We’ve been hankerin’ for a good ol’ fashioned western shooter ever since we finished blasting our way through LucasArts’ classic Outlaws. It’s taken nearly eight years for Gun to finally hop in the saddle, but it arrives with six-guns blazing.
Developed originally for the PS2, Gun has been unabashedly ported to damn near every other platform, and there’s little that distinguishes Gun on the PC from its console cousins. Thankfully, the story and gameplay are good enough to let this slide.
You are Colton White, an Eastwood-wannabe who’s out to avenge the murder of his father—a task that will put you in just about every clichÃ©d shootout situation you can think of. The story is well written and told through plenty of entertaining cutscenes. There are tons of mini-games and side missions you can tackle, everything from playing poker to hunting wanted criminals and helping the local lawmen. The extra content is little more than fluff, however. It quickly becomes ultra-repetitive and you don’t really need it to develop your character (the main plotline action should suffice).
Still, without the fluff, the game would be embarrassingly short—you can complete the main story in as few as six or eight hours. However, your screen will be filled with hot lead almost the entire time—the action is fast and furious and the pace never really lets up (unless you take the time to explore). The boss battles are challenging and memorable, as are the horse- and stagecoach-riding sequences. What the title is missing, ironically, is a classic high-noon showdown. This could have been a great dramatic device, particularly considering the “bullet time” Quick Draw mode. This slows the bad guys down so you can take ‘em out with your six gun—for a limited amount of time—and it’s a blast, literally.
Had Neversoft put as much time and care into developing Gun’s game world as it did with its story, this title would be up there with the likes of GTA. As it stands, it’s an entertaining game that fills a void—but only for a few hours.
Month Reviewed: March 2006