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Incomplete Games with Progress

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gun - Retrospective

I really liked this game. Unlike most of the other games I've completed during this blog, Gun was one in particular that I enjoyed from beginning to end. It never got boring, and in fact left me wanting to play more of it even once it was over. This was in part due to its short length; I just didn't want the game to end!

Gun's strongest point is its spectacular storyline and voice acting, sporting such talent as Thomas Jane (The Punisher), Lance Henriksen (Millennium), and Ron Perlman (Hellboy). While it sounds cliche, the story literally had me hooked and playing the game from beginning to end almost non-stop, and I don't even watch westerns. See that jump from 37.2% to completion? That's all in one day, bitches!

That's not to say the game isn't without it's flaws. I won't comment on the difficulty, since I was playing the game on the easy setting, but the game world is considerably smaller than other games of the genre such as GTA or even Simpsons: Hit and Run. But this is occasionally a good thing when your horse arbitrarily disappears after completing a random side-mission, leaving you forced to hike back to the nearest town on foot. However, it does leave you realizing that you will be revisiting the same locations multiple times for different reasons, whether they be bounty hunting, pony express message delivery, searching for hidden gold, or progressing the storyline.

Unlike other GTA clones, Gun uses a refreshing mechanic normally reserved for action games. Known to most people as "bullet-time," The Quickdraw system lets you slow time and automatically target your enemies to quickly dispatch them. This can be lengthened by doing special feats like getting head shots, disarming enemies weapons, knocking enemies off of their horse, or trampling them with your own. While the Quickdraw mechanic is a life saver when you're surrounded by bandits who want your blood and money, switching between targets is a tad finnicky. Targets are always defined as being either left or right of your current lock-on, even if it is quite clearly above or below. So you will often find yourself pressing right to aim at the nogoodnick below the one you just killed. Additionally, moving targets can force the crosshairs to lock onto them more than once, so it can sometimes be difficult to aim at exactly who you want to kill.

The game also suffers from occasional glitches. In addition to the CRASH I got a few days ago, my game doesn't display any ammo or clip animation for the final shotgun upgrade, which led me to believe it had infinite ammo until I ran out.

Despite its flaws, short length, and smaller scope, the Gun IP is a strong newcomer entry into the sandbox genre. I look forward to seeing how the rumored sequels fare against similarly themed Red Dead Redemption from genre juggernaut Rockstar.

The Good
  • Fantastic storyline
  • A+ voice acting
The Bad
  • Comparatively small map
  • Short storyline with not enough side-missions
The Ugly
Defining Moment
  • Running around shooting buffalo and sheep with exploding bow and arrow after completing the story missions. POP!
The Burning Question
  • Why do I have less to say about good games than bad games?

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