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Xbox 360 Review: Gun

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Aside from dabbling in a few action titles, Neversoft’s developmental history is filled with one name: Tony Hawk. If they need to continue on with the tiring franchise to create another game like Gun, every new version of Tony Hawk is a small price to pay. Gun isn’t particularly brilliant or original, but it eliminates basic annoyances and features a fantastic story that’s worth experiencing.

It’s immediately apparent that Gun wasn’t cheap. The Hollywood soundtrack contains a great theme to hook the action to the story, and the stunning amount of high-profile actors (Thomas Jane, Kris Kristofferson, Brad Dourif) provides superb voice work to tell the tale. It’s a rapidly paced Western storyline, not forced out over a 10-hour period. It sets in right around five hours, not enough to feel stretched or get repetitive.

You’ll need to fire off plenty of ammunition to make it through. This third-person open-ended shooter offers a lot of quest outside the story. Side missions will take as long as the main game to fully complete, and they’re usually as tense and as enjoyable as the main game. The setting is not a large one, and very few areas of the game world make you feel restricted. You can run on horseback from one end to the other in a few minutes. You won’t lose hours of game time to mindless wandering, plus the map offers the player the ability to quickly warp to story points.

While the actual game play isn’t revolutionary, it’s put together in a way that blends it seamlessly with the story. Every scenario seems plausible in this game setting, and cinemas rolls right into action. Targeting is basic, and you shouldn’t have a problem. Quick draw is the now obligatory “slow motion” feature, letting you knock down multiple enemies with only a few rounds. It’s a system that works in desperate situations, though it ends up being just as fun to work around shots while firing off your own without the assist.

Gun’s best aspect is the camera. For whatever reason, you never notice it during game play. When you’re done, it takes time to sink in. There’s not a single point in this game where the camera becomes a problem. You never think of it because it somehow finds its way dead-on where you need it.

This specific version of Gun falters in two areas. The obvious problem is with the graphics, which are in no way suitable for the 360. Repeating textures are horribly abundant, and up close, walls reveal blurry, unconvincing surfaces. It’s an obvious port, and a lazy one at that.

Secondly, two control issues become apparent. Switching weapons is clunky, involving a button and the d-pad. In the midst of a firefight where ammo runs dry, switching to a different type of weapon will drain you life since you’re defenseless when making the swap. The horse controls are problematic as the run button is mapped to the left bumper. It’s uncomfortable to use in this manner for this amount of time. You’ll spend a lot of game on a horse, and continually pushing the bumper to move the animal faster while keeping them on a path is difficult.

For all of its greatness, it’s hard to look at Gun and see a $60 purchase. It’s admittedly short, which becomes one of its best assets and biggest disappointments. It’s enjoyable enough that a few extra hours couldn’t have hurt, but seeing how nearly every action scene pushes the story along, it’s acceptable. This is one of Neversoft’s best, and as far as 3rd person action titles go, it’s hard to imagine one more engrossing than Gun.

Gun is a rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol. This game can also be found on: GameCube, PC, PS2, Xbox.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • http://www.clubskill.com Lee Matthews

    Good review, i gave it 8.5/10

    really is a fun game, easy to pick up and play. Hopefully there will be a next-gen Gun 2

  • Ken Edwards

    What? The extra $10 were for the Achievement Points weren’t they?

  • Michael

    GUn is an original Xbox game for now 29.99. The code was changed so GUN would not work on the original Xbox and the label was changed to a XBOX 360 label and sold as a XBOX 360 game. This is fraud. It is the same game with no changes made to it and sold to people who are led to believe this is a ENHANCED game which it is not. In short They simply are changing the labels and reselling it as something it is not. How can you give it good reviews when its just and Xbox game not a 360 game at all. Poor review!!!!

  • Carla G

    Why dont they just change the labels on all the original Xbox games and put a 360 labels on them and sell them as xbox 360 games?? What a disapointment!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Matt Paprocki

    Um, no? Do you have any proof? Did you actually play this on the 360? Can you explain the higher-res textures? How about the better draw distance? Almost total lack of load times? It takes a lot more to put a game on the 360 than just changing a label given the massive differences in the hardware. They’re selling it as a port, not some “new next-gen experience.”

    Your argument makes zero sense, and you have no proof either. Just because the graphics aren’t a huge upgrade doesn’t mean there aren’t other things going on that we don’t know about. Besides, it’s a damn good game. You have a choice in which version you want to buy.

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com/ Ken Edwards

    Michael – It is not all about the graphics. You might also notice we are not the only place to give it a 4/5 or 8/10 – in fact the majority of reviews I have read have been in this range.

    This game falls in the same boat as Tony Hawk American Wasteland and to some extent King Kong: it just looks a little cleaner on the 360. I do not see how you can fault it for that.

    Games like this are rarely created for the highest system and ported down; they have to be developed with the lowest common denominator in mind.

  • sal m

    gun is a rental title in my book…there’s nothing to keep me that interested in it…i found that the second most difficult level was way too frustrating to play at – given the clunkiness of the controls – and the average level of difficulty is too easy…i’ll play til the end a) because it’s short and b)because i rented it…