Cowboy MMO Wild West Online has left early access, technically

Wild West Online, which you might remember from the leaked images that got everyone wondering if it was Red Dead Redemption 2, has left early access. Unfortunately, it seems to have left early access only in name, frustrating the nascent playerbase who have been voicing their complaints on Steam. 

The lack of PvE seems to be the main problem. It was advertised (and still is) as being both a PvE and PvP MMO, but at launch the PvE side appears to be barely present at all. 

“Or perhaps you’d like to stick to the wilderness,” reads the Steam page, “adventuring for cash through PvE quests, or simply exploring this new frontier? All these things are possible in Wild West Online.”

What PvE does exist seems to exist in the form of fetch quests, but any action you see in those will be from meeting other players, not AI opponents or beasties. 

Taking it for a spin earlier today, it was hard to shake the feeling that it’s got a long way to go before it really feels like it’s out of the testing phase. That doesn’t stop it immediately trying to sell you stuff, specifically an account upgrade. It’s the first thing you’ll see after the launcher. 

After you get through that rigmarole, you then get to make a character. Only male characters are available at the moment, and beyond that you’ve got a few faces to choose from, a skin tone slider and the choice between bald or one hairstyle. Empty slots suggest more is to come, but again, this is all very early access. 

The game opens with no exposition, no context and deposits you in a small town. From there you can buy gear and wait for events or missions to appear, or maybe just shoot some folk. There’s no real guidance or anything to inspire you to move from the spot where you spawned.  

As for the complaints about PvE, the developers responded earlier today, though likely not to players’ satisfaction. 

“We also want to directly address the folks who expected a full PVE MMO: as we've discussed with folks since the early days, this is at its core PVP MMO, with PVE elements (resourcing, simple NPC quests, homesteading),” reads the Steam post. “This has been and will be our focus: an MMO rooted in core PVP gameplay, with social and PVE elements to round it out.” 

Wild West Online is out now on Steam for £29.99/$29.99. 

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.