciated as Prey was before, or Creative's Assembly Alien Isolation. Both are of course AAA experiences, but of a kind that you increasingly find only in the indie /AA space. (Fittingly, Sega never seriously considered a sequel to Isolation, and it's kind of a mircale that it was green-lit in the first place -- this won't ever happen again, as ten years down the line, budgets and risk-averseness are only getting bigger).

    One more obvious balancing oversight of Weird West though to me is something that appears taken straight ouf Dishonored: the mana, er action points auto-regeneration (to 5 AP). For most abilities, this may be fine, as they are mostly related to direct combat. However, the rifle's "sentry silencer" is different. Activating it costs 5 AP. Your next shot will not merely be silenced, but cause significantly bonus damage to an enemy. Rifles have decent range. Basically, it's a bit of a sniper thing.

    Coupled with hiding someplace or camping on a roof, this means time is never much of a factor. You can just stay hidden and spam it over and over when your AP has regenerated. Taking enemies out one by one. I had this ability picked when playing the bounter hunter. With Pigman, I'm deliberately aiming for something different. Already raised this in their feature request.

    I also wish they made the characters a little more distinct. It's still early of course, but most abilities in general seem to relate to combat/confrontation, which seems a little odd (later characters may be different, but I don't want to spoil me on that . That, plus that each playable character has "but" 4 abilities unique to them. Everything else is shared in between characters, they also can use any weapon in the game each, which is likely a deliberate design decision though. Additionally, they don't seem to have different default movement speeds (without abilities), inventory space/carry weight, whatever. I think they also missed a bit of opportunity when playing Pigman. Spoiler of his story exclusively to follow.

    I'm still not through with him entirelly, but so far there was but a single settlement that turned hostile towards him. This forced me to adapt my entire approach, as you needed to avoid most locals. In all the settlements already visited prior with the bounty hunter, all the hatred, bile and fear directed towards you is mostly flavor text. If there's another town like this, don't spoil it to me though.

    In preview articles, playing Pigman was often compared to playing a Nosferatu in Troika's Bloodline. Similar to Pigman, Nosferatu vampires are this disfigured, people don't react very well upon seeing them. However, Bloodlines went all the way with this, including that you had to move through the sewers to get from place to place, and feed on rats (or else you'd risk getting into mighty trouble.

    I wish WolfEye had gone all the way here too.

    All that said, can't wait to continue the story. As well as what they'll do with the game post-launch.
    Last edited by samIamsad; 5th Apr 2022 at 19:31.

  5. #5
    Registered: Oct 2006
    Location: Germoney
    Can't wait to continue on the weekend.

    In the meantime: Does anybody know EXACTLY what is procedurally generated? Without spoilers, please. Of course it's the bounty hunts for sure and other side content like that. I also noticed early from a couple of screenshots that other players dealt with different NPCs even during main quest events than me. IN an interview, Raf Colantonio argued the ratio would be 80 - 20 (the 20% for the procedurally generated content).

    I've recently read a comment by somebody who started a new game. According to him, *entire towns* would spawn in wholly different locations on the map, look different and even NPCs would swap. The mines/dungeons would look completely different (not sure if the optional ones or main quest), which according to him all would make for great replay value, which is awesome. But naturally also fit the criticisms that quite a few locations would look "samey" with the same art assets re-used (including houses) -- a typically criticism directed at procedurally generated content even back in the day of Daggerfall, which, by the way in the form of The Wayward Realms, may see a successor proper after ~30 years, as the TES series dropped this approach right after).

    May have to start a new game when finished myself to make sure. But this is certainly another feature on top of the isometric gameplay in which Weird West would differ from the Arkane games that came before (Arkane is, rightfully, reknown for its amazing hand-crafted level design).

  6. #6
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Had to start a new game, as I encountered a game-breaking bug on the last character, which I suspect was caused by the current zombie event.

