A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Basic themes of good and evil run through the story, leaving little room for gray areas. Moments show the importance of friendship and loyalty. Co-op play encourages teamwork. But the game mostly wants to entertain via gratuitous violence.
Positive Role Models
The vampire hunting heroes are all business, showing little remorse -- and often some pleasure -- as they use extreme violence to dispatch hundreds of vampires and humans. They're not much for talking things out, and even use torture on occasion.
The two main characters are a light-skinned man and a Black man. Majority of human characters are men with light skin, plus a few women. There's also a Chinese man adopted by a British family who works as an engineer and fits the "smart East Asian" stereotype.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Ease of Play
Standard third-person shooter controls and linear exploration make this game easy to learn. Instructions explaining controls for special moves pop up within the game as they are introduced, and are repeated as needed. Four levels of challenge allow players to tailor the experience to their skill level.
Violence & Scariness
Players kill vampires, monsters, and human familiars using guns and gauntlet-mounted melee weapons from a third-person perspective. Enemy bodies are mutilated with finishing shots and blows that cause their heads to explode, limbs to be ripped off, and torsos to be torn open, usually accompanied by large gushes of dark red blood. Bodies litter some environments, strewn on the ground and hanging from trees. A boss fight is set in a pool of blood.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex is referenced in crass but roundabout ways in dialogue, as in: "Who do I need to bend over this bar and indiscreetly f--k to...?"
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Strong language is found in much of the spoken dialogue, including "f--k" and "s--t," and "Christ" as an exclamation.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Side characters are seen smoking. The heroes reference drinking, and alcohol bottles appear within the environment.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Evil West is a third-person shooter for Windows PCs, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. It's set in a Wild West teeming with evil vampires and stars a pair of gunslingers who use rifles, shotguns, pistols, and gauntlet-mounted melee weapons and explosives to kill vampires, monsters, and human familiars in gruesome fashion. Bodies are ripped apart, heads and limbs are severed, and enemies catch fire and are electrocuted. Large splashes of blood and screams accompany most kills, and bodies are frequently found strewn about or hanging within the environment. The heroes fight for humanity and are loyal to each other and their friends, but are also pitiless and clearly enjoy solving problems with violence. Parents should also be aware that the spoken dialogue is filled with expletives, including the "F" word and occasional crass references to sex.
Is It Any Good?
This action-packed Western fantasy doesn't quite have the sophistication or polish of a big-budget shooter, but it still provides plenty of bang. Evil West starts off with little in the way of introduction, throwing players into the aftermath of a train wreck that's spilled countless coffins into the desert -- from which vampiric experiments and monsters have risen. Players get a crash course in how to punch, kick, and shoot the undead before capturing one and using him to find another vampire that Jessie and Edgar have been tracking. It's not until the third chapter that things finally begin to come into focus, with a bit of backstory revealed through a series of cinematics and collectible lore items that help explain this crazy alternate history world.
The strained narrative probably won't matter too much, though, since the story is really just a frame over which to hang the game's carefully crafted over-the-top action. Dispatching Evil West's vampires and their minions requires strategy and skill. Some monsters are best destroyed by getting up close and personal, using the shock gauntlet to draw them to you, stun them, and then punch them into spiky obstacles or piles of TNT. Others demand that you keep your distance and rely on your guns, aiming at specific weak points to blow off limbs or sever their heads while dodging area-of-effect attacks. New abilities are introduced frequently, and it's easy to forget all the inventive ways Jessie and Edgar can do violence, but you can opt to receive move reminders with instructions when you haven't been using all of the abilities at your disposal. Evil West isn't the kind of game that wins awards, but its weird world and well-honed action work well enough to earn a modest recommendation for players old enough to stomach its inventive gore.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.