Wickedy Wild Wild West Dynasty Early Access

The Wild West can be a dangerous, yet prosperous place. Ready to start your legacy? Wild West Dynasty Early Access out now.

Where in the Sam Hell am I? After that intro, it’s clear it’s the Wild West: life expectancy is 30-32 years old tops. After arriving in town, Dakota West (that’s you, Poppet) and his mother are attacked, leaving her dead. Cold, hungry and alone, he befriends a farmer and then gets his feet under the table for some empire-building. Welcome to Wild West Dynasty Early Access.

The Wild West has never really done anything for me since Shanghai Noon. Tell a lie, Red Dead Redemption 2 was sublime. Venturing out into the, at first, blistering sun, then freezing nights, lighting one’s campfires with a tank full of beans has never appealed. Perhaps it’s that instability that the era portrayed. RDR2 Online didn’t help either. I want a quiet life.

But, a quiet life isn’t that far off in Wild West Dynasty Early Access, and within about 30 minutes, I was writing off the day for a full-on session in the woods, cutting down trees. Like Toplitz Productions’ other title, Medieval Dynasty, you start from humble beginnings, then gradually work your way up, growing food, hunting, trading, getting into the property game and much more. While the other title is far superior in terms of visuals and realism, Wild West Dynasty Early Access is a bit more ‘get on with it’. Like all games of its ilk, you can’t benefit from the best things in life from the get-go.

Wild West Dynasty Early Access - By the river
By the river. Source: Screen capture

First, you must learn how to craft, explore, and stuff like that. The abysmal navigation system and complementary map were the first of two significant hurdles. It’s sometimes unclear where you have to get to, and considering the terrain, it’s easy to take the wrong direction and backtrack through barren valleys, occasionally pausing to gain some composure. That composure is the stamina gauge. Without a horse, Dakota has to walk-run-walk everywhere, and it’s monotonous. That’s right, no horse.

Fortunately, levelling them up through actions and side quests means you can invest in stamina consumption, making the experience much better. Other skills at the time of writing include gaining more resources and improving the durability of tools. Said tools include those for cutting down trees, building, mining and hunting, and they can be made on the fly without any sort of workbench, pending you have the skill and the materials to do so. Constructing buildings is pretty accessible too, and doesn’t need any Higher Education to achieve.

On that basis, Wild West Dynasty Early Access was ok if you like the grind. Adopting a South Park WoW approach, I’d make a batch of axes, cut down some trees and invest in some skills, having earned experience from cutting trees and money from selling the logs. It was a bit of a slog, but it meant there was flexibility in moving about. Alas, the area is still quite annoying to travel around if you don’t have the stamina – more annoying if you’re following the pointers. What do you mean, ‘No SatNav in this era’? While cutting down these trees, it soon became apparent that gravity is a bit fickle in the game, and there are many floating objects. But hey, Early Access…

Wild West Dynasty Early Access - Python
Python. Source: Screen capture

I would say that Wild West Dynasty Early Access is divisive as the side quests are…. well, odd. An early one involved a hide-and-seek game where you could only find the children (blatantly within the eye line of their pursuer) in order. Continuing the theme, you have to climb a roof to locate a kid’s ragdoll. Another is traversing the rocks in search of… rocks. But what irked me most were the references to games such as Skyrim and Monty Python anecdotes. They did not work at all. Arrow to the knee or not.

When hopping over to the Steam page to get the link, I was surprised to see that it’s a mostly negative response from fellow Early Access peeps at the time of writing. While I agree about some of the comments – lack of a horse, dodgy sidequests, and perhaps the odd framerate thing, I could care less and happy to spend hours experimenting with buildings, exploring the terrain, and levelling up at a freakish rate. It’s neither Red Dead Redemption 2 nor on par with Medieval Dynasty, but it shows promise. Keep a tab on its progress if you’re not keen to commit financially, but for the record, I’ll be continuing my dynasty off-camera.