I picked this game up on a whim sometime around the beginning of January after finding it in my Steam discovery queue, which was definitely a mistake. It had an interesting premise, but it’s not executed well and feels like an unfinished product.

The best thing I can say about Wild West and Wizards is that it’s very… fine? I picked it up on a whim because it looked cool and I like trying all kinds of weird little games, and that’s definitely how I’d describe this – a weird little game. The developer Lavaboots Studios describes it as an open world RPG, but I’d also throw the word “sandbox” in there somewhere. You’re pretty much given a gun and some abilities and told to go do what you want. There are quests to do, areas in the world to explore, etc, but I didn’t find myself particularly interested in doing any of that.

I always prefer to start a critique with the positive things about my impression of a game, but in this case there’s not much to discuss. I like the art style because it’s so colourful and stylized, but it’s pretty low detail in a lot of places and there are issues with clipping, your arms being cut off if you turn the FOV up, etc. The shooting is super basic and unsatisfying as the enemies all feel very bullet-spongey, which is a big turn off for me. The NPC dialogue for quests (and just in general) seems strange. I could go on for quite a while, but the most damning thing I have to say about this game is that it feels unfinished – but also that it seems like it’ll probably stay unfinished for the foreseeable future, as the devs have already moved onto Salt 2. This game is particularly strange because it’s as though they tried to create their own little open world adventure a la Breath of the Wild, Assassin’s Creed, etc, but the world they’ve made is ultimately just way less compelling in every way, the gunplay and combat are poor, and the writing doesn’t even hit the bar of being mediocre in my book.

I know it seems like I’m being very hard on the game, and I am, but it’s not just because I think the game is bad (though to be clear, it is), but also because if you consider the broader context of the world with the innumerable other games available, there’s no way this is worth it. For less than the cost of this game you could get so many other games that are better in every way.

No matter how you slice it I don’t think Wild West and Wizards is worth picking up, and it’s definitely not worth me spending any more of my time on, so in the bin it goes.

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