Wild West Online launches onto the dusty trails today

Wild West Online

You’d think that with how gosh-darned fun it is to play around with six-shooters, lever-action rifles and all those other trappings of the old American west, it’d be a more popular setting for games. Until such time as Rockstar confirm that Red Dead Redemption 2 is officially PC-bound, Wild West Online is our next best bet. This online cowboy sandbox from DJ2 Entertainment has been lurking around in early access for some time, but today it got its best ten gallon hat on and set forth in search of fame and glory.

While I’ve not had a chance to try this one myself, I’ve been watching it being streamed. It seems an odd mixture of relaxing travel through vast open expanses and shockingly lethal combat, with many of the fights I’ve seen resolved at surprising range and with only one or two bullets. It doesn’t seem uncommon for someone to snipe your unsuspecting face off from half a mile away. Personally not my cup of tea, but I can vaguely see the appeal for Battle Royale-hardened types that want a little more to do in the world other than wander and snipe.

That said, initial Steam user reviews don’t exactly seem happy. While there aren’t too many, the few that have been posted so far are overwhelmingly negative. The most common complaint is that players are just being picked off by high-level griefers the moment they step out of a safe area. Others seem unhappy with the state the game has launched in, claiming that it needed longer in early access. There’s also reports of PvE content being especially threadbare, with no expendable villains to get into gunfights with. If you want to shoot or be shot at, other players are your only option.

All in all, it sounds like a pretty rough launch, and perhaps one to hold off on until such time as some reviewin’ type varmints have gone and rustled up some critique. Wild West Online is out now via Steam for £30/30€/$30. Yes, you read that right, and no, I don’t think that’s how currency is supposed to work either.

29 Comments

  1. ratherbhiking says:

    This looks rad but i’m gonna wait for some good reviews or a huge sale.

  2. mitrovarr says:

    I’ve never understood the appeal of MMOs with fairly unrestricted PvP. It always degenerates into being effortlessly slaughtered by someone level four million within seconds of starting. Unless you just completely hate yourself, I have no idea why anyone ever starts games like this.

    • dontnormally says:

      I always wondered why folks aren’t going the roguelike mmo route (sort of like Realm of the Mad Gods).

      You get significantly stronger by surviving and winning, yes, but your death is nigh unavoidable as even a noob with a lucky shot could off you in one.

      That sort of thing.

      • mitrovarr says:

        Because MMOs are all are all about grind. Without investment, there’s no grind. With easy death that loses you a character, there’s no investment.

      • Scraphound says:

        Mainly because one day you might get to be the guy doing the killing.

        And when it’s done right, it doesn’t have to be like every other game. I used to love Ultima Online. I didn’t have the best weapons or the highest skills.

        But I did know how to craft top shelf poison and how to build a simple chest with a poison trap. Sit that at the bottom of a dungeon, fill it with some rocks, lock it and set the trap. Wait for a player to come along after surviving the perils of the dungeon.

        A failed attempt at opening the chest yields a lethal dose of poison. Out I pop while the player is frantically trying to swallow an antidote only to get poisoned again by my knife.

        Or, y’know, just chase a guy to his house and when he runs inside summon blade spirits after him and hold the door shut while he’s hacked to pieces in his own home.

        Good times.

    • Hunchback says:

      I really wish more MMOs would go “unrestricted pvp”, the way EVE and UltimaOnline do it.

      I think people not used to this kinda gameplay must shiver at the idea of dyeing, being “griefed” and OHNOES lose all your stuff… because they haven’t actually played a game where your equipment does not equal your “progress” and “status” in the game. Losing it all doesn’t mean much, it means something but it’s not the end of the world at all.

      And the thrill of going out in the wild, knowing someone might be lurking around a dungeon, travel hotspot or whatever is really quite unique and… thrilling. I for one prefer getting killed by a pirate in EVE or a PK in UO rather than the random “enemy” in WoW where death means nothing and he only does it because he can. In unrestricted games killing someone actually matters and can sometimes be understood, even if you are the one killed.

