America’s plains and meadows suffer under an undead catastrophe Bad West. Hordes of Vampires operates in the hidden and forgotten parts of the United States virtually unhindered, slaughtering entire towns and making earthly plans. It is a hostile environment but there is a force fighting against the darkness.
We play the titled character of Jesse Rentier, son of the Rentier Institute leader. It’s a secret organization of vampire hunters that deals with undead monsters and their mutant minions, and for first-timers it can feel like thrown in front of the wolves. While it’s not too hard to come up with some tricks while playing, it can be helpful to have a few facts to get you started. Here are a few handy starting tips for Evil West.
10/10 be aggressive
The first, simplest and best tip you can have for Evil West is to just be offensive. Even though you have six shooters and other cowboy gadgets, punching things is really hard, it gets the job done so much faster and easier.
Diving into direct combat with your handheld steampunk Power Fist is also quite necessary against some enemies. Later in the game, you’ll encounter Vampire Nobles and other chunky Immortal Elites who can restore all health bars. That’s why it’s so important to cut them into bloody pieces before they can do that, to prevent bloodsucking swarms from chasing you.
9/10 Track Silver Chains
Every third-person action game has a sign that tells players where to go, and in the case of Evil West, these are silver-looking chains. These strumming loops hang above anything interactive and are often your cue to where to go next.
A good tip when entering an area is to take a quick look wherever they are. As simple as it sounds, sometimes there are hidden items, lore, and other rewards hidden behind these sparkly metal tank tops. It’s always worth checking them out before heading to the next arena, so watch out for anything shiny and shiny.
8/10 Be Aware of Accidental Progress
When it comes to chains, it cannot be stressed enough how careful you have to be with them. Unfortunately, Evil West likes to hide his progression points behind some. And you won’t know you’ve found one until you jump over it.
Why this is frustrating is that often times there will be some large treasure chests or other rewards that you are no longer allowed to receive without resetting the quest. This can lead to frustrating moments like regularly finding yourself accidentally looking through loot that you can easily commute but are permanently blocked. Fortunately, sometimes you can guess which chain is advancing and what isn’t, but before you jump or climb, take a second to check each one.
7/10 Find the Combo That Works
Evil West has a lot of combo mechanics and it’s easy to get into a fight by swinging the same basic attack over and over. While this can be effective, you really should mix it up with some combination. There’s a lot to mix and match with some pretty easy entries, but it’s recommended to find the one that suits you.
As an example, a good opener is a Hero Punch or Zap Dash followed by an uppercut with a Zap Slam or Revolver Juggle to another uppercut. You can get most of the smaller enemies into it and lock them in from taking any hits on you fairly easily, but figuring out the timing may take some practice. Tweak your fighting style and you should find the fight pretty easy, sometimes even unbreakable.
6/10 Upgrade Your Weapons
A Cowboy is nothing without his firearms, and while your six-shooter and lever-action rifle might be great to begin with, you definitely want to keep them up to date. Initially, they’re mostly used to deal with ranged threats, expand combo arrays, or do minimal puzzles. But as you progress, you will need to trust them more.
Evil West can throw some pretty chunky foes at you, and being able to chip them off while taking a breather in melee can make a big difference. Recommended when you can add energy upgrades to your pistols and rifle. It’s a bit expensive at a few thousand credits per upgrade, but significantly increases their damage and adds things like charged shots and chain lightning. So that’s a pretty meaty boost.
5/10 Prioritize Goals
Flying Wild Hog has been busy because there’s a pretty strong army of undead and folklore monsters you can fight as you progress through the story of Evil West. They all have pretty unique ways to attack you, and this can turn some arena fights into long-running fights where you constantly fight just to stay alive. If you find yourself struggling, prioritizing which reptile will attack first will make a big difference.
While it may seem obvious to focus on a single objective, how Evil West handles enemy encounters is more difficult in practice. It’s throwing everyone at you at the same time in a huge pile of dogs all attacking at the same time. Most of the time, you’ll get hits from absolutely anywhere and it’s very important to figure out which Ghoul to go after first, as some moves can absolutely destroy your health. A good tip is to shoot snipers and ranged vagrants first, then the bigger Brute kids, and finally the resident Elite or mini-boss. Simple minions are just there to get in your way, so always leave them long.
4/10 Killing All Slaves
To dwell on the monster minions issue for a moment. In the heat of a fight, especially against certain mini-bosses, a good tip for Evil West is to keep a few base minions alive while they’re roaming around. It may sound strange, but they can be quite useful in a number of ways.
For starters, they can be used to quickly recharge health or energy if you’re running low. But more importantly, they can be used for emergency escapes. Since your movement speed is quite slow and clumsy, and the dodge roll is so short, being able to Slam Shot and basically dodge away from a high-damage monster about to slap a half-dead or weak minion will make you an absolute lifesaver. One or two basic Undeads are usually enough and too low a threat to cause any problems, so try to stay a handful until the end in some of the game’s tough arena fights.
3/10 Leverage I-Frames to Skip
While you can block attacks in Evil West, there are a few missions until you unlock them and you’ll have to rely on your old trusty dodge roll for a while. It doesn’t get very far, but thankfully they have a lightweight invincibility frame that is extremely easy to exploit. So a good tip is to learn at what point they kick in because this can significantly weaken some of the bigger and worse attacks that some late game Vampires love to throw.
I-frames start at the beginning of the roll and end just when your hind legs have finished spinning. Just a few seconds, but at that point nothing can get in and you can really trick certain enemies with it. For example, Vampire Noble has huge screen-wide hitboxes on his swings.
2/10 Unlock These Standby Powers
While you’re mashing those Vampire heads on the pavement, you mustn’t forget your cooldown gear. They can open up many opportunities for powerful combos in some fights, or they can help you reveal breathing room for a moment in a fight.
For example, the Crippling Rod is great for stunning everyone in the room at once, or getting an Elite into another run of a Zap-based combo for extra damage. There’s also the flamethrower, which for a while was your only real option for crowd control, as everything else in your toolbox is focused on one target early in the game. They charge pretty quickly, even faster if you’re getting hits in melee;
1/10 Anything Can Be Brute Coercion
One final tip worth missing for Evil West is that every fight in the game can be applied with brute force. No grind stats, no revisit areas for more gear, it all just depends on you and your ability to punch faces. As a hint, if you’re fighting in a certain arena, you’ll need to dodge more, eat harder cheese, and punch better.
Checkpoints are pretty forgiving and load times are fast, so you’ll be hitting progress blockers pretty quickly in just a few minutes. You can also respect your skills if you have absolutely no luck, but honestly the best tip is to brute force fights until you win. Everything can be brute force in Evil West, whether that’s scattering them with your sidearms and cooldowns, or abusing the combo system.