GUN (Xbox 360) review
"It's one of those "good but" games. GUN is good, but its Western atmosphere is disappointingly sedate. With yellow ground, brown buildings, and simple textures (why is this on 360?), it's not nearly as visually appealing as Death By Degrees on PS2. The characters are always genuinely likable or appropriately detestable, but they're too often treated as disposables. There's a nice end-game twist, but that end comes too quickly."
I like GUN. That really doesn't mean much. I like a lot of games. GUN — the story of freelance peace-keeping agent Colton White's quest for revenge — happens to be one of them.
Unfortunately, it's one of those "good but" games. GUN is good, but its Western atmosphere is disappointingly sedate. With yellow ground, brown buildings, and simple textures (why is this on 360?), it's not nearly as visually appealing as the otherwise horrible Death By Degrees on PS2. The characters are always genuinely likable or appropriately detestable, but they're too often treated as disposables. There's a nice end-game twist, but that end comes too quickly. The music is nice, but it lacks the strength to pop my eardrums or the flair to make me believe.
In short, GUN is an atmospheric Western adventure that fails at being atmospheric. This is partly because, similar to The Warriors, GUN pretty much holds your hand through every mission. It's hard to forget you're playing a game when messages keep telling you where to go and blinking targets always guide the way on your radar (Colton was apparently a brilliant inventor). The difference between GUN and The Warriors is that Rockstar's game gives its evolving levels time to suck you in. GUN can't do that. It's way too short.
When people say GUN is short, they're not talking about the number of missions. 18 is a nice number. The problem is that most of those 18 missions can be completed in just a few minutes. Compared to Devil May Cry 3's sprawling stages or Drakengard 2's 60 lengthy missions... that's not much, especially considering the amount of pre-release press (and $60 pricetag) GUN was granted. You can lengthen play-time with optional but repetitive sidequests like ranching or mail delivery, but the game still points out exactly where you need to go. It's just a matter of following the target on your radar and (usually) killing a few people with your bow or six-shooter.
Killing is the nice part. Whether slicing bandits apart with a tomahawk or trampling through gangs on horseback, GUN plays fluidly and responsively. It's a pity that the missions are so short... almost as soon as the killing begins, it's over!
Staff review by Zigfried (February 11, 2006)
Zigfried likes writing about whales and angry seamen, and often does so at the local pub.
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