Hard West 2’s open beta is live and runs for the next month

PC

Rootin’ tootin’ turn-based-strategin’ Hard West 2 combines the shoot percentages of XCOM with a cowboy odyssey to retrieve your lost souls. If you like ponchos and silly hats, you can give it a go right now by signing up to its newly live open beta. It offers “a small slice of the game’s full campaign” and will run for a full month through until June 5th.

Here’s a trailer showing off some of its systems and abilities:

The Hard West games combine six-shooters with the supernatural. In Hard West 2, you’ve apparently made the appallingly poor decision to rob a ghost train, leading to your souls being ripped from you. You’re on a quest to get them back by travelling across an overworld map, and by having multiple-choice story encounters and turn-based shootouts.

The abilities showcased by the video above all look fun to me. One of Hard West 2’s new features is a “bravado” state that rewards you for playing aggressively, letting you extend turns and chain together kills. That was the best part of the surprisingly excellent Gears Tactics (and though more difficult to pull off, one of the best things in XCOM).

It’s worth noting that Hard West 2 is being made by a different development team than the first game. Hard West 1’s CreativeForge Games went on to make Phantom Doctrine, while duties on Hard West 2 are being carried out by Ice Code Games.

If you want to join the beta, you can head over to the Hard West 2 Steam page and hit the “Request Access” button. You’ll then be notified when the developers have granted you access. They describe it as an “open” beta, so presumably they’re not picky about which riff-raff they let in.

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