Review by DandyQuackShot
"A Game As Short As Its Title"
Gun is a very short title for a game. That short title can lead one to think that this game could consist of a whole sort of things. The cover art to this game is not much consolation either, but closer examination will show you that Gun is an Old Western game that is all about shooting and revenge killings. Gun is a very fun game to play and you can get into it quickly, but everything about this game comes up short. Not only is the main plot of this game short, but so are the side quests as well as the area you play on in this game. Gun is a one stop map that consists of the entire Western half of the United States territory and somehow is able to roll up everything in one single area. It's like playing a game of war and stepping one foot in France and the other in Russia. I really do not like to hate on this game as much as I have to because it is a very engrossing game for the few hours it lasts. I am not sure whether this game was developed in a rush or if there was just something I missed about this game, but it starts off really well with great graphics and music so it is hard to say why this game goes wrong. Gun was also released for the Xbox 360 and saw little to no improvement there so I assume it is the same game for the 360 as it is for the Xbox. There are a lot of other things you can do in Gun that make it somewhat fun to pursue, but where Gun goes wrong is in the highly cliched and flawed story as well as the very small expanse of territory you can cover in the game. Some side quests exist to forestall the imminent brevity of the conclusion of the game, but they do not succeed in giving you much replay value as well as the open ended game you get once you have finished the main story of Gun.
To have a great story a game should play out just like a good novel or book. It needs no detectable cliches and most certainly should rely on historical accuracy if it is going to be a historical plot. Of course the plot is not exactly historical nonfiction, but there are still a lot of innaccuracies. Time is once again a casualty when you try to determine how the gruff and scruffy character you play is not an adolescent according to the dates mentioned in the game. Other small factors play in with time as well. Anyway the story starts off nicely. I could not think of a better opening to this game than fighting a grizzly bear. After surviving the bear you then have to survive an attack on a steamboat involving some very sickly looking Union soldiers and a crazy and even more sickly looking preacher and from there the plot just gets more crazy and twisted as you go along. Just think of every Western movie plot you can think of and put into a game that lasts a few hours and this is the product of it all. It is a complex plot, but it will mostly involve shooting up gangs of bad guys and ultimately leading to a quest to find the City of Lost Gold. Sound familiar? That's a device used in just about EVERY Western game.
Gun does gain some recognition from me as the most violent Western game to date. If the opening video is not any indication to you with demon-eyed natives hacking Spanish priests to death then you can probably tell that this is not one for the kids. And the violence does not get any easier from there. There are some pretty disturbing moments in the game, but game play wise, you can deal a lot of damage yourself. You can blow bandits to bits, blow off limbs and heads-pretty graphic stuff. Horseback riding is essential and the controls are very easy to get used to, but if you run your horse to death it is back to all on foot until you reach the next town. You can even blow your horse up as well as put it down more conventionally if you are into animal cruelty. Between the horseriding and gun blasting you can take a break from it all by sitting down to a game of cards. You can earn money this way by playing Poker and if run out of money then you can simply get mad and start shooting up the saloon. Killing innocent bystanders does not get you penalized except for the fact that the local townsfolk will rally up and gang up on you. Unfortunately they are rather easy to dispatch as well and when the violence is over you are back to being an accepted member of society all over again. The odd thing about this game is the map you play on. Somehow Gun is able to put the entire West and Southwestern territory into one small area so that you will come back to fight Indians in the Colorado mountains where you woke up from being blasted off the steamboat in Mississippi. So it does not make much sense at all.
Gun does very well in this area. Gun is a very scenic game as it should be and there is a day/night perspective that goes on in the game although it does not affect the plot. Most of the characters are detailed, but they will look mostly the same. What I could not understand is what happened to the Union fort and the soldiers that run it. These guys look like they had a zombie virus outbreak and are hard to look at without laughing. In fact you will have to take this fort on by yourself and take care of the zombie soldier army. The Indians are typical stereotypical Indians and will whoop and holler before being put down by your six shooter. Eventually they will become your allies after you have nearly wiped them out. There are a lot of outlaws and bandits to deal with and every one of them are going to have to be shot so always be prepared when you come up on a gang. The bad guys will look really bad so the game is not all that realistic looking although the scenery is really nice in some areas. The music is done really well and there is an awesome soundtrack to the game while playing through. The sound effects work out well for all of the shooting and stuff that you will be blowing up. There is also a lot of professional voice overs for the characters and plenty of dialogue to go along and Tom Jane will be your narrator so that is a big plus.
Gun hurts in its replay value. While you have a few side quests like hunting as well as bounty hunting these things are something you won't go back to do if you beat the game. More than likely you will do these things during the game since they involve getting better weapons and earning money. You can also sit down to a game of cards which becomes another way to earn quick money besides running down bandits and horse thieves. The game is very short and once you beat it there really is no reason to go back and replay it. This game could have afforded to carry some extra story lines or alternate endings, but instead it leaves you with a lot of dead outlaws and not much satisfaction.
Final Recommendation 6/10
What Gun lacks in a developed story and shortness, it tries to make up for in massive amounts of violence. It is very easy to see where this game goes wrong and although it starts off great it goes rolling completely downhill from there. I bought this game for my brother for Christmas as one of those impulse buys. I wasn't disappointed because it is a great game to get addicted to, but the addiction gets cut short with the not so lengthy story. Is it worth the buy? Well Gun would be a great rental. But it is such a short game that it is not worth the buy at all. Unfortunately Western genre games keep falling into the same hole of clichés, bad or odd map layouts, and an uncanny desire to find the City of Lost Gold.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 08/14/08
Game Release: Gun (US, 11/08/05)
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