    My Oneirist started getting comments from randos along the lines of "I hope you don't kill me like you done killed that native!"
    I'd never actually killed a Native American outside of very specific, story-driven scenarios, so this was a tad confusing at first. Then I visited the town that the third character, Across Rivers was hanging out in, only to see his dot was hstile red, despite having the recruitable mercenary icon.

    Turns out zombies had got him, and he was now one hisself.

    I duly put him down so's he wouldn't be a danger to the townsfolk. and buried him, as only seemed ftting for one of the Branded.

    Turns out, there's a key story quest late-on in the game where you've got to send all previous hosts to a certain location, or at least a patch of skin you've managed to cut from them.
    Only problem being, his grave is completely gone, and he's not wandering around anywhere as a zomie no more.


    Still, it's awesome restarting being somewhat forewarned, and delightfully, the game supports some sequence breaking. I took an Oneirst stone as a quest reward, but instead of using it in the intended location, took it to Somnolence, the Oneirist's main HQ, and recruited an Oneirist follower as well as stealing a certain amulet early

    I want to see if I can also recruit a Werewolf at the same time as having the Oneirist on my team, as that would be all kinds of awesome story-wise

  7. #7
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I'm on the second character, not super-engaged by this game.

    I suspect it plays better with M+KB than gamepad? Annoyingly, the zoom function is on right thumbstick (and can't be rebound) which means in the heat of battle I'll often click it by accident and suddenly the view will be zoomed in so much I can't see what's happening. Having aim and look around on the right stick but aim only active when the left trigger is held is weird and bad too. Wish the game had either commited to one view angle (and design the levels so you can always see what's happening from that angle) OR lock the view behind the character. I wanna enjoy this but the controls are so damn clunky it's a real struggle.

  8. #8
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Yeah, it's MUCH better on M&KB. Have you tried plugging them in to your PS?
    I know they've supported M&KB since the PS3.

    And yeah, I have one better than having a werewolf recruited at the same time as an Oneirist.

    I got one of those random wolf-attack encounters at night on the world map. Turns out I was carrying some wolfsbane with me, and it looks like that was enough to transform the Oneirist into a werewolf

    I dunno, there may have been something else involved, but there we have it.
    Even got an achievement for it!

  9. #9
    Registered: Oct 2006
    Location: Germoney
    I'm playing mouse+keyboard also. One thing I've immediately turned off is that the cam would zoom in upon pulling a weapon.

    I've also changed the weapon toggle to a hold function. This makes drawing/putting away a weapon much more fluid as it doesn't require as many clicks. Simply hold the right mouse button and the weapon is drawn, release to vice versa.

    Raf's such a bro.

    I've recently also watched another of NoClip's Arkane documentaries, and what Colantonio says about his initial goals with Arkane sounds similar to what he wants to achieve with WolfEye (of course, he's now financially much more settled than back then, so can more easily "afford" such a passion project).

    Still don't know what to make of Deathloop. In the meantime I've seen that my GTX 1050ti could still technically play the game at least on lower settings. But the more I watch of it, the more it looks like a straight shooter, certainly in comparison with previous games (with a few neat gimmicks, that loop twist and great art). Every area seems filled with enemies to boot, whereas prior titles oft had non-combat hub and/or friendly areas. But then you can't blame them -- that's streamlining to more popular shooter tastes Irrational did with Bioshock all the same, and they finally found financial success. (Bioshock in retro-spect ranks pretty highly as one of my bigger gaming disappointments). The budgets are increasing too much to risk much here. Even Redfall will ditch trademarks, such as levels for an open world, as well as introducing optional multiplayer -- but then there hasn't been much shown gameplay, so who knows.

    Looks like the future for this type may be the indies, mostly, at least in the foreseeable future -- just like with RPGs outside of cutscene heavy semi-interactive movie experiences such as Witcher/Bioware or Bethesda style open world amusement park rides increasingly trying to appeal to the action crowd also. Which may not be all that coincidental, as both more traditional RPGs as well as "immersive sims" try to achieve the same thing, but from different perspectives. Even Spector himself has argued that all he wanted to re-create was that feeling of his D&D sessions (and I personally got a HUGE can of role-playing vibes from Arkane's Prey). On that note, both Wrath Of The Righteous as well as Weird West are the only games I've installed ATM. Speaking of which, whilst Steam's maximum concurrent players for Weird West never raised beyond roughly 5,000 apparently -- aided with Gamepass there apparently are/were 400,000 players who had at least tried the game. Personally I'm going to buy post-release content too, as I quite like the game and want to support this.

