For those West of Loathing fans out there, do I have some good news for you! As of February 8th, new DLC content has dropped known as “Reckonin’ at Gun Manor” that can be picked up on Steam. This game takes place in a whole new mansion that seems to be overrun with spooky ghosts. How you deal with them is up to you, but somehow we need to get them outta here!
The DLC can be accessed at anytime but the high level values to complete many of the actions make it impossible without getting skilled up first. Once you have a high level character, you can take a ghost carriage to the Gun Manor to begin your adventure to uncover its mystery. If you know anything about the base game, you will know that this game is known for its clever writing and humor and this expansion is no exception. I still had many moments where I would laugh out loud at the events, dialogue or simply the various objects in the background. A running gag of the entire DLC is that the word “Boo” is constantly showing up to scare you, you know, cause they’re ghosts. But why this was silly is because in many scenarios it would be you doing the action that makes them appear such as arranging toy blocks to form the word and startle your character. The actual dialogue, however, is much more clever but still retains that comical theme.
Most of the gameplay remains unchanged. You will still have the same classes to choose from with the same abilities since this continues from your existing characters. For those who haven’t played West of Loathing this includes the cow puncher (warrior), beanslinger (mage) and the snake oiler (gun and potion crafting). What has changed, is the types of enemies and various equipment that you can loot. New enemies to battle and learn from was nice but lost it’s appeal rather quickly since there is technically no new major strategy or attacks you need to worry about. It also still feels way too easy without the hard mode enabled, especially as the wizard class who can AOE blast all enemies and in most cases, wipe out everyone in that single attack. This was one of my concerns with the base game but West of Loathing has never been about an in depth fighting system.
The story and puzzles are where the game has always shined and once again, the DLC does not stray far from that. Many of the puzzles were set up in a way where they were not so obvious, but not to difficult either to give a satisfying feeling when you figure out what your next step is. Specifically, the hedge maze took me a bit until things finally clicked but it was one of those great “AHA!” moments. You also have the choice to skip some of these puzzles if you want to just brute force your way through. Each ghost that you have to deal with will have a pacifist puzzle or a battle where you can pummel them out of existence. Keep in mind, the brutal path won’t get you the “good” ending.
Overall, the best way to think of this DLC is that it really is more of the same thing and honestly, this is not a bad thing. Games like West of Loathing are amazing because it is sort of like reading through a funny graphic novel. But once it’s over, your left wanting more, searching for any stones unturned to find that path you might have overlooked. This DLC gives you that extra chunk of gameplay that I loved. At the end, I had spent a few hours trying different characters on various difficulties with different story endings and I can say that I would highly recommend this to any fans of the original.
Want to get a glimpse of what is in this DLC? Check out the Let’s play of me running through the later half of the game attempting to get the “bad” ending.