A Must Have For Any Collection
Gun released in 2005, around the time that everyone worth their salt was scrambling to put together a Grand Theft Auto style game in another setting, a trend that arguably still exists to this day. Gun puts you in the world of the Old West, during the time of outlaws, Indians, gold, Manifest Destiny, and expansion. You play as Colton White, all around do-gooder, who finds himself in the all too familiar position of tracking down the man responsible for killing his father.
As you hunt down the wicked preacher Reed and his cohorts, you'll meet, gang up with, or kill, a wide variety of characters each with their own distinct personalities. Don't expect any golden angels in this crowd (Colton White is about the closest you'll get), most of the people you deal with are the lowest form of scum this side of the Mississippi. Whores, bandits, and just guys who cheat at cards.
Your arsenal contains what you might expect: Knives, Pistols, Rifles, Shotguns, Bows, and explosives. Your weapons are slowly replaced as the game progresses, but you're better off upgrading them by taking on side missions for cash, from herding cattle to taking care of bandits, breaking up bar fights, and helping the local authorities quell the rabble rousers. Also scattered around the world are collectibles including gold, which can be mined for coin which can be used to buy upgrades from town.
Considering I'm judging a game from 2005, I won't talk much about the graphics other than that they still look presentable for today's gamer. The characters are detailed enough that their faces portray their emotion, adding to the atmosphere of the story. The world around you truly reeks of unexplored wilderness as you move from one dusty town to the next, with the land in between. The little touches that Neversoft added in, such as your health being replenished by taking a swig out of your booze bottle (just like in real life, kids), add a bit of humor to an otherwise dark game.
The game controls fluidly at that. Considering I'm playing the Playstation 2 version on a Playstation 3, I had no issue with the controls or performance worth noting, other than problems that arose out of my own stupidity, such as mixing up my mount and stab buttons and causing Colton to stab his horse in the neck, getting trampled in the following scuffle and losing me a horse. Your best friend will be the pistol bullet time event, that slows down time momentarily and allows you to pull of head shots and combo moves.
I only have a few gripes with Gun, most prominent being the game's hub feel. It wasn't as stale back in 2005, but the game based around moving from one secluded city to the next, in succession, detracts from the overall experience of a living, breathing world. Otherwise, I can only complain about the fact that some areas are far too easy to die in. In a few sections, the AI is told to get you out of cover with TNT, but this results in a STALKER: Clear Sky style system where you are bombarded with an entire shed full of TNT. It's frustrating at times, but the game saves so often that it's hard to lose more than a couple of minutes of game time.
I can only hope that Neversoft sees fit to green light a sequel. The story itself is rather standard for a GTA-style game (7-8 hours), but is generously expanded on with the time you'll spend working side missions to raise your stats and get money. Oh and you can play cards, and cheat at them too. It's a built in mechanic.
I managed to get my hands on Gun for $2.99, so you can probably find the game for an extremely cheap price at a local used game store. If you want to play Gun on PC, you can head over and download it on Steam.