    In the meantime, I've started a new game out of curiosity for the procedural generation and immediately explored roughly 1/3 of the map. Took a screen shot to compare to my actual save, and there were definitley 4, 5 places or thereabouts that didn't show up in one save and vice versa, including towns.
    Last edited by samIamsad; 16th Apr 2022 at 02:48.

  10. #10
    Registered: Oct 2006
    Location: Germoney
    Apparently design of the aiming mechanics proved far more troublesome as one might think.

    Plan to continue playing some more today, but also keeping an eye out on the opinions/take on Winter Ember, which claims to be heavily Thief inspired, which will release today.

  11. #11
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Marlboro, MA, USA
    Winter Ember looks really good! Sort of like a Thief Deadly Shadows done right
    The Keep for Thief 1 and 2 FMs, Shadowdark for Thief 3 and Dark Mod FMs

  12. #12
    Registered: Oct 2006
    Location: Germoney
    I'm now a good 40+ hours in since release day, on the last character's journey and have pretty much uncovered all the fog of war on the world map. Not sure whether I'd immediately try a 2nd playthrough, given the post-release roadmap with new modes and what they've already announced just for the next patch. But some of the decisions you get to make (and which visibly influence the world) may make me prone to try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    I'm also in disagreement with samIamsad, who raised an issue where they thought that action points that replenish over time are overpowered. To me, the whole point of the game is to give you lots of overpowered toys, then let you go wild with them; indeed, the game's insistence that you use quicksave to experiment indicates that they're not really interested in restricting the player.
    That's Arkane philosophy in general. Their games are mostly genuine "power fantasies" to a degree Thief or Shock2 certainly never were -- and it's apparent that this is what Colantonio likes also. One of the reasons they didn't simply do a Western scenario, but infused it with the occult, dark arts and magic apparently was so that you could code in all those special powers empowering the player. I'm sometimes mixed about this. I sometimes enjoy that kind of thing -- but even in Prey, for all the crazy fun you can have later on upon unlocking all those powers, the most intense memories I have of the game were from the early stages of it. Where you didn't yet have an abundance of ressources, and still had to be creative to survive/get past enemies clearly above your tier at that point in the game.

    I've just finished the 4th character, and with him I had picked the "sentry silencer" ability again, something I hadn't done since playing the bounty hunter. It's still somewhat OP if you ask me (perhaps they should rise the cost beyond the 5 auto-regenerating AP), but I still enjoyed using it this time, as I quicksaved less often to compensate for it.

    As in a lot of games with some degree of fire propagation, it's a wonderful example of this; where amulets that grant you a chance to set targets on fire when you attack them become a massive liability when hunting bison in the long grass of the plains.
    I totally dig that just one tiny fire can spread all over the map pretty quickly, provided the weather and ground is right. Yesterday night or so I had a random encounter on the grassy plains, enemies completely outnumbering me were throwing explosive/fire stuff all over the place. Was really fun and intense to both dodge them as well as trying to avoid the ever increasing flames. At one point I was THIS close to getting encircled both by the flames as well as the remaining enemies not taken down yet -- but a jump saved me from catching fire (and losing my few remaing points of HP) myself.

    So little talk about this game, and so little users apparently playing it, and I thought this place was Imm Sim Central.

    PS: Re: Winter Ember, reviews so far seem rather negative, sadly. Maybe Weird West will see a Thief inspired story DLC, in which you get to play another character called Garrett whose abilities are all about stealthing and staying undetected (most character abilities in Weird West are aggressive ones imo), who knows.
    Last edited by samIamsad; 24th Apr 2022 at 21:23.

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