      Anyways, back on topic – judging by the Steam reviews of this game, it’s complete garbage so… sad, a wild west MMO does sound appealing, to be honest. :/

      • Lawbringer says:

        Each to his own, I guess, and I’m genuinely glad you enjoy it – more variety is always good.

        For the majority of the anti-brigade (me included) the problem is: if I’m not progressing in this game, then what’s the point in playing? Because the colourful description of venturing into the wild not knowing what you mind find or what dangers you could face sounds exciting! The reality (for me) is that you are just trying to see what’s over the ridge but you just get killed fifteen times by the same high level griefer with high level gear. Then you try to do something less exciting like farming and your farm gets burned down fifteen times with you inside it. Eventually you just get bored and frustrated when you realise you’re not achieving anything and log off, never to return.

        • Hunchback says:

          Your progress is in your hero/avatar/thingy. You usually have a set of skills and other things that are not SO dependent on your equipment, equipment is just a tool, kinda like in real life. A well developed warrior in UO can grab practically any sword and more or less be as effective as with a legendary artifact… more or less.

          • 1Derby says:

            PvP:
            Setting aside hacked games, insert region lock argument here..
            and,
            At the risk of coming off as an old “get off my lawn” type…

            I always feel like I am getting my ass kicked by un/under-employed teenagers in PvP games. I am a life long gamer, but can only snatch a few hours a week to myself for gaming.
            A PvE environment allows me to control the pace and difficulty of most games.
            Think about it:
            We spend a greater % of our lives post adolescent buried under obligations and responsibility.

        • mitrovarr says:

          The other issue is that the pkers are usually the very strongest and most invested players in the game. They’ve usually played for 1000+ hours and know all the secrets and exploits and such. Unless you have tons of time and commit to basically marrying the game and never playing anything else, you will never be competitive with them.

          Imagine playing Overwatch if a GM could force you into a duel at any time, regardless of rank. Now give him an actual numerical advantage and make a consequence for losing. That’s open PVP.

        • Carl Sagans Ghost says:

          “if I’m not progressing in this game, then what’s the point in playing?”

          EVE Online player here. I agree. There’s no point in playing if you’re not progressing–if you’re not having fun. So it’s a matter of having these kind of “open pvp” games that have a little bit for the carebears, a little bit for the pvpers, and proper incentives/avenues for the daring.

          I certainly wouldn’t EVE if every undock was met with my ship being exploded in under five seconds. I’d move to another area, or simply stop playing altogether. :O

          • Carl Sagans Ghost says:

            Oh, err.

            Signed,

            A Carebear Who Would Only PVP When He Was the Baitship.

      • malkav11 says:

        Yes, you can (in some of these games) invest your time in things that advance you permanently, but there’s always something you’re losing if another player kills you, usually representing days or more worth of time investment. And there’s never any real consequence for a player whose primary source of joy in the game is causing that sort of loss for other players, nor any way to guarantee you won’t get ganked the moment you start that climb again.

      • Cederic says:

        I play games for relaxation and fun. I don’t mind PVP, but I want it to be a fair fight – so Unreal Tournament, or Battlefield 1942. If I’m playing an MMO I want a social experience, an engaging world, a set of goals to feel good about achieving.

        I don’t want to be scared to look away from the screen, step away from the keyboard, have a cat wander up and poke me in the face, because it means losing hours or days of progress.

    • Chrithu says:

      For me it doesn’t come from the PvP necessarily. My first MMO I ever played was Neocron back in 2004ish. It had open PvP in most Zones. But you could opt-out of that by keeping in your so-called law-enforcer chip preventing you from attacking other players and being attacked yourself. But you still played with the same people on the same server and had access to all zones for PvE purposes. I think this concept was one key to it working.

      This was accompanied by a almost purely player run item-economy. The best quality weapons and armor had to be made by a player and needed investment in form of time and specialization in form f dedicating skill points.

