Red Dead Redemption 2 is right here. Nicely, not right here right here precisely, for those who’re a PC gamer, as there’s no phrase but on when Rockstar’s western epic is coming to our beloved platform.
Ayep, whereas the game-of-the-year frontrunner rides off into the sundown with console avid gamers, us PC folks have been left behind, hanging off our horses by one foot caught within the stirrup and our faces within the dust.
Fortunately, as non-Crimson Useless platforms go, the PC is as effectively stocked with Outdated West video games as a small-town saloon is with moonshine and head lice. It’s not the most important gaming style, however a protracted and storied one, so we’ve discovered 10 of the most effective western video games so that you can saddle up with on PC.
1. The Oregon Path
The primary western recreation to actually take off on PC wasn’t your traditional story of gunslingers and spittoons, however fairly presumably probably the most merciless and unforgiving academic recreation of all time.
So what did it educate you about? That making an attempt to cross the 19th century mid-West in a caravan was a harmful enterprise. Within the unique text-based recreation, you’d lead a caravan of 5 individuals (who you’d sometimes identify after household and pals, for further immersion) then trip them throughout the US badlands, managing ever-dwindling meals provides whereas surviving random occasions like Apache assaults, breakdowns and, most infamously of all, dysentery.
Since its 1971 debut, Oregon Path has gone by way of uncounted iterations, lots of which you’ll be able to play online. One of many higher modern-day twists on the sport is Organ Trail, set in a modern-day zombie apocalypse. And hey, it’s Halloween, so we’re being doubly topical!
2. Crimson Useless Redemption
What’s recreation streaming? Is it the long run? The loss of life of gaming as we all know it? All these questions dissipate like mud within the desert wind when it means you can play the unique Crimson Useless Redemption on PC by way of PlayStation Now.
Granted, it’s subscription-based (a non-negligible $19.99/£12.99 a month), and it isn’t presently obtainable in Australia, however simply do not forget that that subscription additionally consists of Bloodborne, and some hundred different video games. However most significantly Bloodborne…
Rockstar’s unique nice western could by no means get the right PC therapy it deserves, so this stays one of the best ways to expertise it. It was a refreshing break from the sneering, sardonic world of GTA, telling the tragic story of John Marston, a former outlaw blackmailed into searching down his former posse.
Redemption had loads of freakish characters and a darkish humour after all, but it surely additionally billowed in ambiance; its soundtrack of coyote whistles and harmonicas accompanying you across the lovely, barren and lethal territories of the US/Mexico border.
Going a bit additional left-field now, to the unusual place the place Indians and Indies lurk within the shrubbery, you will discover Westerado. This charmingly crusty-looking recreation is about on a top-down Zelda-like map, the place you wander a western city and its surrounds in the hunt for the no-good sunnuvagun who killed your loved ones.
Every run of the sport is simply 2-Three hours lengthy, but it surely maintains its freshness as your goal’s look and whereabouts are randomised. The world is full of little side-quests and interactions with the standard folks of Westerado, and it has some good roleplaying touches, such letting you select the way you converse with individuals, and even turn out to be an outlaw your self by taking pictures up individuals and robbing banks.
It’s an ideal mini-mix of writing, exploration, and lethal oddball fight that solely helps you to shoot left and proper.
4. Fistful of Doom/Excessive Midday Drifter
All roads result in Doom, as we prefer to say right here on PC. After 25 years, id Software program’s teeth-gritting demonic shooter stays a hotbed of modding creativity because of its accessible instruments and the timeless mechanical brilliance of the bottom recreation.
There are two mods that flip Doom right into a extra rootin’-tootin’ form of shooter. Fistful of Doom solely incorporates a few western-themed ranges, however they’re brilliantly detailed, and through your quick time with it you’ll be awash in Spaghetti Western music and the blood of demons in cowboy hats.
Then there’s High Noon Drifter; a low-tech weapon set that provides you the six-shooters, rifles and lassos of a rampant western gunslinger, full with sliding mechanics and a hat you can throw round to make use of as bait.
You’ll be able to merge this weaponset into Fistful of Doom for the complete western expertise, use it with different mods, and even add it to the bottom Doom video games themselves.
A recreation maybe greatest famend for its prolonged, semi-legendary demo and the jeering soundbite, “The place aaaare you, Marshall?”, Outlaws was the final nice pixel-based FPS of the 90s.
