Blood West is a Wild West horror title that focuses on stealth gameplay within a unique setting blend that allows you to build up an arsenal of weapons and perks to overcome the dark horrors within. Taking on the role of Undead Gunslinger players have an unlimited number of lives as they attempt to rid the barren lands of the dark curse and allow your own soul to pass onto whatever lies beyond. Released in late 2023 for Windows players will find over two dozen hours of challenging stealth based content that like many stealth titles before it encourages players to see what is around every corner of the game world by rewarding exploration.
Opening with your own burial and resurrection at the hands of a spirit leader of a tribe that has long since been scattered Blood West draws from the history of the Wild West where native inhabitants were pushed aside as the growing railway lines and gold hunters stepped onto their traditional lands. With this expansion leading to battles on sacred land the spirits have become restless preventing others from entering the afterlife and instead are resurrected into various horrors with their own designs, desires and associated attack patterns.
This enemy design variety also extends to the game location which includes the likes of canyons, swamps and mountains with towns, forts, mines and other safe zones scattered in between. Blood West unlocks essentially all of this world from the beginning as well which allows players to tackle the horrific Wild Western landscape as they see fit although you’ll be softly directed to specific locations in a specified game order by the limited NPC interactions. This order is intended to reflect the skill level, perks and general equipment you’ll have accumulated to date although skill level and associated careful planning is the most important of these factors in your stealth success. This is due to the familiar and effective stealth formula that Blood West employs whereby you’ll quickly find yourself respawning at a safe location if you are seen by more than a single enemy at once. With rewarding high critical damage on stealth attacks this is naturally the safer play when there are multiple opponents which is commom at the major game locations.
While the lands are portrayed as a barren landscape Blood West finds a way to balance its setting with the need to have areas of interest located close together be it a cave to explore, a crashed railway, a bridge across a cavern or larger landmarks that were once towns and farms in years past. Despite the fall to darkness there are still some NPCs within this world to guide you with quests and recurring totem (Totem of Souls) locations that slowly feed you cryptic information and can empower players with special perks for a price. Packed within these points of interest you’ll find different enemy types that include the basic animated dead, spirit, miner, birdman, half-risen dead and other dark creatures that have different combat tactics.
For example while the basic animated dead are ideal for sneaking up behind and have high bleed chance attacks the spirit takes no additional headshot damage that encourages the use of silver ammo and given they cannot be looted upon death you’ll need to carefully use your resources when fighting these spirits. Stealth is a constant though with Blood West giving simple to use indicators of sound and vision for enemies so you have no doubt when your actions are causing noise or being seen. With careful aim and the right perks players can slowly transition into an aggressive shooting style of play should they wish although this is not necessarily easier with your basic Wild West themed weapon types.
This choice of playstyle will closely link to the weapons players opt to collect with slow hard hitting melee weapons like axes, fast knife weapons, stealthy bows and loud traditional fire arms (revolvers, shotguns and rifles). Building further on this choice is the 24 strong perk system that allows players to gain experience for their monster kills and customise their character to focus on a particular weapon playstyle or acquire additional utility like movement speed, extra experience gain and bonus loot.
For further customisation players can also add up to 3 artifacts that are stored in inventory slots and generally hidden off the main path or behind tougher challenges. These hidden locations also regularly hide golden coins that can be used to acquire blessings from Totem of Souls and provide similar functionality like movement speed, resistances, reload speed, sneaking buffs and extra attack range. Combining all of these role playing mechanics together creates for great player agency over their playstyle and that steady sense of progression inside the stealth framework. This is particularly critical as death is not free in Blood West with another perk system known as soul flaws that accumulate with each death to slowly make you weaker although can be removed by completing a task for a Totem of Souls.
- Wild West themed horror stealth title for Windows.
- Wander a dark world of creatures and hidden locations to grow your power through experience, equipment and loot.
- Choose from 24 perks that can customise your playstyle across stealth, ranged weapons and other utility.
- Utilise different melee weapons, bows and firearms that are appropriately Wild West themed.
- Simple to use stealth mechanics that give immediate feedback on your actions to adjust your strategy.
Review Platform: PC