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Review: GUN - Xbox 360

by Steven Williamson on 24 December 2005, 10:02

Tags: Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI), Shoot 'em up

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The Good

The Wild West was a formidable place full of intrigue, suspense, loose women, whiskey, poker and dawn showdowns. There have been many games that have attempted to capture the feel of this era, including Outlaws, Desperados and Red Dead Revolver. All of these games failed in some way. None of them gave us the whole package. All of these games had some elements that added a sense of attachment to a bygone day but none incorporated all the things that make Wild West style games totally believable

Great gameplay, intense realistic shootouts, horse riding, busty maidens, poker and jail breaks are just some of the things that you will discover in Activision’s Western shooter, GUN. But does it really capture the true spirit of the Wild West?

Players are thrust into the spurs of Colton White, a rugged alpha male with nerves of steel and a penchant for danger. The game is played in the third person and you’ll experience everything that made the Wild West a gritty, sleazy, dangerous place to live, as you battle through action packed missions and side missions. You'll explore a GTA-style wide-open world where being a bounty hunter, a rancher, a miner or a delivery man are amongst the many talents that you will need to succeed in this tough land.

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The game beings in 1880 where you live with your father on the banks of the Missouri River and earn money by hunting game for the Steamboats that travel by. Your first mission is a standard training exercise that eases you into the action. Through a series of prompts you’ll learn how to kill stag, quail, wolves and even a grizzly bear. These are easy tasks that help you to get your shooting angles in check ready for the main action.

Your first real mission begins on board a steamboat called the ‘Morning Star’. The boat is under attack and you’ll have the chance to use your quick draw function to quickly see off the looters who are determined to leave no one alive. You’ll jump on a boat’s cannon and blast the approaching keel boats into pieces before heading back to the deck to take on more gun weilding assassins. As the mission ends, once you’ve finally killed all of the assailants, you learn that your Father has been hiding the truth from you for many years. He gives you a token for the Alhambra Saloon and tells you to speak to Jenny – a two-bit whore from Dodge City. This is where the story really begins and you set off on your trusty horse for the mean streets of Dodge City where danger lurks around every corner.

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With a name like Gun, you would expect epic battles, and this game doesn’t disappoint. Throughout Colton’s journey you will fight enemies on foot, from the top of a stagecoach, and from horseback. This is a free-roaming game with numerous side missions that whet your appetite for the epic cowboy showdowns that occur in the main missions. The world reflects the tough life of the American Frontier, where men dominated and women followed. Gun is a Wild West experience that delivers on the whole but is also littered with small annoyances that prevent the game from being one of the great Western games.