Hands-on: The Bad, The Ugly, and the Sober

The Bad, The Ugly, and the Sober is an upcoming point n’ click western adventure game from Akella. The story is pretty straight-forward — you play a farmer named Jack who encounters a bunch of bandits after saving an injured Indian. After his farm gets burned down, Jack goes after the bandits.

Much like any 3D adventure game, the game is played through a variety of animated 3D screens with plenty of things to examine and pick up and plenty of people to talk too. The gameplay itself is not too hard since objectives are laid out pretty clearly and there’s not a lot of things to pick up and miss.




You start off in front of you freshly burnt farm, where you can spend a few moments admiring the 3D animated background. One thing that the game is being advertised as is having "over 35 visually beautiful locations," and "animated backgrounds," according to the game’s official site. The visual styles drastically clash against each other, so some things were just unpleasant to look at.

While smoke was billowing in the air, the scene was pretty barren. A farmer who saw the fire is the first NPC you speak with and he tells you that a stagecoach heading to a nearby city is close by, so you should jump on-board to get some answers. The next screen showcases a skeleton of a person who expired in the desert sun; after looting, you pick up an ID card of the deceased fellow and a dull-pocketknife. These two seemingly random items are a clear example of an early puzzle, so after you solve that one, you’re well on your way into the first chapter.




As I mentioned previously, the game tends to mix two art styles together. For example, Jack is rendered rather detailed like an actual person while the Indian he meets is styled like your typical cartoon, so it’s kind of weird at first glance.

I never found an adventure game fun if it involved painful and close examination of the screen for that one pixel that resembles the totally random item you need in order to continue. Thankfully, The Bad, The Ugly, and the Sober is not terribly hard in this regard, but I found the preview to be pretty awkward since it was still in its original German. The subtitles obviously helped, but at this stage a lot of the translation work isn’t fully completed yet, so there’s a lot of instances where you read a line and go, "What?"




Overall, I’ve played better European adventure games, such as Runaway, so The Bad, The Ugly, and the Sober may not be for the U.S. audience. Since the build I played suffered from rough translations problems, I feel that only the European crowd will benefit from the game, unless a very drastic overhaul is done in the English department. The story looks solid and it seems to have some decent adventure gameplay, but the little things all add up.

The Bad, The Ugly, and the Sober is currently out in Europe but will make its way to the U.S. sometime in the spring, hopefully with gamer friendly subs.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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