When a tragic turn of events sets one man down a path of supernatural chaos and revenge, he must brutally hunt down all those whom wronged him. Fight and survive through 8 unique story-based scenarios, and try your hand at 40 individually designed turn-based combat missions with your squad of 1-4 posse squad members.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (26 reviews) - 84% of the 26 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (732 reviews) - 82% of the 732 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 18, 2015

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Recent updates View all (7)

March 3

Content Patch 1.4 and DLC Scars of Freedom Released!

In the Weird West grim news is great news! The large 1.4 patch for Hard West is now available to everyone with a number of fixes and completely new additions to the game. Especially worthy of your attention are the Gameplay Mods, optional tweaks which can radically alter the way the game is played. From affecting difficulty, to changing important game mechanics, they allow for completely new ways of completing the Hard West campaign. Below are the highlights of the patch:

Patch 1.4 New Features
  • Added the Gameplay Mods feature, i.e. ten new features modifying some of the rules established in Hard West, such as disabling reaction shots from enemies, forcing AI to use a wider array of abilities more frequently etc.
    Gameplay mods are only available for the vanilla game and cannot be used in the expansion.
  • Added the missing Straight Flush hand.
  • Added a new graphics option: Water reflections.
  • Added an additional highlight to the tile, from which a usable object will be used, when hovering the cursor over said object.
  • Improved dynamic cover cursors for more clarity.
Fixed issues
  • Fixed a rare issue where saved games could be corrupted.
  • Fixed an issue where the XBOX 360 wireless controller would not be recognized by the game on a Mac.
  • Fixed an issue in which the barter screen would not appear.
  • Fixed an issue where players were unable to open a world map location after loading the game from the main menu.
  • Fixed an issue where game completion achievements would not be unlocked correctly.
  • Fixed an issue in which decomposing bodies would not disappear when the camera changed elevation to a lower one, than the body.
  • A Matter of Time: fixed problems related to purchasing the Laxative Potion (different price + money is subtracted correctly)
  • Improved ability balance.
  • Increased Fate Trader item prices.
  • Fixed some missing GUI text in the French localization.
  • Fixed a bunch of erroneous gamepad controls descriptions.
  • Fixed several typos across game text.
  • Fixed wording on certain achievements.
  • Improved the credits section to prevent ugly line breaks.
  • Made the face in the Cracked Skull icon to be a little more serious.
  • Fixed a couple of minor texture glitches.

Scars of Freedom DLC

Return to the unforgiving world of Hard West for an adventure in the Civil War Texas. Libertee is an escaped slave-turned-vigilante, enhanced without her consent with superhuman capabilities by one Doctor Gorman. Hungry for answers, and for revenge, she tracks down the mad surgeon, but his motivations turn out to be the opposite of what she had anticipated. As she makes up her mind about the doctor’s fate, the two will have to face an even more powerful enemy.

Experience a brand new tale in the weird world of Hard West during 7 new, specially crafted tactical combat encounters and overarching world map gameplay. Make strategic purchases for your gunfighters, then wreak havoc on your enemies and use their technology for your benefit. Enjoy a story narrated by two protagonists whose outlooks on life vary wildly, but who, deep inside, are more similar than they would like to admit.

DLC Features
  • A new tale in the Hard West universe, featuring a unique mix of classic western and gothic horror.
  • A deeper, longer story, narrated through its numerous twists and turns by protagonists, Libertee and Dr. Gorman.
  • 7 new tactical combat encounters and a world map with new, unique mechanics.
  • New Unique Surgical Bodily Augmentation System: Revamped character development system, allowing for strategic planning and more informed choices.
  • Rebalanced combat and character progression, offering a tighter, more challenging gameplay experience.
  • Fitzpatrick Revolver - a new, powerful gun in your arsenal.
  • 10 new playable characters

16 comments Read more

February 26

Once more into the Weird West

If you have been longing for some more Hard West action, you will be happy to hear that the wait is almost over! Hard West’s new expansion entitled Scars of Freedom will hit Steam next Thursday, on March 3rd and will retail for $2.99.

Hard West: Scars of Freedom offers a juicy new scenario with a dedicated story featuring new characters, 7 new tactical missions, a powerful new weapon, a bunch of new mechanics and ramped up challenge!

Meet Libertee, an escaped slave-turned-vigilante, and her nemesis - Doctor Gorman, a surgeon with somewhat radical views on the future of medicine. Discover their intertwining stories set against a backdrop of Civil War Texas, where classic western mixes with gothic horror.

