A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Gameplay and story put a big focus on teamwork, working together to overcome obstacles and finding ways that different strengths and abilities can be utilized together. Standard "good vs. evil" plot, some tinges of both redemption and revenge.
Positive Role Models
Each of the player's characters have a degree of heroism and honor, though they also have both proverbial and literal skeletons in their closets. Despite dark secrets, they grow as a group and come together not only out of self-preservation, but to help redeem each other as well.
Main characters are only a small slice of representation, with more than a few stereotypes tossed in. Still, they are strong characters of different backgrounds and personalities.
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Ease of Play
Gameplay requires a lot of strategic thinking and planning. There are often creative ways to take out enemies and accomplish goals, such as using parts of the environment to ricochet shots into foes. Adjustable difficulty level. Side objectives add extra challenge to many missions.
Violence & Scariness
Horror tale set in a supernatural version of the Old West. Violence is constant, with lots of blood and gore shown on-screen. Some cutscenes, while presented in comic book art style, feature scenes of extra gore, including decaying corpses, self-mutilation.
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The dialogue makes frequent use of strong profanity, including "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and more.
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Products & Purchases
This is a sequel to 2015's Hard West.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are shown drinking alcohol and smoking cigars. Alcohol can be used to heal characters while also affecting them adversely with a "Drunk" status.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hard West 2 is a downloadable turn-based strategy game for Windows PCs. It's a sequel to 2015's original Hard West and is set against the backdrop of a supernatural version of the Old West. Players control a posse of unique characters as they track down the evil entity that has stolen their souls. Characters use a variety of Western-themed weapons and magic abilities to fight against enemies that are human, demonic, or otherwise supernatural in nature. The story and gameplay feature a horror element as well as lots of blood and gore. Characters drink alcohol and smoke cigars while also swearing frequently in conversations.
Is It Any Good?
The original game blended tactical gameplay and short stories set among the backdrop of an Old West horror tale. Its sequel, Hard West 2, takes everything that fans enjoyed about the first game, packs a few extra cards up its sleeve, and takes players on one hell of an adventure --literally. The game ditches the piecemeal anthology feel of the original in favor of a singular, fleshed-out story. By doing this, the characters feel much more well-rounded, with backstories revealed over time as they interact with and develop bonds with one another. This gets players more interested and more invested in the fates of their posse members. And even if it's not an epic odyssey in terms of plot, giving players specific choices at certain moments raises the stakes and makes the overall story feel more personal.
Hard West 2 seems like a straightforward turn-based strategy game on its surface, but there are a lot of quirks to the gameplay that keep things fresh and original. The game tosses the usual skill points and XP in favor of the Deck of Haunts. As players progress, they'll find playing cards that can be equipped for different effects. By equipping cards equal to certain poker hands, such as two pair or a full house, characters get additional boosts, skills, and traits. Also, two special resources come into play during battles: Luck and Bravado. Whenever a character misses a shot or takes a hit or things don't go according to plan, the scales balance by granting Luck, which can be used on later turns to boost the chances of hitting an enemy with an attack. Meanwhile, whenever an enemy is defeated by a character, that character gains Bravado and recharges their Action Points. By stringing together kills, the player's posse can pull off an impressive amount of destruction before the enemy even knows what hit them. These twists, along with the solid story, lean heavy into the Old West horror vibe, making Hard West 2 a suitably spooky adventure that's hard to put down.
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.