I'm curious because I'm ready to pull the trigger and I'd like to hear if anyone's played it recently. Maybe advice me for or agaisnt getting it.
Anyone get it after the Steam sale?
I played through it on the Gamecube, getting a 100% clear. It has some pretty good set pieces for a 6-year-old game. I'll agree with csoup's assessment, about it having decent third-person shooter gameplay. The story isn't terrible or anything, but I can't remember very much of it either. I'll say it left me with a general sense of being pretty good, though when I recall it not actually taking very much total game time to do the story missions. There are a bunch of functional-yet-boring side missions that increase the length of the game considerably.
The open world is probably the weakest part of the game, because Neversoft just didn't have enough staff/enough time to make an interesting open world. It's fairly large, but aside from the two towns, it is fairly barren in terms of things to do. Sure, during story missions, an area will suddenly come to life and have some more interesting things going on, but as soon as you finish the mission, the area pretty much goes back to normal. There are side quests, but they aren't very fleshed out and there's only a few types; "Wanted" missions where you track down a wanted guy with a nickname, rancher missions where you help out this one rancher over and over, either with herding stuff, or with stealing cattle back from people who stole them, etc.
As far as things to actually go and do in the open world when you're not in a story mission or side mission, you can search for gold deposits to get more money - that's about it. So for an open world game, it's kind of linear given how little there is to do besides "activate mission so the environments become interesting for a brief time". There are one or two large areas with wild horses you can randomly ride, but there are also tons of horses in town to randomly ride. You can hunt wild animals, but only when on specific "go find me a specific animal" side quests. And bandits randomly attack you when you're not in a town, but it's literally just "spawn 3 guys on horseback who attack you". In general, Red Dead Redemption is going to offer a much richer open world Western experience by far.
I bought it for the Gamecube near the time of the Wii launch, in a bargain bin, for $10. I felt I got my $10 worth of fun out of it. So for $5 on Steam right now, sure, you'll enjoy yourself, assuming you're the kind of person who can appreciate older games without relying on nostalgia. Had Giant Bomb been around when this game was released, I could see them giving it a solid 3-4 stars.
That being said, you're really not missing a lot if you just entirely pass on buying it. At the time it was released it was probably one of the best Western games ever released, but only because there are surprisingly few games in that genre, and many are really bad. Overall, it was kinda average when it came out, and it's average now. The game is worth the $5, but if you have a bunch of games on Steam already that you haven't played yet, I'd recommend digging into one of those instead of adding Gun to the pile.
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