Evil West brings vampire-hunting to the American frontier

Flying Wild Hog gave us a taste of its latest adventure at PAX East.


Flying Wild Hog always brings something unique to the table, and that remains true with Evil West. The upcoming shooter sees players in the role of a vampire hunter during the days of the American frontier. I had the opportunity to step into those brave cowboy boots and play through one of the story missions in Evil West during a preview at PAX East.

Evil West puts a unique spin on a familiar setting, as the old west is now littered with demonic creatures and vampiric beasts. As a vampire hunter, players are outfitted with a slew of weapons to slay the monsters that stand in their path. During my demo, I battled enemies outside of a barn, popping heads and witnessing the game’s over-the-top blood and gore.

evil west gameplay

Though a rifle was my primary weapon, there are different melee abilities that allow you to make quick work of enemies at a close range. I could chain together physical attacks into combos, and even Sparta kick enemies to create some distance. Kicking an enemy to stagger them and then hitting them with a headshot was supremely satisfying. There are also a couple special finisher animations that players can trigger by initiating a physical attack while an enemy is stunned and glowing.

During my preview I got to fight one of Evil West’s several bosses. This is where I got a good sense for the game’s learning curve, as I died about five times before I was able to conquer the creature. A flying bat-like beast immune to ranged damage, I had to do a lot of dodging around and strategically time each of my physical hits in order to make the most of them. The developers shared with me that there are a plethora of bosses featured in the full game, with each of them forcing players to try new tactics.

The game also has a decent amount of environmental puzzles. Navigating through an underground cavern, I had to find levers to lower bridges, discover hidden pathways, and use a grappling hook to cross large distances. It will hopefully offer a change of pace between battles in the full game.

Evil West feels like a pretty unique take on the old west setting. With a clear emphasis on combat and enemy design, it’ll be exciting to see how the full game pans out.

These impressions are based on an in-person demo played at PAX East. Evil West launches later this year for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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