Gun (Gamecube) Review
Gun is the story Colton White, son to a hunter simply named Ned. From the get go Ned is killed on a steamboat hijacking, before he dies Ned gives Colton instructions to seek out a girl named Jenny and gives you a token to see her at the Alhambra Saloon, give you one guess what Jennys profession is? Set in the Wild West of the early 19th century Gun is a gritty and violent portrayal of the time and features an open ended sandbox approach to how the game is played out. Gun is created by the guys who brought you the Tony Hawk games, Neversoft has never worked on a game outside the Tony Hawk series so how does there Gun Slinging Wild West adventure pan out?
The presentation of this game is excellent, the menus are clean and easy to read as well as the interface, also the technical presentation of the game is good as well, while many Gamecube games feature the 60hz option, Gun also includes a widescreen mode which really should be standard, lets hope all Revolution games at least feature that. The graphics for Gun are also well done, with the game feature a realistic recreation of the old west. The saloons, stores and scenery look the part and while the landscape is barren however that really cant be helped as thats how it really was. Character models are also drawn well with cut scenes showing off just how detailed they however, unfortunately the animation and movement for the characters is the only thing letting it down, during cut scenes the characters seem to move very rough and detracts from the overall mode. Another problem with the cut scenes is how they interject into the game, youre happily playing the game and it just cuts out and goes to a black screen and the cut scene plays, while the cut scenes are great it breaks the mood of the game.
The games audio is also very well put together. The soundtrack to the game isnt the usual twanging guitar cheesy music you hear in nearly every western its more of a dark more epic type of music. While it does sound very western I still think it would be nice if they had added some of the more traditional western music but youre not losing anything because they chose the music they did. The voice acting is of very high quality with actors and actresses fitting the roles very well, also its not just the fact that they sound authentic but they are using proper terminology and vernacular of the period.
As mentioned before the games approach to telling the story is through a sandbox approach to the game. The whole in game world is expansive much like in the Grand Theft Auto games however due to the nature of the Wild West, most of the landscape is barren and it makes the majority of the game world empty, with only a few cities outlying traders, farms and hut to break endless miles of desert. However its not really just the fact that geographically there is nothing, but there is not much apart from the story driven mission and the side missions to do. There is no mini games or hidden nick nacks which is disappointing with this type of game format. Speaking of side quests, they are very limited to what you can do in them and their not that varied. They often range from very simple kill this person missions to apprehend this gang and so on. The only real benefit from doing these side missions is to enhance your stats however youre not going to notice any changes or advantage to having higher stats until you pump the games difficulty to hard or insane. With that being said the missions which are story driven are excellent, in-depth and varied. They range from herding Animals, taking on the law, defending a stage coach and more, whether it be on horse back on foot they are always different.
The controls for the game have a high learning curve as some functions and the horse riding can be tricky to learn at first however once you get the hang of it everything is good. Controlling Colton off the horse is typical third person affair however the really confusing part is changing weapons and using the D-Pad for certain functions. Down on the D-Pad brings up 1st person view for all Guns but no for the pistols, and to change guns you have to press left on the D-Pad and hold it and then tilt the C-Stick to choose, its a little awkward but the rest of the slick control scheme makes up for it. Controlling the horse is really simple its just the mechanics of using it is hard, again the same thing with the weapons its hard at the start but once you get used to its a breeze.
Also included in your arsenal of moves in Gun is the Quick Draw since Colton is mostly up against more bad guys then any normal man could manage Neversoft have included a Quick draw mode which basically puts you in first person view, turns on Auto Aim and slows down everything for you. This allows you to take on the enemy and take out 4 or 5 people before the timer runs down, to replenish the QuickDraw timer you have yep kill more people. Thats the other thing with Gun is the raw violence and it happens most noticeably in Quick Draw mode too with Chunks or peoples head flying off, peoples being dismembered and the like. But its not just the blood and guts which makes this an adult title. Sure the Wild West wasnt all sugar and sweets but the vulgarity, profanity and violence is much worse then you would see in a typical Western movie. Not recommended for the kiddies this one im afraid.
Gun length also seems to be a little on the short side while it does take a good 10 hours to finish it, there is still plenty of other side quests and missions for you to partake in. That being said there is no real reason to do the missions other then to get Coltons stats up max, So is Gun worth buying? In the end its up to you but for $50 dollars you cant go wrong, while it is a little short there is still things to do even when the story is completed.
Yes there are a few problems with this game however the fun youll have playing it and the enjoyment youll get of playing through excellently written story makes up for it.