El Paso, Elsewhere review for PC, Xbox

Platform: PC
Also on: Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Publisher: Strange Scaffold
Developer: Strange Scaffold
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

To say that El Paso, Elsewhere leans heavily on its influences would be a bit of an understatement. It’s a Max Payne homage with tons of drugs, lots of bullet-time shooting, and PS1-era graphics…so, Max Payne, but not, I guess?

That’s being a little unfair, of course, for a few reasons.

First off, the vampires. El Paso, Elsewhere’s story revolves around you fighting your way through floor after floor of werewolves, demons and and other monsters, all to get to their leader, a vampire named Draculae – who also happens to be the ex-girlfriend of the game’s protagonist, James Savage. Because you’re battling so many undead nightmares, not only are you equipped with Uzis and handguns, you’ll also need lots and lots of stakes, which adds a bit of close-quarters combat that the Max Payne games never really had.

On top of that, while El Paso, Elsewhere’s gameplay may be straight out of the ‘90s, its soundtrack is much more modern – think pulsating, driving horror-rap that acts as a perfectly intense score to gunning and stabbing hordes of monsters.

If there’s a criticism to be made of El Paso, Elsewhere, it’s that it all kinds of blends together after awhile – which kind of makes sense, seeing as you’re fighting your way through a couple of dozen floors of monsters. Sure, the monsters vary a little, and the game takes place in a reality-shifting hotel which means that it gets awfully weird, but basically, you’d better enjoy what you see in the first level, because you’ll be seeing a lot of it.

Good thing, then, that I liked that first level – and, more importantly, that I liked Max Payne, because that’s pretty much a prerequisite for enjoying El Paso, Elsewhere. It may be a little short on originality, but all in all, it’s fun enough that it’s pretty easy to overlook that.

Strange Scaffold provided us with an El Paso, Elsewhere PC code for review purposes.

Grade: 8