Weird West was recently unveiled at The Game Awards, from the same creative brains behind Dishonored and Prey. They've spun off to create their own endeavour, WolfEye Studios, and based on what we've seen so far, this is absolutely one to watch.
Expectation can be a dangerous gambit, especially when you're presented with a team that brings with it the weight of heavy hitting pedigree. Arkane Studios is an undisputed jewel in Bethesda's crown, so word of founding members striking out on their own definitely raised some eyebrows. Weird West is something of a left field reveal, moving away from this new team's previous first person efforts in favour of a major shift in perspective. However, much of what made both Dishonored and Prey so arresting (unique alternate worlds, a darker narrative spin) looks to be present and accounted for.
There's various characters at play here, each with their own backstory and different mechanics. The reveal trailer briefly showcased a werewolf looking creature, alongside your traditional gunslinger. Billing this as "ain't quite the wild west as you knew it" makes a world of sense. There's mention of more mystical elements, and clear shots of cultist looking characters that represent an enemy faction.
Player choice is a defining tenant of WolfEye Studios' past work, and without a shadow of a doubt will continue here. One of the headline features (beyond the top down view) is the adaptive story, which will ebb and flow based on your in game actions. Vague hints of exploring the world with a posse imply some form of co-operative support, but that hasn't been made official. The clear takeaway here is that Weird West will embrace world altering player behaviour.
Beyond that, we're left to speculate and observe, based on what's been shown thus far. We'd love to see Weird West utilise team based mechanics, even if you're travelling as a solo human player with a squad of A.I. compatriots. The announcement screens above clearly illustrate heist style gameplay, with the player character holding someone at gunpoint while someone else breaks into a safe. This could just as easily be a dynamic, emergent event as opposed to a scripted mission. Top down combat certainly plays a big role.
We'll definitely follow up our announcement preview with additional content down the line, as Weird West gears up for release. Having said that, WolfEye Studios have lifted the lid on this project quite early, as the game is over a year away from release (and will likely become a crossover next gen title). One things for sure: Weird West has grabbed our attention, and we can't wait to see more.
Weird West launches in 2021 for PC.