Review by GodOfWarFanatic
A truly cinematic experience that you wish would last longer.
I played it on the PS2 a couple months after its launch date and I enjoyed it a lot. I then saw that it got ported over to the 360. Well, not exactly "ported" since it was scheduled to release on the GC, PC, PS2, Xbox, and Xbox 360, but the 360 version came out a few days later. Not really important though. However, you get the point, I played the PS2 version first (January of 2006) and I played the 360 version in the midst of last year (2007) I got to play GUN once again and I was filled with much more joy than my previous experience on the PS2. I can't really say why, maybe it was because of a different control scheme (Being as I like the 360 controller better than the PS2 controller). I mean the graphics were improved a bit over it's Xbox counterpart, but hardly noticeable. It was just more polished. Everything, besides switching to a different controller and the graphics, were exactly the same. The missions, side-missions, guns, whatever were all still there, which filled me with nostalgic experiences.
Now Neversoft, famous for the Tony Hawk Professional Skateboarder series, decided to not develop an extreme sports games in their new installment. Instead, they decided to go with a wild-west themed third-person shooter. And boy, were people surprised. Normally, you'd think a company famous for skateboarding games would screw up a new take on an incredibly different genre, but they didn't. They created one of the most cinematic games in history that is very entertaining, but suffers from one of my biggest pet peeves...which I will explain later.
GUN has not just have one of the best revenge stories in gaming, but one of the best revenge stories in all of gaming, movies, and literature. Usually, I hate generic storylines, which revenge stories usually fall into, but a revenge story as deep as this deserves no less than a perfect score. You're Colton White, you're basically a hunter and you help your father, Ned, hunt and collect furs, in which you sell. Now you are on a steamboat shortly after the "hunting" trip (Which is the tutorial in the game). Spoiler Alert! I will put them in parenthesis, but this is within like the first 10 minutes of the game, and if you don't read them, you'll problem be confused on what I'll explain later. (A gang, if you want, invades the boat. You fend the attackers off, one-by-one, and eventually, you'll go to the top deck and help Ned fend off more attackers. In the midst, something wrong happens. Ned is injured and tells you to take a coin, go to Dodge City, and ask for Jenny. But the thing that surprises both you and Colton is: Ned is not your father. He tells you to jump off the boat, Ned stays and dies) End of the "spoiler."
In case you didn't read it, we'll fast forward. You have to go to Dodge City and talk to a girl named Jenny. You don't know why yet, but you're just supposed to go to the bar in Dodge that she works at. But that's just the beginning. It's hard to tell the story without spoiling practically the whole game. Just know that Colton is on a mission for revenge and there are many twists and turns. If this was made into a movie, if done good, it'd probaly be the first video-game based movie to win an academy award. The story is THAT good.
Like I said in the summary, the graphics are improved over it's Xbox counterpart, but not significantly. It's just more polished. The color is very important to the game, just one look at the background and you'll know its a Wild-West game, without looking at the old buildings. The graphics are indeed good, but not jaw-dropping. However, for a sandbox game, I'm surprised the framerate is consistent and how detailed some of the things are.
This game is kind of bloody, but it has some graphic violence that are depicted well. It sounds like I'm complaining, but I'm not. Say you blow somebodies head clean off, on occasion you can see an eyeball fly out and it's like what you see in the movies. That "stem" thing and all (sorry, I'm not a Science geek). Even minimal details like that are definitely a nice add-on and are created well.
The guns looks very good. As do the horses. Also, the animations are created incredibly well, especially when you're on a galloping horse. Graphics and animations are good, but they probaly could be a bit better.
Aside from a mind-blowing story, it also has a great (I emphasize "great) cast. Thomas Jane as Colton, Kris Kristofferson as Ned, along with many other famous actors like; Ron Perlman, Lance Henriksen, and Brad Dourif. It has the greatest voice-acting since Grand Theft-Auto Vice City.
Jeez, with the incredible voice-acting, I don't pay deep attention to the sound effects. With the good story and amazing voice-overs, this is really like a movie.
Not as mind-blowing as the story and the voice-acting, but it's still incredible. It's a Wild-West sandbox game. So obviously, you're in third person view. For vehicles, you have horses, which control incredibly and responsively. Obviously you use guns, which there are many of that you unlock throughout the duration. Including explosives, bow and arrow, and melee weapons. You can upgrade practically everything from your weapons to your horse, but of course you have to pay for it. Also, for pride reasons, you can "scalp" people. You can probaly figure out what it is.
The main-story missions are all cinematic and always serve a moral purpose, meaning it has a significant impact within the game. Unlike many games, they aren't as repetitive. There is sometimes simple puzzle-solving, mainly just shooting at barrels, and for the sake of many peoples entertainment, there is killing. There is much more variety than that, so feel free to get your hopes up. As many sandbox games, you can do a variety of side-missions. Everything from Pony Express, to Texas Hold 'Em tournaments, to helping farmers, and to arrest or kill wanted people (Sometimes it's required that you arrest or kill them, but mainly it's one or the other. You get more money by arresting them however). For health, you drink the good 'ol whiskey. Which again, you can upgrade so it fills up more of your health.
Now earlier, I said "They created one of the most cinematic games in history that is very entertaining, but suffers from one of my biggest pet peeves...which I will explain later." If you haven't guessed it yet, which is somewhat sad, it's that this game is short. You could complete this in 1-2 days, easily. That's why I don't do the majority of the side missions until I'm finished the main storyline so I have much more stuff to do afterwards. Aside from that, the game is excellent.
Final Rating: 9/10
-The storytelling is incredible, as with the voice-acting.
-It was surprisingly good, coming from a company famous for making skateboarding games.
-The nice variety of guns and other weapons will please anyone.
-The missions, for the most part never get boring since it mixes them up a little.
-The controls are flawless.
-Graphics are more polished, but nothing worth creaming your pants about.
-I normally hate wild-west games (And movies for that matter). Not in this case.
-Worthy of being an academy-award winning movie, if ever made.
-The boss battles are pretty epic.
-It's too short. I wish it wouldn't of ended so soon!
-Being on the 360, they could have added more extras and missions.
-One boss battle will really piss you off.
All in all, GUN is an incredible game. It blends a perfect revenge story in wild-west themes and makes a near flawless game. Personally, I think it's underrated. It's a game every gamer should experience (If you're a fan of westerns (Movies and games) or any kind of shooter). But due to and extremely short, but an extremely entertaining, storyline, I'd just give this game a rent. It could really be beaten in 6-8 hours and that's sad for a sandbox game.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Gun (US, 11/16/05)
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