Western Heroes

Yee-Haw! Saddle up, pardner! Get off your horse and drink your milk!  Just a few phrases that may conjure up images of the wild west in your mind.  The wild west, ahh, tumble weeds, saloon bars, gunfights, stagecoaches, the list goes on. One of the more popular periods of recent modern history.  There is a certain romanticism associated with all things wild west and we have seen some truly great games inspired by this point in history. Cowboys and Indians are great game fodder, but how do you bring something new to the formula? Could the inclusion of a gun peripheral actually make the game? In a word, absolutely!

Western Heroes comes complete with possibly the best peripheral for the Wii that I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. In the box is a white plastic, two piece, scaled down replica of the famous Winchester rifle. The Winchester has been featured in many films and shows and featured a cool trigger guard reload mechanism that has been included in the peripheral. I felt like some kind of hitman, removing the gun from the box and assembling the Wii controls in to it. Five minutes later and I was ready to shoot some bad guys. At first the aiming felt a little off but a quick visit to the calibration screen had me shooting prickles off a cactus at 500 yards. Okay, you can’t actually do that in the game but I felt the accuracy had been greatly increased. At first it was comfortable to hold the rifle up to my face and aim down the barrel but I discovered that I could also shoot from the hip, Terminator style. The reload mechanism is so cool, no aiming off screen or any of that nonsense, pull down the trigger guard, release and that’s it.

Western Heroes features a story slightly similar to the mostly naff film, Wild Wild West. Some madman called Molina has brought technology to the wild west and is intent on setting off a mega bomb from his train. You choose from four typically western characters, the gunslinger, the red Indian, the token female character and the cavalry man and off you go in search of Molina. Four players can play on the same console at the same time, although, unless you have money to spare, only one of you has the cool peripheral to use.

There are twelve levels to play through featuring such western staples as an old train, a saloon bar, a mine, a river and various canyons and plains. The aiming is spot on and it’s relatively easy to pick off the bad guys wherever they are. Sometimes they are shielded or hiding behind objects, but if you wait they soon pop up to be blasted. In some sections the baddies arrive on vehicles but these are easily dispatched with some well aimed shots to the highlighted vulnerable spots on them. As with most on rails shooters, Western Heroes suffers from being quite short but an attempt to offer some longevity has been made with the inclusion of some extra challenges outside the main game.

As you play through the main game you unlock various challenges split in to two sections. The first set of challenges has you shooting plates and barrels that are randomly thrown across the screen; shoot more than two in a row and you will build up a multiplier score.  However if you miss or reload your multiplier is cancelled. This would work so much better if there was some kind of order to the projectiles. Alas they just come from everywhere so you just end up blasting all over the screen. The next set of challenges has you attempting to survive the onslaught of streams of baddies. The screen starts with a few enemies advancing towards you, shooting as they come. This soon descends into mayhem as the baddies come thick and fast. Sadly this raises more problems as you become overwhelmed pretty quickly. More often than not you will die because you can’t see where you are being shot from. It might have been better to pad out the main story for longevity or put some more effort in to the challenges. Mind you, you tend to forgive a lot of issues due to the awesome gun.







3 responses to “Western Heroes”

  1. Simon avatar

    I’m totally on board with someone basing a game off of Wild Wild West, but they MUST include a sequence involving Salma Hayek in a corset.

  2. Mark P avatar

    Yeah, that would be a breath of fresh ass.

  3. Jordibird avatar

    Help i’m having a blonde moment how do you get multiplayer? It doesnt give me that option thanks

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