Hey Jason, where you going with that gun in your hand?
Fri, 30 June 2006
And here we have yet another game from the previous generation of consoles getting a tart-up in the graphics department and being released for the mighty Xbox 360. This was one game I had always meant to check out, but never actually got to, however the hand of god (or the hand of Sammy) has reached down from above and presented me with this "grand theft auto wild west" if you will. Is it a poker hand of five aces, or the contents of the spittoon in the saloon? Read on!
As many of you will know, Gun is developed by Neversoft who spend most of their time pumping out the mostly excellent Tony Hawk series. Just off the top of my head, the last non-Tony Hawk game they developed was a Spider-man game for the original PlayStation (don't quote me on that, on very rare occasions I can be wrong :)).
Gun follows the story of Colton White, a man just workin' hard to make a livin', huntin' and trackin; with his old man Ned, until the day where his life is turned upside down; Ned is killed and, as you would expect, Colton sets out to deliver vengeance, old west style.
|The Beverly Hillbillies were sick of being laughed at |
You've probably guessed by now that this game owes a lot to Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series and while some people may criticize for lack of originality, I sez "if it aint broke don't fix it". Of course, this time the wild west setting puts a different spin on things and if anything this one's a tiny bit more linear than a GTA game.
You have your story missions, with Colton escorting damsels in distress, disposing of corrupt officials and generally righting wrongs and fighting oppression. That all seems ok on the surface but at some point you're going to come across a situation you cant handle, this is where the side missions come in. For every one you complete you get a RGP like increase in stats, so you can cause more damage, have a greater amount of health etc. (also of note is the health pickup in this game - no first-aid boxes or crap like that here - when Colton needs some healin', he reaches for his trusty whiskey bottle).
The side missions also have a reasonable amount of variety, offering things such as bounty hunting, pony express riding, being a ranch hand, game hunting and even a Texas hold em poker game.
Graphically, this doesn't exactly scream next gen, although ugly it isn't. The animations are smooth and the whole game seems to be covered in a gritty texture that only enhances the overall feel. Sound wise the game also does itself proud, all the background music and effects really add to the whole (insert favorite generic western here) feel.
|They call me the "Duck of Death" |
If you're going to be dispensing justice, you'll need some weapons and, as you would expect, our man Colt is (eventually) armed to the teeth. He has a pistol (starting off with a six shooter) for close range stuff and a slightly more innovative take on the phenomenon that is "bullet time", a rifle, a shotgun, a sniping rifle, dynamite, an apache tomahawk and others. Several of these weapons are upgraded throughout the game, with better replacements being taken from dead bosses.
Gun manages to be an engrossing tale of the old west, and proves that Xbox 360 games (or games in general) don't have to look earth shattering to be enjoyable. Also, if you can get your hands on the double pack with Tony Hawk's American Wasteland; together they represent outstanding value for dollars.
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Saddle up and take a tour through the old west and feel free to spin and holster your controller