XBOX 360 REVIEW: GUN

Side missions give you a taste of various lifestyles in the Old West although you can imagine that these are disparate elements that few people would ever have the chance of experiencing in their lifetime. In real life, people actually made their living performing one of more of these activities. To assume that one person would be able to tackle these tasks just for a little food or extra cash between shoot-outs is unrealistic. But this is a videogame and it beats having to wash dishes in a different saloon each night which is more likely the case. You will get to try your hand at ranching, hunting, mining, bounty hunting, law enforcement and poker.

Stealth combat lets you sneak up behind your enemies and stab, shoot or scalp them. It all depends on the situation. You may want to knife them to keep them from alerting others in the party while they are camping or you may want to torture them by scalping them. In the case of the bounty hunter you will earn more money if you can sneak up on your prey and take them in alive. Stealth comes in handy when shooting arrows. More on that later.

Shooting is the preferred method of combat in Gun. I wonder if the title gave away that sharp bit of information? Guns are plentiful. Period-specific rifles and pistols with names such as Winchester, Colt and Schofield are available. Larger guns such as machineguns and cannons are also included. The targeting system has a large reticle which makes shooting very forgiving and arcade-like. Headshots reward you with messy graphic animations that may appear a little too realistic to some viewers. It can be horrific or a whole lot of fun to watch depending on your perspective - sicko.

 

Taking on a posse is not very difficult thanks to the large targeting radius. If you need even more help you can access the Quick-Draw feature which is the game's version of bullet time that slows down the surrounding action allowing you to move about in real time and gun down as many enemies as you can within that window of opportunity. The rifles are more powerful and should be used to kill enemies in the distance. You can sight the barrel for more precision during ranged shots. The rifle is also great for flushing out enemies from their hiding spots. Ammo for pistols is unlimited and locating ammo for other weapons is not difficult. Supplies are plentiful but you have to be careful not to venture out in the open in the middle of a gunfight. You're not invincible, although the health tonic that you drink manages to bring you around in no time should you find yourself filled with lead.

Gun is not restricted to the use of guns as weapons. Knives, bayonets, hatchets, dynamite and even bow and arrows will find their way into your hands. These items will avail themselves for specific duty such as when stealth is required or they may be the only weapons available to you in a certain situation such as when you fight on the side of the Apache Indians. There are plenty of things you can do with arrows such as light them on fire or attach explosives to them. They make an excellent stealth weapon as you can't hear them being released.

Horses are the game's vehicles. I can't say they are a great addition but they do get you through some of the vast and boring landscape a lot quicker than walking. As huge as the maps are there sure is a lot of empty wasteland. Exploring is encouraged but you're not likely to find much between towns. Shooting while on horseback is a challenge, even with the forgiving targeting system. At the very least it seems as though this would be the case in real life. The best you can do is to point the gun in the general direction and hope for the best. You can also run down enemies as you trample them underfoot with your horse. Spurring the horse will help to speed it up. You never develop a relationship with your horse since you can just take one the same way you jack a car in GTA. The horses are like disposable vehicles with no distinct personalities.

2
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System: X360, PS2, GC, X
Dev: Neversoft
Pub: Activision
Release: Nov 2005
Players: 1
Review by StewXX