is a good Western shooter that is well produced and
features a wealth of voice talent. Thank God that
the developers had the taste and the foresight not
to include Reba.
shooters are a rare breed, and thankfully so. Considering
how they saturated the movie and TV industry in the
mid part of the last century the videogame industry
is never safe from a similar flood. Fortunately the
few Western- themed games that have been released
have been of relative good quality. But as soon as
the industry notes that Westerns are selling you can
bet your ass we'll be seeing plenty of inferior product.
are a couple of main reasons we don't see a lot of
Western videogames. The first is that gamers are more
discerning than the average TV viewer of yesteryear.
The other reason is that games are pretty darn expensive
to produce and with no particular Western flagship
to pirate, developers are maintaining the status quo
and continue to churn out games based on obvious trends
and sequel of old faithfuls. It's doubtful that Gun
will herald a new trend but it's a refreshing pace
from shooting soldiers, aliens and monsters.
headed south of the border for this tale. That's my
border I'm talking about, Canada. Due South from where
I live is the wide-open State of Montana. It's beautiful
country, rivaling some of the most scenic in Canada.
More than a hundred years ago it was part of the untamed
West. Pioneers, ranchers, cowboys, miners, explorers
and drifters made their way to and through this State
on their way to seek their fortune - or face their
fate. Colton White was just a young lad when his father
threw him from a steamboat just moments before it
mysteriously exploded. When he was revived a number
of days later, Colton realized that his father had
actually saved his life and may himself have been
murdered. He was given a token to the Alhambra Saloon
before his father died. As he searches for answers,
so the game begins.
has a great story and it's presented with panache.
Cutscenes forge the path, interrupting the gameplay
to keep you abreast of developments. The gameplay
is open. You're not forced down a linear path. You
can explore the region and take on missions in any
order. If you prefer you can try your hand at ranching,
mining and hunting. Eventually you're going to have
to defend yourself and that's where the real fun comes
in. After all this game is called Gun and not Amish
are plentiful and run the gamut from pistols to rifles
including Colts, Winchesters, sharpshooter rifles
and machine guns. Other weapons include knives, tomahawks,
bayonets, dynamite and cannons. When you play on the
side of the Apache you will use bow and arrows. The
arrows can be flaming and can even be customized to
accuracy is very forgiving. It's very arcade-like.
The targeting reticle is huge and unless you're full
of the coffee jitters you're always going to be in
the ballpark. Headshots require a little more skill
and there are rewards for pulling them off. The first
reward is in the visual itself. Blowing heads apart
is a very gruesome prospect but you can't deny that
it looks really cool. Oh, I can just imagine some
senator getting a hold of that last sentence to add
fuel to his anti-violence campaign. Hey, we're beyond
that here. This is a game, not a militia recruitment
is the game's form of bullet time. With each and every
kill you will be rewarded with juice to fill the Quickdraw
meter which you can activate at any time. It's best
to use when you are surrounded as it's not very effective
against bosses. The bosses as you might expect are
the most difficult enemies in the game. They require
a lot of trial and error but eventually you'll discover
their patterns and it will be game over
the voice talents of Kris Kristofferson and Ron Perlman,
and an excellent script there is a gritty realism
that permeates the entire game not unlike Clint Eastwood's
1992 movie, Unforgiven. The West isn't glorified so
much as explored on a level that has more in common
with a documentary than anything with John Wayne in
it. Keep in mind that you still have to balance this
with an arcade-style of shooting.
scope of the environments are vast, but empty in this
free-roam open ended adventure. The game manages to
capture the essence of loneliness that was an unwelcome
but constant companion to many a traveler in those
days. The animation is a little stiff but the faces
have a perfect weathered and grizzled look to them
complete with appropriate expressions. Traveling on
horseback while shooting is a bit of challenge. That's
when you'll appreciate the forgiving targeting system.
You can always crank up the difficulty if you're looking
for more of a challenge.
fan of the old West is sure to appreciate the effort
that went into this game. Unraveling the mystery of
the storyline is also certain to capture the imagination
of a wide range of gamers. Gun may be a little rough
around the edges but remember mister, you don't order
a Crème de Menthe in a saloon if you want to
live to tell the tale.
this how the West will be won? Tony Hawk developers
Neversoft are looking to revolutionize Wild West gaming
with an ambitious title simply named, Gun. In Gun,
you take on the role of Colton White, a lone wolf
exacting revenge for the death of his father. To begin
the story, Colton and his pops are getting chased
down on a steamboat. Colton's dad then hands him a
medallion, telling Colton to look for a woman named
Jenny. Colton's dad begins pushing Colton over the
boat's edge, into the ocean, but not before he reveals
to Colton that he isn't Colton's real dad! Plat twist
aside, Neversoft is definitely doing what Red Dead
Revolver did for western games, and then some. With
Red Dead Revolver, you were stuck on what we call
the rail system. That means you were limited to a
pre-determined path, and went where the game took
you. With Gun, you have the freedom to roam freely,
much like the ever popular Grand Theft Auto, following
story missions or some of the more entertaining NPC
a free roaming western?" You ask. "But how
do we get the feeling of a western in this game?"