Apart from a new story inspired by the works of Mary Shelley, the expansion also offers an equally Frankensteinesque new character development system which consists of acquiring body parts, and implanting them on your posse members. Thanks to a new trade mechanic, you will now be able to purchase your upgrades rather than get them randomly, which in turn will allow you to make strategic plans for how you want your posse to develop.

It's not all just about this new expansion though, as the main game will also be getting a major update shortly before the Expansion ships next week. This update will correct a number of outstanding issues and will add several new features and options, which will enable you to experience Hard West in new ways.

More news will be available soon. In the meantime, please be sure to check out some screenshots from the new instalment in the Hard West universe!!!

29 comments Read more

Reviews

“Everyone who likes tactical strategy games should take a closer look on Hard West.”
8.5/10 – Gameswelt

“More than just an X-Com-like, Hard West has a style all its own.”
7.3/10 – IGN

“Undead Gunslingers, Psychics, and Demons all wrapped up in a Tactical Western Adventure”
8/10 – Gamewatcher

Collector's Edition

The Digital Collector’s Edition of Hard West comes with a comprehensive Digital Artbook, Original Digital Comic Book, and Full Original Digital Soundtrack which was mastered and composed by Marcin Przybylowicz (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt).

About This Game

Welcome to the Wild West like you’ve never seen it before. When a tragic turn of events sets one man down a path of supernatural chaos and revenge, he must brutally hunt down all those whom wronged him. Follow Warren on his descent into the darkest recesses of the human soul, and try to survive in a world full of hard choices and even harder consequences. Because in this world, death is a constant presence and the black pacts which you make with forces beyond human comprehension will forever haunt all those around you.

Fight and survive through 8 unique story-based scenarios, and try your hand at 40 individually designed turn-based combat missions. Journey deeper into the world of Hard West and meet a colorful cast of playable characters whose fates are intimately intertwined with yours. Together you will need to make divisive choices to uncover the ultimate plans of the ancient powers at play, as you unravel a deep narrative storyline featuring multiple endings depending on the choices you make during the game.

Game Features


  • A Unique “Weird” West World: Explore a world where Western legends meet demons, arcane rituals and satanic cults and where the dead can walk the Earth again. For a price.
  • Compelling Turn-based Combat: Control 1-4 squad members in thrilling turn-based combat encounters and master a range of powerful western-inspired special abilities, from feats of gunslinging to survivability against all odds, to take out your opponents in a series of original tactical maps with unique story-based objectives.
  • Collect and Combine Special Abilities: Obtain new special abilities by collecting and equipping unique cards which are earned throughout the game by completing main- and optional objectives, exploration , bartering, treasure hunting and more. These cards can be combined to create even more powerful combos, and provide additional options in combat.
  • Choice and Fate: Experience a deep story where decisions made during and between combat scenarios will resonate through future events and change the ultimate fates of a divisive group of colorful characters
  • Luck of the Draw: Use a combat system that goes far beyond pure probability by featuring luck as a unique guardian of engaging and challenging combat
  • Dynamic Cover: Change the flow of combat thanks to an extensive cover system which allows for the creation of effective cover from objects in the environment, making flanking and maneuvering during battles a truly powerful tactic
  • Shadow Spotting: Exploit the Blazing western sun to Locate out of sight enemies by the shadows that they cast, along with the sounds they make
  • Ricochets: Utilize Metal objects to allow master gunslingers to shoot beyond the line of sight for increased tactical combat options, and diversified planning
  • 40 Historically Inspired Weapons: Equip and employ an eclectic collection of deadly shotguns, rifles, pistols and sniper rifles, all based upon real outlandish prototypes, designs and ideas from the era

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista/7/8/10
    • Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 2.6 GHz / Intel Core 2 Quad 2.6 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon HD 4670 (512 MB) / GeForce GT 430 (1024 MB)
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows Vista/7/8/10
    • Processor: AMD Athlon II X4 3.1 GHz / Intel Core i5 3 GHz
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon R7 260X (2 GB) / GeForce GTX 550 Ti (1 GB)
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.9.6, 10.10, 10.11
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-2520M (2.5 GHZ)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Radeon HD 6630M (256 MB)
    • Storage: 6 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (26 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (732 reviews)
Recently Posted
Taylem
( 25.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 28
Such an amazing game. The mechanics are very similar to XCOM, using movement and cover dynamics along the same lines. But overall, the game-play is very easy to pick up and offers little in the way of confusing tactics at the start of the game.