      In the best times of the game people not interested in crafting didn’t have to run a twink for crafting. And if they had good connections they didn’t even have to pay for the stuff.

      In many aspects that game is conceptionally so much better than most MMOs today are. Dungeons were single instances for a server. Meaning if a group was in the dungeon raiding and another group wanted to do the same dungeon it always endet up in a group vs. group fight that could escalate into clan vs. clan mingling and even all out faction vs. faction wars. Fun times. I miss them.

      The game is still community run but graphics wise it is so outdated, that I just can’t keep invested anymore. I just wish someone would make a direc successor or at least a MMO in the same vain.

      Todays MMOs imho cater too much to a very specific playerstyle so much so, that the only kind of MMO playere that still plays MMO is that kind of player it seems. Self fulfilling prophecy stuff.

      It’s maddening. The only part that is still massive about the multiplayer aspect in most MMOs is a chat channel everybody is in. And even that got scrapped in some MMOs because of toxicity.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    This game sounds absolutely horrible by the description in this article. What, MMO Plunkbat in Wild West? Gross. Getting sniped by someone’s .357 cowboy repeater or whatever as soon as I leave town sounds exactly the opposite of fun.

  4. Syt says:

    Isn’t this from the guys who made the controversial The War Z?

    • Sir_Eric says:

      They’re pretending it isn’t, because they’re claiming they only licensed the engine from the WarZ guys. But looking through these early reviews…they clearly licensed their business model too. Pay to win, all cosmetic items behind loot boxes and no actual content. Clearly a quality game and absolutely no reason to doubt the people behind it. Or even mention that controversy in the article.

    • tuoret says:

      You know what they (or the main bloke behind this) made before that?
      Big Rigs.
      Yeah, THAT Big Rigs.

  5. Someoldguy says:

    Yeah, it looked bad when previewed, attracted lots of negative user reviews in early access and now it’s launching preemptively and hiding its unpleasant past under a stinking tarpaulin. Most of the promised content has not materialised. I have a real hankering to play something akin to Witcher 3: Cowboy mode but this isn’t it. It’s a flat no from me.

    • Blackcompany says:

      So…an open world RPG set in, say…Midworld, from the Gunslinger novels?

      Cause…yeah, I would literally throw money at that game. and if CDPR were to develop it, I’d preorder it tomorrow, site unseen…just so they could claim Gaunter o’Dim really IS Randal Flagg/Martin Broadcloak.

      • Chrithu says:

        That would be rad as fuck. I’m sold on the idea, when you going to kickstarter??? ;-).

    • Raoul Duke says:

      The game you want is called Red Dead Redemption, and it’s superb.

  6. int says:

    You’re Winner!

  7. racccoon says:

    ITS MADE OF PLASTIC AND IS BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT! :)

  8. kyynis says:

    Bring all your bums in; here come the saddles.

  9. BeefChesthair says:

    This is Sergei Titov and the WarZ/Infestation team. It’s not just the same engine it’s them but they’ve changed some company names around and hid things to make it seem like it isn’t because their reputation is so (deservedly) terrible.

    Do not buy this game.

    • Chrithu says:

      Interesting and important info. I’m just glad that I got a PS 4 anyways to finally play Horizon Zero Dawn and hava go at Detroid Become Human so I will just get Red Dead 2 on it should no PC Version come to pass.

  10. rickenbacker says:

    Tried it, and it’s… not great.

    Nothing much to do in your starting location, but if you figure out how to get a horse (hit H), you can ride around aimlessly and find one or two fetch quests (I found two, which were pretty much identical, in half an hour of ambling about on horseback). There’s no real way to figure out how to actually DO the quests, however, so mine are still uncompleted.

    Occasionally, you run across other players. They kill you, often before you even see them. I don’t know why.

    Even if there WAS something to do, the game looks atrociously bad for 2018. Flickering textures, big empty expanses with random bushes and the occasional homestead in them, and animations straight out of 90’s anime.

    So, in short, pretty awful. Don’t waste your money on this dreck.