Evil West is one of the best games I’ve seen at Gamescom so far. The game – which only very recently caught a delay into November 2022 – is being developed by Flying Wild Hog (who you may know from Shadow Warrior and Hard Reset) and has seriously impressed me with its German showing this week.
But those impressions are for another day. In the meantime, there’s good news for players that are terrified of spiders – all 420 million of us. Our eight-legged ‘friends’ can be turned off completely in the game, if you so wish. And that’s a good thing, because there’s a lot of them in there – the little bastards have a connection to the unstable and arcane magic at the center of the game’s story, so you’ll find them nesting in many of the places you’ll need to explore.
Flying Wild Hog is the latest developer to factor arachnophobia into its production: back in 2020, Kill It With Fire allowed players to mitigate the spider-yness of the insects by turning them into things that looked more like soft toys. 2021’s Webbed (in which the main character is a spider!) introduced an option that instead turned your protagonist into a cute little blob with eyes, instead. Perhaps the most high-profile game in this sphere, Grounded, has had the option to turn spiders from eight-legged nightmares and into floating dual blobs since 2020.
So, games are getting better at this. When asked about why Flying Wild Hog wanted to give players the option to remove the creatures, Flying Wild Hog’s Tomasz Gop told me “it’s all about accessibility”. Per Gop, the studio simply wanted to add the option to let players take away the spiders if they give them too much of an ick.
Though it comes with a warning: “There will still be some spider things in there,” he notes. “There will be places where there will webs, and there will be enemies that have spider-like inspiration in their designs.” We were also told there will be a boss that may have spider-like traits, but this was a little more vague. From what I could gather, the worst of the spider-fear triggers – little scuttling things running about and swarming – will disappear completely if the option to remove them is turned on.
It’s nice to know Flying Wild Hog is doing right by arachnophobes the world over, and it’s a pleasure to know I’ll be able to enjoy Evil West without my skin crawling every time I force my way into a gloomy, magic-ridden cave.
It’s a shame I still have to deal with fingercreepers in Elden Ring, though.
Evil West launches for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S on November 22, 2022