April 26, 2006 · Print This Article

GunTruly original games can be very rare and hard to come by. These games tend to be the groundbreakers, the games that push the limits and boundaries set by the current batch of run of the mill titles. They expand the genre and raise expectations of gamers everywhere, increasing the competition and quality of the games related to it. Yet, not all original games are this way. Some are just mediocre attempts at trying to be unique and refreshing. Sadly, these games fail in most regards, usually do to a lack of basic fundamentals. Gun for the Xbox 360 is one such game.

Red Dead Revolver, Gun’s closest of kin, was indeed a revolutionary breakthrough in many regards. It offered a unique take on Western gameplay that hadn’t really been attempted before. Even Gun itself for the current-gen consoles, such as the Xbox and Playstation 2, held its own. However, Gun for the Xbox 360 turns up mediocre, and even less, due to sloppy fundamentals and the fact that it is practically the same game as its current-gen counterparts.

From the very start of Gun, Xbox 360 gamers will find that the visual presentation of the game to be absolutely appalling in every regard. Every single aspect of the game looks only mediocre. Why is this so, you ask? It is quite easily explained actually. Gun for the current-gen systems was only a mediocre looking game in the first place. Activision, being the lazy company that it is, ultimately decided not to rework any aspect of those graphics what-so-ever for the next-gen counterpart on the Xbox 360. What this led to is an Xbox 360 version that looks terrible even by comparison to Xbox games.

What looks so terrible, you inquire? Oh, dear friend, absolutely everything! The environments are sparse and undetailed, the characters are poorly designed and only decently animated, the textures are fuzzy and jaggedy, and the weapons and other objects in the game don’t look realistic and were poorly drawn. It is truly sad that a game which actually has some promising gameplay features is presented so poorly, making it a pain to even look at.

That being said, the game does play pretty well. The controls tend to be tight, responsive, and well-mapped. The storyline is also very engaging, an aspect that draws gamers in and doesn’t let them go. Hell, the storyline almost makes a player want to continue playing…almost. However, the storyline also has a couple downfalls downfall: the fact that it moves way too quickly is incredibly short. In fact, the first factor is what causes the second factor. The story is rushed and moves way too quickly and could have been spaced out much better, allowing for a longer and more involving game. Gun only offers a few hours of gameplay time and after that it is over. There is nothing else to do and few gamers will want to go through the experience again.

Gun has very good action sequences and they are quite fun to play due to solid gameplay mechanics. The game tends to be a mixture of a tactical shooter and a classical shoot-em-up, two different aspects that actually blend together quite well. As the main character tries to exact revenge, he has an arsenal at his hands involving plenty of pistols, rifles, shotguns, bows, dynamite, and more. All of these are put good use as the main character takes on dirty officers, evil cowboys, and murderous indians.

The refreshing aspect of the gameplay that makes it unique and fun lie in the fact that many of Gun’s missions are played out on horseback. Although it could have failed miserably in this attempt, riding around on horseback and dispatching enemies and completing objectives is actually quite fun and not hard to control. This, along with the on-foot sequences, make it so the game is not repetitive and all and is actually quite fun.

However, there were other aspects of the game that were done quite poorly. For instance, Gun is a free roaming game and the main character can visit various locales and towns. While in town, he can cause a ton of havoc and go about murdering innocent townfolk. Once they’ve had enough, they’ll send out a posse…but a rather pathetic posse at that. This posse is easily dispatched and the town forgets anything ever happened. This can be a laughable experience.

On the whole, Gun showed a lot of promise but turned out to be very disappointing. The gameplay was original and fresh, and could have really developed into something if the game was longer and involved more missions. However, as it stands, Gun is a very poor, short, and ugly game that most gamers won’t want to give the time of day.


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