It has a small RPG nature to the game, revolving around its card deck mechanic where you can decide what bonuses you wish each member of your posse to have during any given combat scenario. It is quite cool ... and the card artwork is top notch.

But where Hard West shines is in the story-telling. It is a dark, gripping Gothic horror set in the Old West during the aftermath of the Civil War. There is very little hope in this game, the good characters struggling through the darkness while once good men become agents of darkness.

There are several moral choices to be made in the game all leading into an incredible climax where good is set against evil; where redemption is possible for most at a great cost.

While the final battle is extremely brief, it doesn't distract from the incredible nature of the game and it is worth the full price of admission.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Draxonfly
( 2.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 27
So awesome!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MABOO
( 3.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
Get This while on sales !

This game is mix and match with Stretegy & RPG game driven Story Rich.

This game is not pure Stretegy as I see that some content is not suits Stretegy game.

==============

The Good
  • after finish mission, you get cards which can be worn to earn active&passive skills.
  • variety story line.
  • buy weapon & equipment for your char.
  • nice art & atmos
  • some management & decision system.

The not Good enough.
  • Too much character.
  • Cover system is not good enough.
  • Should focus more on Stretegy system.

============

My score
8/10

C.J. Maboo
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Hans_Dat_Do_Dishes
( 9.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
A genuinely original take on Rebelstar Raiders/Xcom type gameplay with voice acting and plots worthy of a AAA game.

Even though characters aren't carried between chapters, there is an overarching plot that gives the entire game a theme that persists throughout. One of the most original games I have played in many years.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
rragh001
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
It's not "western X-com" unfortunately. Not by a long shot. Wish I'd have skipped this one.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Harpuka
( 12.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
Hard west, I had never really played any turn based games before and the thought of a "western" based idea sounded great.

I found the gameplay quite enjoyable and challenging to start with, but after a few hours I developed a better understanding of tactics.

The transitional world exploration could have done with a bit more fleshing out for me. It didn't draw me into the story as I hoped it would and I found myself just clicking randomly to get through areas.

As stated in other reviews I came back after puting in a solid session to find that my mission progress had disappeared...to say I was slightly annoyed was an understatement. The thought of grinding through the same missions ultimately broke me and I moved on to XCOM2.

I may be back, but not anytime. Still worth a buy, but if on sale....
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SquigglyJ
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
I cannot recommend this game.

It's a shame because I really like the gameplay. I finished about 2 scenarios and when I came back the next day nothing was unlocked and all of my progress has seemingly been lost. (including a complete first scenario). I'm not just whineing about the save system here, things I've already unlocked have disappeared. The devs have apparently been aware of this issue for six months. Their amazing fix is to use de-bug in game to unlock all of the missions, rather then fix the gamebreaking bugs. Using debug feels like it's against the spirit of the game but I guess if I HAVE to use it to actually play the game I will. It pisses me off that there are bugs this bad yet rather then being fixed dlc is released, pathetic. If this is actually fixed I'll change my review to positive because once again, I loved everything about the gameplay.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mace
( 1.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
I enjoyed the tactical parts, but the overworld/exploration was more than I needed. Just need a base and battles. I'm simple.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
FatArabKid
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Do not buy this game.

The lack of a save option is a 100% Game Killer for me. And I never use that term lightly.

I played the game for a little over an hour and all was going great. Until I made one wrong move and decided to begin a battle in a town that was completely overrun by bandits. It was like 2 of my peoples against a dozen of them. Completely unwinnable. No big deal. Go back to the last save and wait till I level up and crew up and go back and kick those bozos in the teeth. Right?

Wrong.

I can't.
There is no way to load a previous save. I have to fight and die in that town and start over.
Not too bad for an hour and a half. But imagine having to do that once you've put 10 hours in the game. Or 20.

And THEN...

I come here and read what other players had to say about the lack of save system. And I am absolutely FLOORED by the response of the devs of this game.

But whatever.
Free country.
Conduct your business how you wish.
But I will be requesting my $ back right after I post this.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
bad_rain
( 21.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 20
The one thing that you will remember about Hard West is... atmosphere.
This game has a great astethic, steeped in sweet mixture of wild west and fantasy/mystical elements. It feels quite unique, even if at first, it doesnt sound like it. Voiceovers, cutscenes - it's all well written and really immersive.
I like the way the whole, complex story is wrapping up in the end. Really class writing.

