Law of the West (Commodore 64)

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Written by  :  Tom White (48)
Written on  :  Apr 03, 2010
Platform  :  Commodore 64
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Sort of fun until you realize you can just cheat.

The Good

The game definitely has its moments. The graphics are quite detailed and well-animated. Even to the point of great little touches like the distant characters running off screen when you draw your gun. It's fairly open-ended and fairly fun the first few times you play. The music ranges from average to better-than-average. The Honky Tonk version of Oh Suzanna is well done, and the title music is pretty cool. Overall it's a nice little package.

The Bad

After a few play-throughs, you start to realize the game's limitations. There are only so many ways you can steer your conversations. You can make a game out of trying to figure out who you have to talk to and what you have to say to allow you to stop all six robberies, but eventually you either get bored and stop, or you decide to just shoot everyone. There's also almost no way to lose. All you have to do is survive the first three characters and then be nice to the doctor and you're home free. You can survive the first three by being nice to them, or by shooting them. You can shoot the doctor too, although he's one of the few characters that don't have weapons so doing so would purely be for sadistic purposes. If you want to go down that path, it really is impossible to lose. None of the townsfolk will attack you unless you provoke them. If you draw a gun on them, they'll just stand there patiently and wait for you to blow their brains out. Just do this for every character and you win. Sure, the game berates you for shooting innocent people, but as long as you survive, it ends with a congratulations.

If you don't just shoot everyone, and you're nice to the doctor, any time you get shot thereafter the doctor will patch you up and it will just be a flesh wound every time. There's no way you can die.

The Bottom Line

The game has you playing the part of the sheriff in a small town in the wild west. Being able to interact with characters in different ways makes it quite ahead of its time, but unfortunately it gets boring fast and it actually becomes more fun to just walk around blasting everyone than to try to play the game the way it's meant to be played.