Wolfeye Studios' Weird West is rapidly approaching its March 31 release date, and the developers have put out a beefy 42-minute gameplay video guided by creative director Raf Colantonio and lead systems designer Gael Giraudeau showcasing one of the game's well, weirder playable characters.
The Pigman offers one of several "Journeys" available in Weird West. On one level they scan as Dragon Age-style origin stories, but you can also complete multiple Journeys and have your characters meet up, reminding me of classic JRPGs like Dragon Quest 4 or Live A Live, which had similar, though more scripted ensemble-building structures.
The Pigman has been cursed and transformed into a sorry state: a hulking, ogre-like porcine beast. While he retains the ability to think and speak, he's lost his memory and is shunned by most communities, necessitating stealth or violence to navigate Weird West's usually peaceful towns.
At one point in the demonstration, Giraudeau tried to turn in a quest that would put him in the good graces of a town and turn its sheriff non-hostile. Unfortunately for him, one of the town's deputies was patrolling the quest giver's location. Giraudeau considered multiple infiltration routes before finally deciding on using the in-game wait function to find the quest giver at a different point in her schedule.
It smacks of a Nosferatu playthrough of Vampire: the Masquerade – Bloodlines, which made all the places you're used to being at ease become perilous, forcing you to completely change your approach. (In Bloodlines, that meant spending a lot of time in the sewers.)
As PC Gamer editor Tyler Colp noted in his hands-on preview, Weird West seems to borrow from classic RPGs like Fallout in addition to its more immediate predecessors in immersive sims like those developed by Arkane. This combination of granular reactivity with a wider RPG world seems truly unique, and it's going to be exciting to see everything Weird West has to offer when it releases on March 31.