Let me just start by telling you that I am a huge Western film fan. I often wondered why westerns don’t get ported into video games, as they are a an absolutely perfect fit. Well today we are going to check out one of the only games to use the Wild West theme in 2005, which is also one of the launch titles for the Xbox 360. The game is simply called Gun, and it tries to combine all the great elements of the Wild West into a great action game. So does this amount to a great game? Read our full review to find out!
For the connoisseur, the most important part of any western movie is the story. And the developers realize this and gave the story its deserved attention in Gun. Here you take the role of Colton White, who just witnesses what he thinks is the murder of his father, only to find out that the man raising him was not his father. He is then given some very grim details about where he might be coming from, which is of course in Dodge City where the game takes place. I have to say that when I sat down and saw this games story start to come together I was really intrigued. And the game continued with its amazing storyline, which just never missed a beat throughout. If you are a fan of westerns, than this story will definitely appeal to you.
What many people might be most excited to see in Gun is that this is more of an open-ended western, so although there are story missions these can kind of be done at your own pace. While the game starts off with an interesting tutorial to get you with learning the controls and things like that, the game never really forces you to move along. One of the most memorable moments in Gun is literally just riding around on horseback through the Western setting. The developers did a fantastic job of really making the horseback riding very fun to do and just a real exciting feature. Very few games let you ride on horseback, and of those that do very few have done it as well as it is in Gun.
As the name "Gun" suggests, this is a shooter, but it’s not what I would consider a very fast-paced one. This game moves at a moderate pace throughout, and although you can get into really big gun battles, the game never really overwhelms you. I actually liked this as I found I appreciated more of the game when things moved at a consistent pace. Some of the best parts of the game are found in the story missions, who are scripted, but man do they give you a lot to be excited about. There is so much variety in these missions and they are just so well created, that it is hard not to be impressed by them.
The game does have sort of a Max Payne-style bullet time ability, where you can slow down time. This is called "Quick Draw", which allows you to easily take out all of your enemies in a matter of seconds. What is nice about this ability is that it isn’t overused, and it works really well throughout the whole game. I have to say that the feeling of using this Quick Draw feature is one of the high points in the game.
So many of you may be wondering if Gun plays any different on the Xbox 360 than on the Xbox, and the initial answer is not really. The gameplay from what I could tell was near identical to what we saw on the Xbox, with just a smoother feel. Unfortunately there was nothing "Next Gen" about Gun in the gameplay department. The game still was still however very entertaining, and still a great Wild West experience.
When you look at Gun for the Xbox 360, you will find that this is a game that really just takes what we found on the previous generation of consoles and just starts to upgrade it in patches. You will find that the environments in parts are better and even some of the character models look more polished. The big problem with this "touch and go" sort of feel of Gun, is that the poor points of the animation in the Xbox version really stands out on the 360. Does Gun still look better on the 360? Absolutely, but it’s just not as solid as you would hope out of the next generation feel.
I have to say that although the game could have been longer, my whole experience with Gun was a very positive one. Gun is a game that combines the great setting of the Wild West with a very interesting story and a nice varied set of gameplay options. The open-ended feel of the game also helps with a lot of little missions you can do on the side of playing the main story missions. For anyone who just is a fan of these sorts of games and just wants to experience the Wild West, this is a really fun game to do it with. Some may be a little discouraged to find the 360 edition not to be all that different, but even still the game is just a ton of fun to play.
Gun for the Xbox 360 may not be the best launch title the console could hope for, but it is one that still is just a lot of fun to play. The game really brings the Wild West to life, and although it would have been nice to see the visual department overhauled for the 360, you are still given some nice upgrades. This game will not stand out for being "next gen" but it will stand out for being a very fun and entertaining Xbox 360 launch title.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.