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Game review: Gun

01 Dec 2005

Straight off the mark – seeing Neversoft as the developers behind this game would be very encouraging to those familiar with their past titles. However Gun couldn’t be any more different to the Tony Hawk series – instead they have put their stirrups on to bring the treacherous, deceitful world of the Wild West to life. Activision have put a lot of resources into this title and have complete faith in the end product as well. This can be seen in the hired voice talent which was secured before game development even began - including The Punisher’s Thomas Jane, Kris Kristofferson (Blade), Lance Henriksen (Aliens) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy), to name a few from the cast. But Gun not only received quality voices that could act, it also got a workable storyline and a good enough graphics engine to make in-game cinematics that match.

As for the story, it all focuses around an everyday man, Colton White. He’s a pretty simple character when we meet him out in the wilderness with his dad, Ned, just trying to make ends meet and hunting some wild beasts. However in a gunfight that occurs soon after – we find out that Colton’s past isn’t so simple after all, as Ned tells Colton that Ned isn’t daddy and that things aren’t what they seem at all. With Ned joining the dearly departed, Colton is spurred on to a journey of self-discovery and revenge. Like many games since the introduction of the GTA series - Gun is more or less non-linear with plenty of jobs and missions in the Wild West for a man with a horse who is fast on the draw to embark on. In fact, the gigs you pick up along the way are equivalent to side-quests in the adventure, allowing Colton to improve his marksmanship, hand-to-hand, and quickdraw skills. To push you along with the storyline, there are plenty of in-game cinematics and PS2 owners will be happy to hear that they are both colourful and detailed – even when compared to the XBox platform. The end result however will be staggering for PC and XBox 360 owners.

Essentially, the game offers a good mix of intense shooting action, adventure action and some nice relaxing rides atop your trusted steed. Combine that mix with a control scheme that really works – yes, even riding horses is fun – and you have a game that really lets you forget about how your hands are interfacing with the artificial world on the screen in front of you. Combat and gunfights are nicely executed with basic controls and a slightly different take on a bullet-time effect where you have seconds of slowed-down time to quickly draw and react to your enemies is a heap of fun. Weapons are a plenty as well – from shotguns to rifles and even limb-wrenching dynamite can be used to devastate large groups of foes. Not one for the minors – but a must for any Clint Eastwood wannabes.