Is Outlaws of the Old West, Worth Playing?
Games should not be developed purely to “fill a gap” until a better title comes along, and Outlaws of the Old West and its spectacular spiral into obscurity is ample proof of that.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Survival
Developer: Virtual Basement
Publisher: Wandering Wizard & Snail Games USA
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 12 March 2019
Supported Modes:

Not Playable on Windows 11

Outlaws of the Old West is no longer playable on Windows 11 since the introduction of the core isolation security feature; while this feature is a welcome addition to Windows 11 and makes the platform even more secure, it does cause issues for niche games such as Outlaws of the Old West, resulting in Windows 11 shipping without the necessary driver exceptions for its outdated implementation of the BattleEye anti-cheat software.

The Developers Have Moved On:

Virtual Basement LLC are still active on Twitter and seems to have moved onto other projects that involve wrestling, and honestly, I wish them well.

While Outlaws for the Old West withered on the vine and suffered from some major design flaws, it was a fun game and fairly priced for what content was available, and they deserve another chance at “getting it right” in whichever game comes next.

Wandering Wizard (a division of Snail Games created to publish Outlaws of the Old West)┬áhas recently resurfaced to announce a new open-world PvPvE titled “Expedition Agartha”, which promises to be a medieval Escape from Tarkov with fantasy elements.

As intriguing as this sounds, many in the gaming community have lost faith in Wandering Wizard/Snail Games, and very few have shown any interest in Expedition Agartha, with less than 500 registered discord members and only a dozen comments on the Steam discussion hub for the title.

Wandering Wizard and Expedition Agartha’s developers will have to go a long way to assure the community that they will not silently abandon Expedition Agartha like so many other Snail Games titles before it.

I certainly wish them well, but trust is earned, not given.

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Ugly Character Models:

While Outlaws of the Old West smartly allowed for multiple races and genders, the character models look hideous.

Male and female characters have massive hands and feet, and the walking and running animations resemble an erect chimpanzee more than anything remotely human.

Another issue is the speed at which the animations play; when playing Outlaws of the Old West with a 5700 XT @ 120fps+, my character looked like he was on fast-forward, every movement being both too fast and wildly erratic.

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Low-Quality Offical Servers:

Official servers are plagued by rubber banding worse than any I have experienced elsewhere.

Bandits will teleport around the map, shoot through walls and at times slide towards you while frozen in what appears to be suspended animation, making combat difficult and sometimes impossible.

Curiously, these performance issues do not affect private servers. If you can find a well-maintained private server, you will not experience these, and other performance-related issues due to Outlaws of the Old West offers relatively good performance on private servers compared to other survival games.

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No Sense Of Progression:

Unlike most survival games, Outlaws of the Old West does not lock crafting recipes behind a level or XP grind, and while this sounds like a refreshing change of pace, it isn’t,

Let’s take Ark Survival Evolved, for example.

  1. Punch Trees & Gather Rocks
  2. Craft a Stone Pick
  3. Harvest Flint
  4. Craft a Stone Axe
  5. Craft a Stone Tipped Spear
  6. Craft a Basic Bow
  7. Harvest Iron
  8. Build Forge/Furnace
  9. Smelt Ingots
  10. Use basic bow for 10-20 levels
  11. Create a Basic Firearm
  12. Use basic firearm for 10-20 levels
  13. Create Basic Assault Rifles
  14. Use basic assault rifle until the early endgame
  15. Create Tek Weapons
  16. Create High-Quality Weapons
  17. Endgame Ready

And compare it to Outlaws of the Old West.

  1. Gather Sticks and Stones
  2. Craft Tools
  3. Mine Ore and Wood
  4. Craft Tool & Gunsmith Tables
  5. Create Iron Tools
  6. Create Ball Pistol and Ammo
  7. Kill 9-10 Bandits (roughly three camps)
  8. Sell their weapons to NPC vendor
  9. Buy High Tier Weapons
  10. Endgame Ready

Ark Survival Evolved takes up to 50 hours to reach the highest levels of endgame, while the same on Outlaws of the Old West can be done in less than 1 hour, with most of these steps being able to be completed within 10 minutes and the only time investment required is seeking out NPC camps which are abundant due to the lower player population.

The ease of buying weapons & gear greatly amplifies the lack of importance placed on owning a base, reducing bases to vanity items.

In addition, the landscape is scattered with craft tables that anyone can access, and overall, it feels pointless to invest in anything more than a safe hidden in a bush or, failing that, use one of the NPC banks to hold your cash.

