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by Howie Howard
previewed on PC
“People love westerns worldwide. There's something fantasy-like about an individual fighting the elements. Or even bad guys and the elements. It's a simpler time. There's no organized laws and stuff.”
The above quote came from probably one of the best known and beloved western actors in history. Clint Eastwood said that years ago and it's as true for western themed movies as it is for western themed computer games. Colt Canyon is one such title. A good Wild West game needs to contain certain elements - cowboys, bandits and an engrossing back drop and story line. Even though Colt Canyon is simplistic in nature, it contains all of these elements and more.
Colt Canyon, developed by independent game studio Retrific is a top-down isometric action shooter available for Xbox One, Nintendo, PS4 and, of course PC. As a fan of Westerns, I jumped at the chance of checking out Colt Canyon, with its retro pixel-art and tumbleweed setting. Clint Eastwood was always my hero and he still is. I wasn't disappointed when I started this one.
What Cowboy Wouldn't Like All That Stuff?
The game contains everything needed in order to produce an engrossing western experience for the player. There's a nice western look to things with a snappy western tune playing in the background. The sound effects add a feeling of immersion into the story which is sometimes missing from other games of this kind. I mentioned the simplistic nature of the game above but that in no way infers that gameplay is shallow or overly easy. On the contrary. Like with most games of this type things start out easy and as progression is accomplished it gets much harder.
The game contains an impressive amount of depth as far as item availability goes. As progression is made, some 70 weapons and items such as med-kits become available via the uncovering of treasure or by looting enemies. So make sure to thoroughly search the canyon. That way the hero can eventually abandon their rusty under powered revolver and trade it in for a more powerful weapon such as a shotgun, eventually some TNT and others! The developers say that even more stuff will be available upon final game release. That's always a good thing because it gives game fans something to look forward to when the final product is released. The Colt Canyon developer, in my opinion, has gone above and beyond the call of duty in his preparations for this title.
I'm Lost In A Canyon!
The game begins for the hero and their side-kick in a seemingly peaceful canyon. Suddenly all heck breaks loose with a bandit attack and the heroes get knocked out only to awaken to a missing side-kick! This is where a persona from various available characters is chosen. You also get to chose an item load-out from a basic beginning items list. One thing that needs to be known before starting is that success in Colt Canyon is not based solely on using a scorched earth tactic of killing everything in sight. Game success is based on choices, like maybe using stealth instead of the revolver. Making the wrong choice could lead to what the developers call “perma-death.” Get perma-killed and you have the opportunity to try again from the beginning. There's no saving up lives like in other action games and this allows for some replay-ability, which I like.
Colt Canyon has the same standard game elements contained in other games in the action shooting genre. The player needs to make their way through an ever increasingly difficult canyon game world where a boss needs to be overcome before advancement can be accomplished. Once the side-kick is rescued then the player needs to make their way back out of the canyon where other more difficult trials and tribulations need to be overcome. What's nice is that even more powerful rogue-like companions will offer to join your cowboy troupe in order to help with the escape from this dangerous canyon with your scalp still intact. From what we've seen so far, Colt Canyon is a worthy addition to the western themed game category.
There are no guarantees - but we'd bet our own money on this one. If you're going to take a chance with yours, odds are good this one will deliver.