Hell(boy) to pay
Twin-stick shooters are an odd little genre. They’re fun by default, but fun isn’t enough to make them worthwhile. You need something a lot more to elevate them above their peers. Otherwise, they’ll sink into the same jumbled pit of memories and the deep dark of the Steam store as most other games. Sometimes though, a twin-stick just goes completely over-the-top and hires Ron Perlman to do the voice of the main character, and then makes the whole thing look like an incredibly stylish cult movie too.
In those cases (one so far), they call themselves West of Dead. I’m assuming there won’t be a string of Ron Perlman games, not that it would be a bad thing, so for the moment, I just want to talk about West of Dead itself. So, West of Dead is a twin-stick shooter that combines the usual fast and frenetic action you’d expect with a cover system and some roguelike elements. It’s a lot of fun, and the added tactical notes help define it and make it feel a little revolutionary to play too.
I’ve only played some of the currently available beta so far, but it already feels like one of the best twin-stick shooters to date. The cover system adds a level of depth that you don’t often get in this genre, and there is a slew of cool mechanics that help make each foray into purgatory a little bit different. The visuals are stunning, but the sound design might actually be even more impressive. Also, the voice acting is great, but how could it not be.
Jason is the Editor of The Indie Game Website. He’s a lover of roguelikes, soulslikes, and other kinds of likes. He basically spends a lot of time getting beaten up in games and seems to enjoy it.