An Authentic Western

Unless you’ve been curled up under a desert rock like a Pit Viper all summer, you’ll know that the long anticipated follow up to the impeccable Red Dead Redemption is out right now. Frankly, I’m amazed anyone is watching YouTube at this exact moment – the game is forecasted to sell more copies than there are people on earth. Well, unless you are on PC. Stop laughing console-owners. ‘My mule don’t like you laughin’. Red Dead Redemption 2 probably will come to PC eventually – as a fan of money, Rockstar would be mad not to. But in the meantime I’ve put together a list of great western experiences you can enjoy on PC. From open worlds to murder mysteries this list has you covered. It’s in no particular order – everything here is good. I’d love to hear your top wild west games in the comments below, and if you do enjoy this video as you go along, click the little thumbs up icon and maybe even subscribe to the channel. It’s the only one of YouTube that won’t bombard you with Red Dead for the next month. That’s gotta be worth something.

If Red Dead Redemption 2 is the authentic western – right down to horse… parts shrinking in the cold – then Gunslinger is all about the lies and bogus legends of the west. It’s a story being told in real-time, with a narrator adjusting the action around you as bits of his memory come back or rewinding a chunk of the level when he realises he’s told it wrong. Imagine the narrator from Bastion, only way flakier, and you’re part of the way there. Good thing is, whatever story he does choose to tell it makes for a superbly noisy gunfighting game. The way bandits flood the screen from left and right gives it the feel of a light gun arcade shooter, and there are big rewards for stringing together kills and keeping combos going by sniping out tin cans and pumpkins along the way. In case it isn’t entirely clear: this is not a game about realism. It is a game about storing up luck so that you can slow down time and slip your head past incoming bullets. It’s a game where concentrating turns the world grey and leaves big red enemies to plug away at your convenience – like Super Hot in spurs.

It makes Red Dead’s dead-eye shooting look polite in comparison. And it has the best duelling of any game on this list – it’s all about shrinking your aim by keeping one eye on your opponent while getting a faster draw by moving your hand closer to your gun. Or you can pull first and kill them dishonourably for fewer points. And at the end of the day points are how the west was won. For just over a ten pounds, this a budget beauty. Neversoft’s Gun had the core ingredients of Red Dead Redemption, before that game strolled in like Lee Van Cleef and blew our cowboy boots off with the kind of presence most games can only dream of possessing.