PlayWay is hoping to bring tactical turn-based strategy to the Wild West with its Hard West."Think X-Com combat with Heroes of Might and Magic world map," the developers claim, tantalisingly.
Banditos and lever-action rifles in place of mutons and plasma guns? Colour me interested.
There's already some neat ideas here; rather than recreate the armour and hit-point systems of XCOM, the team want to capture that lightning-fast feel we all know from classic Western gunfights. That means each combat will be short and brutal, with opponents only able to withstand one or two hits at best.
"No peeling off HPs. HPs represent the ability to withstand a shot or two, alternatively to sustain a powerful blow," explains Playway. "There’s little randomization: you either make good predictions and good decisions to land a kill, or you die. There’s no victory without risk, but it’s a well calculated risk."
For extra Western flavour your skilled gunslingers will be able to perform certain trick-shots, like ricocheting a bullet round a corner to hit an unsuspecting foe, dual-wielding revolvers and fanning (that's firing with one hand while repeatedly slamming the hammer down with other for a rapid rate of fire, if you didn't know). They can also tie two shotguns together, if you prefer a less subtle approach. Outside of combat you've got a huge map to explore, stuffed with quests, items, enemies and secrets. This is where you gather new missions, trade for weapons and goods and basically explore away to your heart's content.
It's a very competent looking campaign, probably helped by the fact that the tea, is made up of developers from relatively big franchises like Call of Juarez and Dead Island. Lots of potential here.
As usual there's a bunch of backer reward tiers offering various bits and pieces. Hard West has currently earned just over $17,000 from a $70,000 goal. The campaign runs until September 6.