Rank amateurs can tame horses in seconds on their first try, and even mustangs are very easy to tame.

Overall, there is no real challenge to progression in Outlaws of The Old West.

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Rampant Cheating:

At launch, Outlaws of the Old West showed great promise; the player base grew by the day, and reviews, while mixed, leaned towards an overall positive tone. Outlaws of the Old West was made available to purchase in mainland China.

Don’t get me wrong; this is nothing about race. I know many Chinese Americans, Chinese from Europe, and Chinese from China who would never cheat. However, it’s not racism to address a genuine and worrying trend in online gaming; opening up a game to mainland China almost always results in an unrelenting flood of cheaters.

Due to this move, Outlaws of the Old West lost around half of its active users within hours of the first Chinese mega clans arriving, and while the developers promised to address this issue, their reluctance to region lock servers ensured the damage was done. The reputation of Outlaws of the Old West never recovered.

While the developers eventually added support for BattleEye anti-cheat in April 2020, it was too little too late, and 90% of the community had already moved on to other games.

Outlaws of the Old West FAQ

Outlaws of the Old West is a survival video game developed by Virtual Basement and published by Wandering Wizard & Snail Games USA, it was released on 12 March 2019 and retails for $19.99.

Platform Availability.

Outlaws of the Old West is available exclusively on PC.

Are The Developers Active?

Outlaws of the Old West has not been updated since October 2020, and for those looking for fresh content, there have been no substantial content updates since The Livestock Update in May 2019.

That is not to say there was no content added between May 2019 and October 2020; there certainly were small content additions, but in the grand scheme of things, adding a single prop or a selection of npc vendors does not qualify as substantial content, especially when content updates occur only a few times a year.

I was initially supportive of the developers (Virtual Basement LLC), but covid 19 delays and low sales robbed them of what little motivation they had left, already having suffered a demoralisingly lacklustre launch that saw Outlaws of the Old West peak at just 4,751 online players during its launch window.

While this figure is not awful when compared to other similarly priced titles, it’s disastrous when you realise just how many people were desperate for a Wild West game back in 2019, with Red Dead Redemption 2 and, by extension, Red Dead Online having not yet been confirmed to launch on PC.

It was clear from shortly after launch that Outlaws of the Old West was destined to become a throwaway title for Snail Games, who traditionally cut loose failing projects relatively quickly and quietly, leaving it up to the community to find out the hard way that a title is no longer supported.

We have seen this before with other Snail Games titles, such as Fear the Night and Dark and Light, and it’s rarely good for the consumer, typically resulting in a premature launch and near-total abandonment.

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Snail Games is a business, and they cannot reasonably be expected to support lame ducks forever. and Outlaws of the Old West, Fear the Night and Dark and Light are about as lame as they come.

However, I feel the least they can do is explain to the community why a title is no longer in development and try to offer the players some form of apology, be it by offering a standalone offline client or giving the source code to the modding community, allowing for continued community-driven development.

Community goodwill is a commodity, and unfortunately, Snail Games continues to spend it frivolously on low-budget survival games that rarely receive substantial development while in early access and receive even less post-launch support.

Sooner or later, this behaviour will come back to haunt them, which is unfortunate as they produce some very fine titles and are one of the most established survival game publishers in the genre, with titles such as Ark Survival Evolved under their banner.

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How Many People Play Outlaws of the Old West?

Outlaws of the Old West retains a small but loyal community that hovers at around 20 players online at peak EU/NA times; that said, for most of the day, it is almost entirely dead, with only a handful of players scattered between dozens of servers.

As of October 2023, Outlaws of the Old West has one or two barely active private servers, but beyond that, Outlaws of the Old West is a tumbleweed-filled wasteland of empty servers and broken promises.

7 Steam users are currently playing Outlaws of the Old West (Updated July 15, 2024, 5:40 am)

Is Outlaws of the Old West Dead?

Outlaws of the Old West is not entirely dead. Still, with development having ceased prematurely and the developers leaving without so much as a word for greener pastures, it is as close to dead as any game can get while still having a pulse.

Is There Group Finding/Matchmaking Support?

Outlaws of the Old West offers the following matchmaking options:

  • Server Browser

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Outlaws of the Old West is unrated and contains the following:

  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Outlaws of the Old West is not entirely dead, with daily peaks of 40-50 players online, but the writing is on the wall, especially when there are so many active and better-supported survival games to choose from.

Is Outlaws of the Old West Worth Playing In 2024?

1
Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Outlaws of the Old West" a rating of 1/10, indicating that it may be either dead or mismanaged by the developer/publisher.

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