Two things are certain: death and bourbon.
What drew me instantly to Secret Ponchos was its style. There's not much that beats an old Western game or movie. So for my first taste of E3 2013, I decided to try out Switchblade Monkeys' newest title in development.
Currently working off the Unity Engine (not yet set in stone), movement and game play has shown to be very responsive. Before even getting into actual combat, simply running around, firing weapons into the air, and getting a feel for the controls is smooth. At first glance, this reminded me of Renegade Ops except, obviously, for cowboys (and cowgirls respectively) instead of cars. And that it is catering specifically for online play only.
What stands out particularly about this downloadable title is the artistic graphics centered around each character and the backgrounds surrounding them. The animations, though at times cartoonish, have a particular flair that still allow for immersion. It's a joy to watch, particularly at the end of a match when the main protagonist twirls his gun, in badass form, gracefully into his holster.
So far the idea is for Secret Ponchos to be continually updated so that it will be ready for play anytime we get the hankering, an experience that keeps itself fresh even after hours and hours of play. New characters, and possibly weapons, will be available for download every few weeks or so, in order to keep the palate satisfied.
Secret Ponchos also sports swanky game modes that are sure to keep fans interested. You can [lay anywhere from 1-vs-1 to 4-vs-4, as well as an 8-player free-for-all. Fight settings will also allow you to tweak winning rules — time battle, first to X amount kills, and lives lost are all presented. With each game won, "rep" points are added to your accumulative total which are stored for spending on leveling up your character. Supplementing these rep points is the feature of betting those points. If you feel you are proficient enough in combat and want to level up faster, you can put your money where you mouth is and bet some points in a one-on-one battle. But remember, if you lose, those points are gone (just like last week's bets in Vegas).
If you want to be the best outlaw there is, leaderboards are available and checking out who's the "most wanted" is just a flick away on the analog stick. But be weary of being the next Jesse James; bounties will be put on your head if you're at the top, and those who kill you will gain notoriety of their own.
Secret Ponchos, for the time being, is strictly for PS4 but the developers hope that the game will join the PC world somewhere in the near future. Luckily, the graphics are already spot-on, but there's plenty to grow from here before this is released hopefully in early 2014.