Gun

Moby ID: 20193
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

The Wild Wild West meets Grand Theft Auto in this free-roaming action game. Set in 1870, you are Colton White, a young gunslinger whose father is killed by an Indian tribe led by Reverend Reed. Just before passing away, your father hands you a token and reveals you are not his son. Sworn to avenge his death, you pursue the killers and unravel the secrets surrounding the item. Although you are on your own, temporary alliances can be formed with townspeople, Apaches, and posse members, but watch your back as they can turn against you.

The main storyline, written by Hollywood screenwriter Randall Jahnson (The Mask of Zorro, 1998,) is linear. You will have to fight duels, defend towns against bandits, help build railway tracks, intervene in various conflicts, and kill heavily-armed bossed. There are also many side missions or alternative ways to earn money. You can play poker in the casino, help out farmers with their livestock, assist the local sheriff, or deliver items with the pony express. Other possibilities include bounty hunting, regular hunting for rare animals, mining for gold, and various rescue missions.

The RPG elements involve acquiring and improving skills, such as QuickDraw (shown in Bullet Time,) Zoom Firing, Melee Combat, improved accuracy, the ability to throw axes, and strategically equipping and upgrading different weapons. There are hand weapons (knives, tomahawks, bayonets), archery arms, explosive throwable items, and regular guns, such as sharpshooter rifles, colts, and Winchesters. Some are earned during the missions, others can be bought and sold for cash in the towns.

The GTA reference is reflected in the main means of transportation: horses. There are different animals to find with extensive movement options. Go on wild chases, spurt, gallop, do skid attacks, or trample your enemies. Give them some rest from time to time, or you will wear them down to death. In the melee combat, you can do roll maneuvers, use objects to provide cover, grab your opponents, and even scalp them. You are free to steer away from the main storyline and explore the giant landscape, with towns, deserts, mountains, wilderness, and caves.

Spellings

  • 枪 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Screenshots

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Credits (Windows version)

290 People (251 developers, 39 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 79% (based on 74 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 81 ratings with 4 reviews)

Like the set for a western movie - great action on set, nothing much behind it

The Good
From the get-go it seems like this is going to be a good game - one seamless and well paced tutorial later and you're dropped right in the thick of it and handed a bag-full of questions. If you follow the story the game never lets off and takes you on a wild ride through the compact old west. The story is not in any way sophisticated with it's predictable or unsurprising plot twists but it is addictive, drowned as it is in western cliche. The voice-work is mostly high quality too. The villains look, act and sound villainous enough and there's plenty of them on offer for you to blast away.

The weapons are great, improving in quality and calibre the further in the story you get. All the western favourites are here and eventually you even get the obligatory RPG style dynamite crossbow, though I'm happy to say it fits in well in the game as it doesn't explode on impact or even fly that straight. Also, since this is a console port you do get yer lock-on option, but shooting with a mouse works well even if it's as precision demanding as PC oriented shooters. If your cursor turns red you'll be able to hit the enemy even if it looks like something is in the way.

The storyline missions are great. One memorable mission involved packing barrels of TNT near a weak part of a mountain then shooting them at the right time to cause a landslide and cause a train to crash. The tension crept on when you could hear the train puffin' away nearby and a friendly NPC calling out excitedly "Hold it... not yet... hooold it..." when you just wanna blow that boom and be done with it. Or in one of the optional missions, escorting a gang snitch to jail; just as you get there you see five or so gangsters walking towards you from the far and dusty end of town in a line, reminiscent of the famous bad-ass walk from the movie "Tombstone" that the main characters did. These missions have the potential to get under your skin and even if you fail a mission you have the option of restarting it straight away, sometimes halfway into it. This saves alot of needless travel but does make the game shorter at the expense of being more fun.

The things I liked the best about the game is the little details and nuances like npc's exclaiming how amazed they are at your lightning-fast gun-hand when you use the bullet-time styled quickfire feature, or getting trampled by your own horse spooked by gunshots - the unscripted bits and bobs. Up to a certain point the details and the setting combined with the woefully underused western theme really help lift the game out of mediocrity. And if you come in without many expectations then you'll certainly be surprised. There were quite a few things wrong with the game but I couldn't help myself but to finish it with the story driving me on.

