Review by baseball9265

"Almost certainly the best free game available for your PC"

When I first heard about Gunz, the day it came out, I was skeptical. It's a free, online only, 3rd person shooter. Sounds pretty cookie cutter, right? Wrong.

When I first played Gunz the thing that stood out the most to me was the acrobatics. Wallrunning, using a sword to climb walls, tumbling up and down corridors while blasting away, if it's in a Jackie Chan movie, you can do it in Gunz. A nice leveling system and a fairly good clan system keep players separated into skill levels and you don't usually meet people that are crazily better or worse then you. With a variety of weapons and armor to choose from and a good money system, new ways to fight give players something to aim for.

Gameplay

Gunz has some of the best gameplay I've ever seen, plain and simple. It takes a totally new approach to third person shooter combat by employing gravity defying acrobatic moves and a big variety of play styles. To start off, you'll have to pick a character, either male or female. There are 4 classes you can choose from, but the only difference they make is which weapons you start with. When you finally get into a server (it can be difficult at times due to the popularity and free nature of Gunz) you'll see that there are about 10 maps. They range from a tropical island to a prison to a gladiator arena. There are 3 maps that can be unlocked after you level up a bit. The levels range in size and layout so there is a good amount of strategy for each level. The items you can buy are fairly limited, but the game is still in beta after all. There are SMGs, Rifles, Pistols, Revolvers, Shotguns, Machine guns, and Grenade launchers. There are a few different models of each weapon, each more powerful (and expensive) then the last. You also have grenades, flashbangs, and smoke grenades, along with health kits and armor kits. There are 5 modes of gameplay available currently. Deathmatch is your average kill, die, respawn, repeat free for all. Team deathmatch is basically setting two teams of players against each other and the team that gets killed first loses. Gladiator is deathmatch with melee weapons only and team gladiator is like TDM but with melee weapons only. Assassination is like team deathmatch except the object is to kill the one person on the other team that is glowing.

What really sets Gunz apart is the many different ways of playing. You can Spray ‘n Pray with your sub machine gun and hope to hit something, you can master finger crunching, keyboard breaking pro moves like the slashshot and butterfly step and own “Korean” style, or you can hide behind the nearest pillar and try to stun people with your rusty dagger. Overall, the gameplay is a nice change from your average first person shooter and it's really well implemented.

The Controls are standard. The WASD keys to move and the mouse to aim. You cant map any different controls to the mouse, but if you want you can change the keyboard settings. The default controls work well for all the basic functions, though.

Story

Surprisingly enough, there's a rather extensive backstory to Gunz. Although it hardly has anything to do with the game itself, it can be found at the official gunz website, http://www.gunzonline.com

Graphics

The graphics are very good for this sort of game. Bullet holes, casings, and muzzle flashes all look very good, and the maps are all very good looking. The maps all feature dynamic lighting and a there is a shader option that can be turned on as well, although it doesn't work for all computers. The characters look good, even if their hands are a bit blocky. The facial features look nice and the people look realistic. All the clothing is nicely done and there are surprisingly few problems with different armor combinations. The weapons also look good, even though the different models of each weapon look almost identical to each other. The different movements flow good together and all the acrobatics look spectacular.

Sound

The music in Gunz is OK, but nothing special. It's mostly technoish, fast beat music that fits the mood of the game really well. There are only a few tracks, but while playing they aren't very noticeable at all, which is exactly how background music is supposed to be. All the effects are really nice. There is a distinct shooting sound for every weapon and there's a variety of sounds for close quarters sword battle. Bullet ricochets sound realistic, the swords make a nice “clang”, and the game makes a very satisfying noise after every kill.

Final thoughts

Gunz is a great, well made game. It's really addictive and is actually more fun to play then many expensive, pay to play games. It's still in BETA, so all the bugs haven't quite been worked out yet, but with so many more features to look forward to like quest mode, more items, and clan wars, you'll just want to keep playing.

Overall if you're undecided, just give it a try. It's free and only takes about an hour to download =D


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/18/05


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