Made by storytelling gurus Lucasarts, it was one of many few shooters of its time to truly have a plot: a revenge story informed by way of elegantly drawn cut-scenes between missions.
Its ranges can get a bit labyrinthine in a while, but it surely nonetheless performs brilliantly, combining that timeless high quality of fast-paced 90s shooters with forward-thinking mechanics like reloading, sniper scopes, and letting you fan off your total revolver barrel right into a roomful of enemies.
Its orchestrated soundtrack (one of many first in videogames) suggestions its hat to Morricone too. You’ll be able to decide up Outlaws at GOG.com, the place it was revived just a few years in the past.
6. Desperados: Wished Useless or Alive
From a troublesome time when video games weren’t a lot involved with guiding you thru to the end as battering you with a horseshoe, comes Desperados.
This real-time ways recreation places you in command of a ragtag gang of specialists together with a sniper-medic, explosives skilled, and a sultry seductress, whose mixed abilities you employ to deal with gruelling missions set within the Outdated West. It’s a troublesome previous recreation, with beautiful pre-rendered backgrounds capturing these western climes.
Veteran avid gamers can simply consider it as ‘Commandos set within the Outdated West’.
Whereas the sequels have been disappointing, missing the tight mission design and interesting plot of the unique, Desperados Three is presently in growth by Mimimi Productions, the studio behind the wonderful Shadow Techniques. It’s the proper developer to assist this misplaced collection trip once more.
7. West of Loathing
A relentless stick-figure parody of all of the tropes and conventions we’ve come to affiliate with westerns over time, West of Loathing is likely one of the weirdest role-playing video games of current reminiscence.
This monochrome gem helps you to decide between taking part in a Cow Puncher, Snake Oiler or Beanslinger, then units you on a quest to uncover why the Cows Got here House. It’s wonderfully-written nonsense; a mixture of turn-based fight (in opposition to loads of cows, after all), gag-filled chats with the city’s denizens, journey game-type exploration and puzzle-solving.
If video games have been judged on how a lot they make you smile, this one’s an all-time nice.
8. Name of Juarez: Gunslinger
Exterior of the Crimson Useless collection, Name of Juarez might be probably the most high-profile western franchise in gaming. Which isn’t saying a lot, as a result of this slick FPS collection has at all times been perpetually neglected.
When you’re searching for a extra story-led expertise that also has nice gun- and lasso-play, you might attempt Name of Juarez: Sure in Blood, however Call of Juarez: Gunslinger will get our vote for this record because of its high-intensity taking pictures and gung-ho presentation. It’s extra Django Unchained than Unforgiven – self-aware somewhat than self-serious.
With a crisp cel-shaded aesthetic and injury achieved to enemies indicated by numbers emanating off them with every shot, Gunslinger makes no bones about its id as a hyperactive, heightened romp by way of a high-viz Outdated West.
Rockstar’s propaganda machine would really like you to assume that the predecessor to Crimson Useless Redemption was Crimson Useless Revolver, however by way of open-world design and storytelling, it was Gun that laid the tracks.
Made by Neversoft (of Tony Hawk’s fame), Gun was the primary true GTA of the West, letting you roam the cities and dusty landscapes of a whopping 4 American states, with loads of flexibility for taking part in the do-gooder hero or the lone-riding bandit.
The story is partaking, casting you as an Apache marksman monitoring down a murderous gang, however you possibly can equally effectively simply amble round searching buffalo and chatting to folks, lots of whom are based mostly on famed western legends and voiced brilliantly by a Hollywood solid.
It might really feel a bit creaky nowadays, however Gun stays probably the most polished western epic from the times earlier than John Marston shot his approach into videogame legend.
10. Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath
Someplace between Wild, Wild West and Cowboys & Aliens, however way more achieved on a creative stage, sits this journey from the gone-but-not-forgotten Oddworld Inhabitants studio.
Within the murky, steampunk-inspired setting of Oddworld, you’re the titular Stranger, a mysterious mumbling bounty hunter who travels the bizarre west searching down outlaws. All the things on the earth feels extremely crafted – from the bug-firing crossbows to the grotesque and vibrant characters you meet all through the sport.
The fight and taking pictures sections are unremarkable, however the world is richly detailed and full of character. It’s a western-themed swansong of the Oddworld collection, rubbing shoulders with video games like Past Good and Evil and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time in an period of bold-and-bright adventures.
An HD version of Stranger’s Wrath was launched on Steam in 2010.