The Bad
This game was compared to GTA for having the option to do sub missions and free roam in between the storyline. This doesn't work out as well by far. The world itself is a cracking veneer with nothing behind the sheen. Example: taken at face value a town looks great, just what you would expect a western town to look like. But enter a store, a saloon, any building and they're all empty! Not just of people, of anything!

There are a few story relevant buildings with more detail and should you choose to follow only the story and not stray an inch from the railroad tracks the story rolls on, you'll need never notice these problems. But this being a free-roaming game you will eventually try to explore the surroundings, and as someone else described it in a "the more you look, the less you find" paradox, it's disappointing. The world suddenly becomes very small as you get to know it well. Eventually I gave up exploring and just took what the game handed me on a platter.

The sub-missions! They are touted as being optional but unless you're playing on easy, you'll very soon be severely underpowered if you don't upgrade your weapons and stats. But how? The stats increase in fixed amount after every sub-mission you complete. And apart from trying to find hidden-package styled gold cache's (not as much of a chore as it sounds) that's also the only way to earn money, which in turn can be spend to buy upgrades. This necessity to upgrade really screws up some of the continuity in the game. For example: in one mission you have to escape from a jail by killing a deputy and running off violently into the night. Success! says the game, New Federal Marshall sub-mission available - in that exact town you just barely got out of.

It's as if the game can't decide if it wants to be story based, or arcade based and just throws everything it's got at you, in confusing chunks. Some missions even have a laughable stealth section, but somehow the game gets away with it, confused potpourri that it is.

There is one aspect which really annoyed me though and that is stuttering slowdown everytime you enter a loading area. The game is seamless as it has no loading screens, but when you enter a loading section it does something very funny, probably related to it's console connections. It loads into memory the area you've just entered while throwing out the area you've just left. That's fine if you're moving leisurely from point A to point B, but if you're protecting an NPC or racing against the extremely tight clock, the stuttering can get very annoying. Just imagine having a gunfight in the middle of the loading area, going back and forward as the game loads the area you've just been in again. I lowered all the settings and it didn't do a thing - something ain't right in Gun town.

After a while I've found out this game was made by Neversoft. Then it dawned on me - this game is actually very similar to Tony Hawk's Underground! But instead of skating (using the free roaming element to engage the scenery) you're shooting (which only has a point in missions)! Suddenly alot of things made sense - why you can instantly restart a mission, the pretty linear illusion of freedom, the way mission-givers stand for hours on end waiting for you to talk to them and even the movement of some NPC's.

Finally, to touch again on the free roaming subject, once you finish the story and all the sub-missions you want to do, you realise just how shallow the world is. There is literally nothing to do except roll around on your horse, shooting unwitting NPC's who congregate in towns and bounce around like headless chickens. And because the missions takes you to all the interesting sights, there is nothing left to see.

The Bottom Line
A fun shooter with a great western influence allows the player the freedom to travel where they want, when they want, but leaves them very little to find. A cliche'd but constantly moving story takes you all over the west in style, but it's not really that long and once it's done, that's it.

Windows · by koloboko (121) · 2007

Brilliant, but short.

The Good
The setting, the setting, the setting. I rarely play a game that puts so much attention to detail on every level of the gameplay, and just feels so complete.

It's also great to see RPG style advancement used so gracefully in a game that relies on gameplay fueled by good controls. The music is atmospheric and rousing, and features some of the best transitions from "battle" to "wandering" music I've ever heard in a game. Like previously noted, the controls are absolutely incredible, for all aspects of the game, from running around on horseback and blowing away enemies with a shotgun to sneaking around with a bow and arrow, hunting game.

The story is great, but leads to the downside of this game:

The Bad
So, so short. My first run through took about 12 hours, and that included getting everything in the game, on normal difficulty.

And really, while that's fine for a lot of games, for something so polished, so beautiful and so awesome as GUN, I just wanted more. Don't get me wrong, the story is great, it doesn't feel rushed, but damn, it's just so little, when I want to play it so much more.

The Bottom Line
A beautiful, well designed, well balanced, but short romp in the Wild West that exists only in the collective imagination of America.