In the other hand - there's the gameplay. Moving your party across the world map can be a bit gimmicky, but serves it's purpose. The core expierience - turn based, x-com-like fights.... are a bit dissapointing. The mechanics behind it could be much better. Hard West encourages you to stay in cover and flank enemies - rarely giving you chances to do so. Heroic deeds end up in dying rather quickly and the whole "luck" mechanics seems odd. The enemy behind full cover, with his luck meter filled up is almost impossible to hit - then, when luck is depleted, full cover cuts damage dealed to him in half (or even more). You are often vastly out-numbered and don't want to lose anyone from your rather slim crew, so plenty of encounters end up being very static, just staying in cover and exchanging shots till the enemy bleeds out.

Nevertheless, i enjoyed the game as a whole expierence. Just don't except it to be as good as XCOM.
Also, the DLC is pretty good too, worth the money.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
138 of 204 people (68%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
Do not buy this game.

The lack of a save option is a 100% Game Killer for me. And I never use that term lightly.

I played the game for a little over an hour and all was going great. Until I made one wrong move and decided to begin a battle in a town that was completely overrun by bandits. It was like 2 of my peoples against a dozen of them. Completely unwinnable. No big deal. Go back to the last save and wait till I level up and crew up and go back and kick those bozos in the teeth. Right?

Wrong.

I can't.
There is no way to load a previous save. I have to fight and die in that town and start over.
Not too bad for an hour and a half. But imagine having to do that once you've put 10 hours in the game. Or 20.

And THEN...

I come here and read what other players had to say about the lack of save system. And I am absolutely FLOORED by the response of the devs of this game.

But whatever.
Free country.
Conduct your business how you wish.
But I will be requesting my $ back right after I post this.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
17 of 17 people (100%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
21.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 31
In a nutshell, this game is XCOM: Cowboys Unknown at least in terms of gameplay. It's a bit on the indie side, having a few problems such as slow down/pauses when accessing inventory/shop screens, and the animations aren't as slick as they could be. That said...

This game is worth it for having a good visual style and sense of ambiance. The American folklore woven throughout the story is amazingly well done, and truly epitomizes not only the American Wild West, but the tall tales that surround that "mythological" period. Demons, the Devil, tales of revenge, luck and fortune, mad science and weird magic all come together to deliver a satisfying narrative filled with more guns than you can shake a boomstick at.

One serious flaw: there are no 8 -value cards for the skill deck so you can't make a Dead Man's Hand. Serious oversight.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
27 of 37 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
I cannot recommend this game.

It's a shame because I really like the gameplay. I finished about 2 scenarios and when I came back the next day nothing was unlocked and all of my progress has seemingly been lost. (including a complete first scenario). I'm not just whineing about the save system here, things I've already unlocked have disappeared. The devs have apparently been aware of this issue for six months. Their amazing fix is to use de-bug in game to unlock all of the missions, rather then fix the gamebreaking bugs. Using debug feels like it's against the spirit of the game but I guess if I HAVE to use it to actually play the game I will. It pisses me off that there are bugs this bad yet rather then being fixed dlc is released, pathetic. If this is actually fixed I'll change my review to positive because once again, I loved everything about the gameplay.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 3
Is Hard West the best game I've ever played? Nope, but it's surely fun. It's a sort of turn based RTS that becomes really interesting after the main character sells his soul to the devil, but even so - the game is still pretty challenging from trying to manage your inventory to the characters you have to fight with. The only downfalls of this game are the strange "breaks" that it takes from the main character and the parts where you have to move around on a map and "eat food" otherwise your party dies. I could definitely do without that stuff, but I recommend getting it on sale if you're interested.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
Recommended
30.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
One of the best game I have played in a long time !!

Great storyline, innovative gameplay, enthralling environment and enough versatility to not get bored before the end.

Wish there was a sequel of some sort...

Thumbs up to the dev team ;-)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
14.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
This was a great game and a nice ride to watch the old west type story with a twist(s). Recommended for anyone who likes turn based and wants play a mild challenging game while in a great old west flick
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
Hard west, I had never really played any turn based games before and the thought of a "western" based idea sounded great.

