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Review by: Greg Niehaus
Published: December 7, 2005
Here’s something to ponder: how many games can you think of that take place in the old west? I’m willing to bet not many. Now take the smattering of western titles you can think of, and pick out all the ones you would say should define a genre. You don’t even have enough for one handful do you? Guess what; now you have one.
The newest game developed by Neversoft (the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater guys) is by far a step in a different direction, but it is definitely a good one.
Gun takes you back to an age when the world was bigger, men were scruffier and the law was written by the wealthy on the backs of the common man. You take the role of a young man named Colton White, whose day out hunting with his Pa takes a turn for the worse when the steamboat they are on is attacked by renegade soldiers, and Colton is confronted by the fact that his Pa is not his father after all. Then the boat blows up, and all he has is a token to a brothel and a name: Jenny (a purveyor of the world’s oldest profession).From here on in you are left with only your wits and your guns to help you follow the trail to the people responsible for making your life extremely difficult.
At the start of the game, you are given a hunting rifle, six-shooter and a knife to bring down your foes. As you progress, you collect more weapons (such as shotguns, bows, sharpshooters and explosives) from the people you defeat and can upgrade the overall performance of your firearms through modifications purchased from vendors in various places.
Speaking of foes and firearms, there are many time when you will confront way more enemies at one time than you may want to. In these instances, push a button and zoom into first person quick draw mode. Much like the “focus” feature in THPS, quick draw slows the game for a brief time and gives the player a chance to drill each opponent with a well aimed head shot from their handguns. This is a godsend in a tight spot, and after a while it’s just nice to rush a group while alternating between quick draw and your rifle to see how badly you can decimate the enemy.
A free roaming environment, Gun offers up a pretty good assortment of activities for you to pursue while you ready yourself to confront your tormentors. Collect on bounties, herd cattle, play lawman, ride for the Pony Express, mine gold and even play poker to increase your stats and fatten your wallet. Ride on your own too long, and you may be attacked by bandits. This title does a pretty good job rounding out the gunslinger experience.
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