PlayStation 2 · by aiolos (4) · 2006

Good story, easy to play, fails to live up to full potential and too console-like

The Good
Story is quite good. It has as many cliches as you could possibly squeeze into it, but in this case it's forgivable. Some strong parts in the story and it's definitely R stuff with murder and sex (even with prostitutes). Some of the main quests are rather interesting and there is some variation. The early game in particular makes you feel this could be a really good game but game stays interesting only to about 1/2 - 3/4 through the game and after that looses a lot of the interest as you have seen everything except how the main story finishes.

The map works well. It feels huge, yet you can access almost any place on the map very quickly with a horse. Maybe less canyons and more open space would have been nice but no complaints if every game had a map this well designed.

Loading and saving times are exceptional. I wish more games were this fast, you just don't need to wait, not even when starting the game.

Voice acting is good, Kris Kristofferson especially (I didn't realise it was him until the ending credits) and music is nice if easily forgotten.

Easy game play is a two-edged sword. On the other it makes you less frustrated as you can easily retry a mission, on the other hand you can just try shooting your way through almost any situation.

The Bad
Ultimately the side quests are all the same within the same type of quest (bounty hunting, law enforcement, pony express etc). Once you have done a few, you pretty much know what to expect.

Thankfully most quests are short. RPG element (skills are boosted by completing these quests) is quite artificial because you always get the same reward (depending on type of side quest). It would have been nice if the way the quest was solved there would have been some difference in how the rewards were given.

The console-like dumbing down does not work so well in the PC. Ammo boxes and other items are lying around everywhere, and you can hit your target by pretty much pointing the gun in the general direction. Makes the hectic fights a lot easier, but also gives you the feeling that you didn't even have to aim. The fights are like a shooting gallery, and there's a lot of it. And usually shooting is the only solution.

Animation and graphics are not that special. Horses are like four moving legs and an inanimate block on top of them and people walk like they had a steel-bar spine. They also do nothing but walk around or stand still. There is no real purpose to them except as props. I would like to see some more when I enter a saloon than just some inanimate people standing. No-one is drinking, no-one is gambling, no brawls, no nothing. Feels like a church on a Monday morning. The world simply doesn't feel alive.

The PC version also suffers from some bugs. I had it crash a few times, the animation sometimes fails (legs do not move etc) and the game sometimes gets very jerky. The last problem was fixed by restarting the game. The worst happened when I got stuck inside a stairwell and hadn't saved for quite some time. I had to reload the game from way back.

Finally, the last part of the game is quite lame.

The Bottom Line
Interesting setting, good story and excellent world, but could have used some more enthusiasm from the developers. Or perhaps the need to make the same game work in (older) consoles have set too rigorous limitations.

Still worth playing, especially if you are into Westerns as there aren't too many games set into that period. The good story makes up for most of the shortcomings.

Windows · by Marko Poutiainen (1151) · 2006

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Controversy

The Association for American Indian Development made a petition to have Activision remove all "derogatory, harmful, and inaccurate depictions of American Indians" as they were outraged that Apaches were shown slaughtering renegade members of their own tribe, the killing and scalping of Apaches is a game requisite, and the killing of sacred white animals was shown as part of their culture (which it isn't). If these were not removed and the game re-issued then a total recall was wanted.

Activision's response was this statement:

"Activision does not condone or advocate any of the atrocities that occurred in the American West during the 1800s. Gun was designed to reflect the harshness of life on the American frontier at that time. It was not Activision's intention to offend any race or ethnic group with Gun, and we apologize to any who might have been offended by the game's depiction of historical events which have been conveyed not only through video games but through films, television programming, books and other media."

German version

There are several changes in the German version: * All blood and gore effects were removed * The German translation calls headshots "Volltreffer" (Direct hit) * Death animations were removed * When taking a hostage, the player can either release or execute it in the end. In the German version, the execution was replaced with a knockout. * It is not possible to scalp enemies * Enemies which come into contact with the molotov weapon don't burn to death. They still run around in panic and cry, but there are no flames. * The intro was deleted without substitution * In another cutscene between level nine and ten, a decapitation was removed

A detailed list of changes can be found on schnittberichte.com (German).

Awards

  • GameSpy
    • 2005 – Xbox 360 Action Game of the Year

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  • MobyGames ID: 20193
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Scaryfun, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third.

Game added November 26, 2005. Last modified December 17, 2023.