I found the gameplay quite enjoyable and challenging to start with, but after a few hours I developed a better understanding of tactics.

The transitional world exploration could have done with a bit more fleshing out for me. It didn't draw me into the story as I hoped it would and I found myself just clicking randomly to get through areas.

As stated in other reviews I came back after puting in a solid session to find that my mission progress had disappeared...to say I was slightly annoyed was an understatement. The thought of grinding through the same missions ultimately broke me and I moved on to XCOM2.

I may be back, but not anytime. Still worth a buy, but if on sale....
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
Get This while on sales !

This game is mix and match with Stretegy & RPG game driven Story Rich.

This game is not pure Stretegy as I see that some content is not suits Stretegy game.

==============

The Good
  • after finish mission, you get cards which can be worn to earn active&passive skills.
  • variety story line.
  • buy weapon & equipment for your char.
  • nice art & atmos
  • some management & decision system.

The not Good enough.
  • Too much character.
  • Cover system is not good enough.
  • Should focus more on Stretegy system.

============

My score
8/10

C.J. Maboo
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
21.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
The one thing that you will remember about Hard West is... atmosphere.
This game has a great astethic, steeped in sweet mixture of wild west and fantasy/mystical elements. It feels quite unique, even if at first, it doesnt sound like it. Voiceovers, cutscenes - it's all well written and really immersive.
I like the way the whole, complex story is wrapping up in the end. Really class writing.

In the other hand - there's the gameplay. Moving your party across the world map can be a bit gimmicky, but serves it's purpose. The core expierience - turn based, x-com-like fights.... are a bit dissapointing. The mechanics behind it could be much better. Hard West encourages you to stay in cover and flank enemies - rarely giving you chances to do so. Heroic deeds end up in dying rather quickly and the whole "luck" mechanics seems odd. The enemy behind full cover, with his luck meter filled up is almost impossible to hit - then, when luck is depleted, full cover cuts damage dealed to him in half (or even more). You are often vastly out-numbered and don't want to lose anyone from your rather slim crew, so plenty of encounters end up being very static, just staying in cover and exchanging shots till the enemy bleeds out.

Nevertheless, i enjoyed the game as a whole expierence. Just don't except it to be as good as XCOM.
Also, the DLC is pretty good too, worth the money.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
171 of 180 people (95%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2015
An excellent and stylstic mutation on the XCOM formula. A lot more character, but unfortunately a bit less substance.

PROS:

+ Unique and mostly well-executed theme. The barren hopelessness of the Old West combines well with fire and brimstone. Sluggish but hard-hitting Western firearms combine well with demonic powers, even if the source of these powers aren't all that explained.

+ Story is creative and compelling, drawing well from the "Weird West" genre. Several characters' stories intertwine into a bigger plot.

+ Mimics a lot of what XCOM does well: positioning, unit building, a variety of guns, consumables, and throwables that are mostly fairly useful.

+ Large amount of equipment available. Clothes provide buffs, throwables are one use but can heavily disable enemies, consumables replenish or modify stats, and there's a decent variety of guns. After the standard Winchester, Colt SAA, Henry and the ilk are taken care of, they delved into a weird selection of failed prototypes that time forgot, as well as a few interesting creations of their own. While some direct upgrades are present, there's good reason to stagger your types of firearms and equipment used.

+ "Deck" system allows you to stat buff characters using playing cards you find in your travels. These modifiers are very powerful but need to be carefully allocated and usually have a tradeoff.

+ The "Luck" system is a great "check and balance" system to XCOM's RNG bullsugar. All characters start off with a luck bar which can be modified with consumables. Luck is used for powers as well as the more luck in your luck bar means you're harder to hit. If an enemy misses you with a 50% chance of hitting you, you lose 50 luck, meaning you're safe from damage but will be easier to hit. Additionally, helpful AoE and insta-kill powers will consume 80-90 luck, gambling an all-out offense by sacraficing your defense. Milder 10-30 luck powers can also be used. GREAT system.

+ Difficulty is tweaked well. There's a casual romp, a decent challenge, and a flat-out punishment should you desire any of those.

+ Sound assets are well done. The only voice acting I've encountered is your humble narriator who plays the part excellently.

+ The writing in the travel sequences as engrossing and intelligent. Text isn't often wasted.

+ Maps are well designed on the technical plain. Asthetically, they can look a tad samey but are gorgeous nonetheless.

