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Evil West: release date, trailers, gameplay, and more

The Wild West is a relatively untouched setting for games outside of the Red Dead series and some indie games here and there. What’s even less common is the idea of combining that western setting with some good old gothic horror, which is exactly what the third-person action title Evil West aims to do. Coming from Flying Wild Hogs, who were responsible for the recent Shadow Warrior 3, Trek to Yomi, and Space Punks, this new title looks to be just as bloody and satisfying as its previous works.

Evil West first debuted at the 2021 Game Awards with a good deal to show. Since then, we’ve mostly been playing the waiting game for more information and details to come out. However, as of this writing, we’ve been given just about everything we want to know about this upcoming monster-killing western title. Not to be confused with Weird West or Evil Dead, if you’re interested in saving the American frontier from the vampire scourge, here’s everything we know about Evil West.

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Release date

Jesse fighting outside a burning church.

Evil West originally just had a rough 2022 release window and was then set to come out on September 20. However, Focus Entertainment tweeted that the game would be delayed until November 22, 2022, to give the game more polish and ensure it reaches its full potential.

Platforms

Jesse facing off against a giant monster.

You can jump into Evil West on most platforms, including PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC when it releases.

Trailers

Evil West - Gameplay Reveal Trailer | The Game Awards 2021

The first trailer for Evil West was the reveal at The Game Awards 2021, which already had gameplay ready to show off. We hear our protagonist, Jesse Rentier, narrating about how it was “upkeep, maintenance, vigilance” that allowed him to survive the gothic monsters plaguing the West. We see the disgusting scourge rushing through a village before a series of quick cuts between different combat encounters, traversal, and locations.

Not much, or really any, plot is given in this trailer. We do see a second character, though, who teams up with Jesse in the final shots around a campfire before a giant vampire bat creature slams down and the trailer cuts.

Evil West - Release Date Reveal Trailer

The second Evil West trailer dropped in June, along with the September release date. While opening with a similar scene as the first, this one does give us a bit more context to the game. With some more vague narration, we see scenes of a vampire hand doing some sort of magic to open a door, as well as a map with Washington, D.C., circled in red with a knife stuck in it. From there, the trailer mostly plays out the same as the first, with a lot of gameplay, some new enemy types, and crazy environments.

For the most detail on the game, the official site offers the most context for this game. Jesse is one of the last members of a secret society of vampire hunters who is, in essence, the last line of defense between the United States and a new dark menace. Aside from that, your main directive is to “rise up to become a Wild West Superhero.” What more motivation do you need, really?

Gameplay

Jesse shooting a flying vampire.

Like their other titles, with the exception of Trek to Yomi, gameplay is clearly the focus for Evil West. This is a third-person action game with a mixture of melee and ranged combat options. You will have access to guns, lightning-powered gauntlets, and various gadgets to obliterate enemies. The third-person shooting looks to be pretty typical, but the close-quarters fighting is interesting.

Melee combos are fast, stylish, and look to have a satisfying amount of heft, impact, and blood splatter. Uppercuts can launch enemies and be followed up with pistol shots to juggle them, or even grabbed and slammed into other enemies. Finishing moves also look satisfying and unique depending on either the enemy or weapon. Jesse can also do a dodge that temporarily turns him into lightning, and a block or parry move that opens up anything trying to attack.

Rifles and pistols are expected, but we also see shotguns, and what looks like a flame thrower.

While never detailed or shown, we do also know that you will level up somehow to unlock new perks, though nothing else about them is known. Your weapons and tools will also be upgradable through the game but, again, how that is done is still a complete mystery.

Evil West - Extended Gameplay Trailer #2

The Extended Gameplay Trailer gives us our longest uncut look at Evil West in action, and boy is it impressive.

We open with Jesse and his partner riding up on a large mansion where his father apparently is for a presentation. A massive zeppelin looms directly overhead as Jesse heads inside. This is a non-combat section where you will be able to roam around, find collectibles, and spend your Bucks on upgrades.

This upgrade screen shows a Character, Upgrades, Perks, Lore, and Game tab, as well as your level, Bucks, and one other mystery symbol. Under upgrades, there are three tabs, with the first letting you upgrade your revolver, gauntlet, and tools. One we see is called Do Not Disturb, which grants Jesse five seconds of invulnerability after healing, and another called Midair Shot allows enemies to be instantly shot after launching them with an uppercut for bonus damage.

Upgrades can be purchased at any time, not just when near a specific NPC, via the main menu (provided you’ve got the Bucks).

After a cutscene, the action kicks off. A new move shown off right away is a kind of snatch where Jesse uses his gauntlet to pull an enemy in close to begin a melee combo. The action seamlessly flows from melee to third-person shooting. Bucks are also found in the environment, and don’t appear to be earned through kills.

The UI is very minimal — no mini-map or anything — with a health bar, secondary bar below that seems to charge with each enemy killed, and two quick-select diamonds.

TNT is a primary environmental hazard you can take advantage of, obviously exploding when shot for AoE damage.

Enemy variety shown off had some standard ground enemies, a larger one that threw small exploding flesh bombs, and insect-like flying attackers. Large arrow indicators would appear around Jesse whenever an enemy out of sight was approaching and about to attack, giving you a chance to dodge out of danger. Enemies, when low on health, also enter a stunned state and flash yellow, meaning they’re open to a finisher.

Melee killing enemies appears to cause them to drop red orbs that restore your health, encouraging aggressive gameplay.

The trailer ends with a boss battle against a massive winged vampire. The health bar, just like a normal enemy, is represented as a red outline of a diamond above their head. Whenever a weakpoint becomes available, it is highlighted by yellow circles you can target with your gun. Unfortunately the fight is cut short as the trailer ends.

Multiplayer

A man with an eyepatch near a demon door.

Yes, Evil West will have multiplayer. Maybe hinted at with that second character in the reveal trailer, the official site does state that you can play the adventure alone or in co-op with a friend. How this will work, such as being drop in, drop out, or even if it will be cross-play, is, yet again, not revealed. For now, though, you can at least expect some way to team up with a friend against the vampires.

Pre-order

Jesse punching a vampire.

With the release date trailer, pre-orders for Evil West have gone live on the official site. The game costs a standard $60 on all consoles, but the Steam version only runs $50. Anyone who pre-orders will also get the bonus Wild Wild East Skin Pack, which includes golden skins for Jesse and his weapons.

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