I thought you'd never ask!
didn't call it the Wild West for nothing. The Old
West was a time full of corruption, violence, sex
and best of all, alcohol. Well, just kidding about
the best of all part, we don't like advocating vice
here! However, Neversoft is definitely aimed towards
showcasing the violence of the west with its gameplay
and homemade physics engine. Gun will have you not
only galloping along on horses (made popular by upcoming
titles such as Shadows of the Colossus and Zelda:
The Twilight Princess), but you'll also be able to
attach dynamite to arrows, and use your tomahawk to
not only butcher your enemies, but to collect their
scalps as well.
nifty feature found in Gun is the Quick Draw mode.
Don't think for once that you could escape a western
game without calling out a yella belly'd varmit and
tellin him to "Reach fer the sky!" Quick
Draw mode isn't a feature that you can switch on and
off at your whim, you'll earn "points" with
your kills, such as head shots. When you've built
up enough of your Quick Draw meter, you'll exit the
3rd person view and enter 1st person, where time literally
slows down. Now that you're in the Matrix like bullet
time, you'll be able to pick and choose your shots
as your enemies slowly react.
Draw mode also gives you the freedom to mess with
your enemies. You can shoot the gun out of their hands
and then take the time to shoot the gun across the
room as its owner chases after it. You can also go
old school and shoot at the feet of the bad guy to
make him "dance."
looks like it will definitely take the cake for western
action games. Titles such as Samurai Western are going
to drown in competition with Neversoft's new baby.
The unique gameplay features and brute violence are
enough to get my blood pumping, and I'm sure yours
for the wild west to roar near you come November 8,
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater/Underground developers Neversoft
are tackling the Xtreme in a completely off-kilter
fashion. Gun is not about ollies, nollies or grinds;
it's all about "have gun, will travel".
The old west. The wild west. When men were men and
all that jazz. Neversoft is taking gamers back to
the 19th century and allowing them the freedom to
live out their personal cowboy and Indian...er, make
that Native American, fantasies.
will take the stage as Colton White, son of Ned White,
who have both lived their lives in Montana along the
Missouri River. A meeting aboard a steamboat sets
off a chain of events that will change Colton's life
forever - perhaps the least of which is the discovery
that Ned, the man you've called dear ol' dad all these
years, isn't really your father. Perhaps it's Darth
Vadar....but don't quote me on that. You'll spend
the rest of the game sorting out that little paternity
mystery while trying to keep your scalp, life and
everything else intact.
for the Xbox 360 as well as the consoles, Gun is one
of the most ambitious concepts Neversoft has tackled
in recent years. They're hard at work creating a living
breathing game world that streams without load times
and will take the players through mountains, forests,
prairies, rivers, cities, and allow travel by train,
foot, canoe and of course, horseback. What? No skateboard?'
We get the feeling that you shouldn't get too attached
to your "ride" (aka horse) as bad ass enemies
will often just shoot your trusty steed in hopes of
taking you out of the equation. We would like to take
this opportunity to mention that if you name your
horse "Epona" - even if you simply do it
mentally without being given the chance to name it
within the game world, we'll call you names and make
fun of you. Hey, we like Zelda probably even MORE
than you, but we consider that just a little "icky"
and fanboyish to exist within the realm of normalcy,
epic titles have touted the "good and/or evil"
gameplay mechanic and Gun is no different, although
it's approach to morality isn't exactly black and
white; which is consistent with historical accounts
of the way of life in the old west. Sometimes you
have to be cruel to be kind, sang pop crooner Rick
Springfield and during the era where most people were
uneducated and armed to the teeth, timeouts, indoor
voices and r-e-s-p-e-c-t weren't on the social graces
menu. You drank whiskey, fought with anyone who looked
at you sideways and dealt out 6 gun justice at the
drop of a ten gallon hat. Sort of like the way rappers
run their lives today. Back in the days when Jesse
James and Wild Bill Hickock ruled the badlands, one
day you were a mean-spirited cold-hearted killer and
the next you were a knight in shining armor saving
the town from bank robbing bandits, perhaps only to
leave the opportunity open for yourself once the competition
was dealt with.
has mentioned that the player will have five skills
to hone during the game: Horse-riding, Health, Melee,
Quick Draw and Gunhandling. The progression of these
skills will be directly tied to the numerous side-missions
in Gun. Players may opt to plow through the story
mode, but they will sorely miss out on the necessary
skills required later on to make those tough spots
a little more palatable. While most of these skills
are self-explanatory, Quick Draw mode might get the
attention of gamers raised on Max Payne. Quick Draw
mode is the obligatory "slow mo bullet time"
mode, found in todays popular action titles. While
it suspends the realism of the game in the short term,
it ramps up playability a thousandfold and makes gunfights
inherently much more entertaining and interesting
to say the least, especially when you take in to consideration
the realistic physics Neversoft hath bestowed upon
you. Yepp, you can blow bodies and body parts all
over the dang place. Hang 'em high, fellas.
been told that side missions will include everything
from hunting wildlife (expect bears, wolves, cougars
and rabid bunnies to roam the land) to escorting trains,
robbing banks and cleaning up entire towns as Sheriff.
Sounds great! We're just happy to play a game that
doesn't require bathing due to the relaxed hygiene
requirements of the late 1880s.
chomping at the bit to play the final version on the
Xbox 360. Neversoft has explained that while the X360
version of Gun will play similar to the other console
versions, it will see a definite increase in resolution,
framerate, normal mapping, dynamic lighting and character
West is about to get a whole lot wilder this Fall.
Stay tuned and as always, keep those 6 guns shiny
and that chip on your shoulder firmly planted in case
some hayseed gives you the stinkeye.
X360, PS2, GC, X
Release: Nov 2005
Review by Cole
(OUT OF 5)