+ On the technical side, the graphics aren't impressive. On the asthetic plain, the visuals are grimly beautiful.

+ Minimal performance issues.


NEUTRAL:

+- Themes might counteract each other too much to some. Those looking for a good Western might be put off by shrieking demons and cannibalism. Those looking for a good horror game might be washed out a bit by historical context.

+- Between battles, there is a map your little marker can traverse. To compare it to anything, it's like a "choose your own adventure" book, or the system jumping in FTL: Faster Than Light. Each scenario has their own spin on this. One scenario leaves you struck for cash and restricts your travel with crimelord taxes. The other segment makes your character progessively more insane and debuffed as he "jumps" to different locations. Others leave your travel much more free but have different systems like managing your small army of explorers or following a compass.

While it's neat that each scenario has a new mechanic to work around, the fact that each scenario only lasts about 1-3 hours means once you've fairly effectively learned how to curtail setbacks, you're forced into a new scenario and have something entirely new to learn. It's interesting but removes the engagement of strategy learned over time.

+- Scenarios involve lots of reading. Between the paragraphs of flavor text are little bits of vital information used for making decisions. While the writing is definitely well done, I am a man of horrid attention whose pet peave is having to read in video games. The game could have benefitted from a bit more voice acting.

+- No manual saving. This would be a flat-out con if the scenarios were longer. As it stands, I think not being able to revert a save in a two hour engagement adds tough, but fair consequence to choices.

+- Some levels offer a stealthy "setup" phase. It's a neat little risk-reward feature where giving your posse stealth-related bonuses, stripping them of tougher weapons for higher concealment, and staggering them throughout the battlefield can potentially make the objective a lot less painful. However, the sluggish pacing of mobilizing units and exploring the map in this phase, as well as the lack of fleshing out leaves it as neat, but hardly noteworthy.

+- The music. What's there is not Call of Juarez or Red Dead Redemption impressive but it's more than serviceable. Some great rustic slide guitar tracks sit alongside organ and choir-driven demonic chantings. HOWEVER, these tracks are quite short and loop frequently. Couple that with the fact that there are only about five or six tracks in the game and you will be SICK TO DEATH of the music by the game's end. Definitely needed more themes, but those that are there are enjoyable.


CONS:

- The enemy variety; compared to something like XCOM, was a bit lacking. The only diversity in enemies comes from their differing stats and choice of firearms. The only thing special about demonic enemies is their truckload of HP and occassionally you might have to shoot one of their alters to pieces in order to make them vulnerable.

- No "Overwatch" feature! (This is sacraficing an action point in the turn to set up your units to attack anything that moves in front of their view during the enemy's turn.) This is something I gravely miss from XCOM. Mockingly enough, all the enemies are in passive "Overwatch" if you approach them too closely.

- Scenarios can be replayed for different choices but there's not much reason to play beyond that. You can spend a lot of time outfitting characters for a scenario that's over in about 1-3 hours. The only way to return to that posse is to restart the scenario with none of the gear. As detailed as character building is, you don't have long to use them.

- Character avatars are simplistic and often misrepresent the character's appearance. Running out of text in this review here; put simply, character portraits and most awesome looking firearms are not mirrored on the 3D battlefield.

- Some scenarios have random loss of party members. One scenario in particular had pushed me to the point of fury in which about three party members were shuffled in and out toward the end. It's extremely frustrating having spent a good fifteen minutes purchasing and organizing equipment and skills amongst gunslingers just to have two of them swapped out in the last second and have all their carefully chosen upgrades thrown back into the upgrade pool.
In this respect, the narriative annoyingly interrupts the gameplay.

- A couple different endings. They're both a tad underwhelming considering all that multiple parties have done to get there.

- A couple crashes to desktop, as well as the character outfitter UI lagging inexplicably sometimes.


OVERALL:
A great strategy game. Some great ideas that do fights extrarordinarily well.
Outside of fights, the writing details bizzare and unique locales justly. If you're looking for pure XCOM "build your units and put them to the test" gameplay, you might be dissappointed. Narriative takes the front seat, meaning your planning can be occassionally compromised and your progress often reset just so the story can be told.

What I'd like to see:
A prolonged campaign, perhaps similar to XCOM's "Long War" mode or even just its normal 20-30 hour campaign. Also; while the AI is usually smart, I'd like to see its tactics/units change a bit more. Perhaps even a more nuanced soundtrack?
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