The notion that turn-based strategy games are slow is being eroded.
Games like Gears Tactics and now Hard West 2 demonstrate that they can actually be rather fast-paced, pleasing those who like to put effective plans into action while also bringing new players into the fold. And Hard West 2 has more than just thrilling turn-based battles to entertain those who jump into it, too.
It’s perhaps better to think of Hard West 2 as an RPG with turn-based battles. Taking control of a posse of unique individuals, each with supernatural powers, you’re thrown into a harsh world. Your goal is to hunt down the Devil himself and stop his evil machinations, but you’ve got an arduous journey ahead of you.
You’ll spent much time exploring fairly open areas on horseback, clicking on points of interest that capture your attention. You might find someone tied up and left for dead on a cross, for example, or a tree with a strange amulet hanging off of it. How you interact with these is up you you. You might decide to leave them alone, or you might ask one of your team to get closer for a better look, in case there’s something valuable you can salvage.
Needless to say, there are a lot of choices to make in Hard West 2, both inside and out of combat. As you explore and interact with the world around you, some will have unexpected results, and others will affect your relationships with your companions. This is a game in which you need to consider your options carefully, or otherwise you might find yourself in an awkward or unwanted predicament.
Combat is undoubtedly the highlight of Hard West 2 though, thanks mainly to the game’s Bravado system. With a limited number of action points to use per character, per turn, the fact that they’re refreshed if you manage to take down an enemy spurs you on to play aggressively. Play your cards right, and you can absolutely decimate your foes before your turn is over.
There are other elements that make the battles found in Hard West 2 particularly enjoyable, too. Things like trick shots and otherworldly skills. Why wouldn’t you want to bounce bullets off of multiple objects to hit a target that thought they were safe in cover? And it’s great being able to swap places with enemies to get a better sniping spot and move around the environment with ease.
Throw in a pleasing amount of character development, compete with a deck system that allows you to find and equip cards to improve stats and provide skills, and you have a game with considerable depth. It’s easy to get drawn into Hard West 2‘s story, but even without it driving you on, chances are you’d still be invested in the game’s world and its battles.
Hard West 2 is available now on PC, and don’t let the fact that has a “2” in the title put you off if you’ve never played the original – the only thing that’s really shared is its Weird West setting. Offering a lengthy adventure packed with thrilling turn-based battles, there’s a hell of a lot to love about this struggle against the forces of darkness.