Mary Whitehouse would be pleased. There seems to be a trend in games coming out of Eastern Europe whereby all signs of violence or death are excised in favour of folk-dancing. We saw it in Heist where cops would chase your villains in a conga line, we saw it in Celtic Kings, where your fearsome hordes would shake their booty to capture buildings, and we see it in Far West, where shoot-outs consist of line-dancing interposed with much club-singer finger-pointing before someone falls over.
Of course excising the only exciting part of the Wild West may seem risky, especially when all that remains is cattle herding, but Far West digs its spurs in and tries anyway. Despite the screenshot, there’s a lot more to this game than cattle-herding, with you able to rustle cattle, fight bandits, indians and other cowboys and even raid the stagecoach. Unfortunately this is done with the same level of excitement as the shoot-outs, with the same dance obsession. Combined with little quirks likes Longhorns randomly popping into existence, the game… just…drags…
Now for fans of Sergio Leone this is bad, but for fans of Ennio Morricone this is very good, because the swelling chords of the music combined with the frankly soporific engine mean that it’s the most relaxing play since Links 2003.