STAFF REVIEW of Gun (Xbox 360)

Saturday, November 19, 2005.
by Stephen Cameron

Gun Box art Back in 1997, Lucasarts came out with a title called ?Outlaws?, it gave us one of the first (from memory) old west action/adventure first person shooter on the PC! Unfortunately, there was some sort of dry spell for a few years with nothing of this genre in sight. Then , in 2002, Atari decides that they should bring it back, thus creating ?Dead Man?s Hand?, that showed us that the Unreal engine was not just for futuristic titles, it was released for our beloved Xbox and PC. Shortly thereafter, our ?problem child? Rockstar released ?Red Dead Revolver? soon after, which coined a matrix shooting-style for killing bad guys. These are all commercial products, but there were also a few free western style Unreal mods, released for the PC thereafter, free is good!

Anyways, enough with the history lessons...These types of games seem to have a few things in common, cowboys, prostitutes, gold digging, prostitutes, killing Indians, more prostitutes, oh, and a great story line. Although, the plots all seem to have the same sort of ?Hey, you killed someone I like, now you must die!? theme, they all seem to still draw us in anyways. I guess there?s a Clint Eastwood ?wanna-be? dying to come out of the closet in all of us after all.

Gun, what does that title mean? It doesn?t say very much actually. Well, it involves a weapon like most games. In this case it involves an old one. Have I sold you on this, yet? I didn?t think so. Keep reading.

GUN is a spaghetti western gone digital! And it tastes good! The game starts you off with a nice little hunting trip with your dad (so you think), where he trains you in the art of gun slinging! YAY! He takes you hunting for quail, wolf, elk, and then the wolves come back, etc?Oh and bear too. It?s harder than it looks boys and girls. Trust me. I never thought pulling out a gun at 600 mph could be this tough and fun at the same time. Then, all of a sudden the game takes a turn for the worse. All of which, ends your little hunting trip pretty quick.

The story consists of you playing a character named Colton White, and that your supposed father gets killed, and he tells you with his last breath to seek out this girl (prostitute) in Dodge City, and ask her about a coin he just gave you. Don?t worry; I?m not giving away any spoilers here. The game pushes you thru mission after mission, but the interesting part is that you have the option of taking to a wide variety of side mission in order to receive; you guessed it, gold/cash. The gold/cash (like most games) allows you to buy better crap like guns, ammo, etc?.

A few things in this game that I want to point out before I forget, the developers got the horse ridding thing down. It feels right. Going fast, going slow, turning, etc... It also holds true (not that I was there or anything) to the social lingo of that area, nobody was politically correct back then. So, if you are offended by racial comments and stuff, just remember, you are playing a historically accurate title here. The developers here were NOT trying to offend people like other publishers try to do.

The game has a pretty good free roaming world, which some titles of this genre seem to ?cheap-out? on. Don?t get me wrong here, you can?t ride off into the sunset or anything, it is a linear title, but they do a good job of making you believe it?s not.

While equipped with a bow during the course of the game it made me feel I was playing Turok or something, this is not a bad thing, but it was a weird feeling not seeing a dinosaur run by.

At this point of the review I did not have a chance complete the entire game (Due to all the XBA updates). But let me tell you that the graphics look pretty sweet at 720p High Definition; unfortunately, the character models are kind of low in the polygon department. I noticed every once and a while a bit of ?gun shaking?, or character seizures on the up-close cut-scenes, but this was not a show stopper. Overall, the cut-scenes could have been a bit better. The in-game graphics looked very nice though, it was hard to tell if they just ported over the models from the Xbox version or not. Trust me I was lookin?!

In the sound department, the in-game sounds were very polished. Although, the soundtrack was kept at low key, what I mean by this is that they really didn?t play up the spaghetti western flavor of music. It would have been nice to have a more western-ish whistling and guitar flavored variety of tunes in there. I think it would have helped the player (me) get more into mood for this game. But, again, overall this was not a show stopper, so it faired out.

Lastly, GUN is a really attractive Xbox 360 launch title; even though the game suggests that you are playing the role a ?son of a bitch? every once and a while. I highly recommend dropping your hard earned cash on this exceptional Activision & Neversoft title, if you are into this western-ish genre or like games with a good story. It?s for you.

My notes to the developers, I would have liked to have seen a multiplayer shoot out of some sort in the game, or a draw between two players, to see who the fastest one is. But, I think lag was the main reason these didn?t make it in, maybe next time. Enjoy!

Overall: 9.2 / 10
Gameplay: 9.4 / 10
Visuals: 8.0 / 10
Sound: 8.4 / 10


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