Let me talk about the game companies I’ve mentioned on this show. So far, I’ve said some pretty big name: Nintendo has come up at least half a dozen times, EA games has popped up on a few occasions somehow and Capcom has been reviewed so frequently I had to create the Capcom time. But none are my favorite game company: that would be Activision. I don’t know how it hasn’t come up sooner, maybe I’m saving most of their games cause they’re so good, but I feel bad for not having them come up sooner. (Which isn’t fair, because they had something to do with the PC port of my first review, Earthworm Jim, which was the version I played.) I really like this company, they’ve been around for over 30 years and they’re now stronger than ever: from Tony Hawk to Call of Duty, from Guitar Hero to Marvel Ultimate Alliance and from Pitfall to Transformers: War for Cybertron (which I haven’t played but I heard is ridiculously good). So, with that out of the way, here’s an Activision creation: Gun, available for the X-Box, PS2 and PC, but I’m playing the Nintendo GameCube version.
I love the story and it’s definitely the biggest reason to play the game. This is a western based game, and I’m going to throw this out there, I haven’t seen many western films, which might be why I like this game so much. Here’s the story, straight from the horse’s mouth (not literally of course). (Clip: 5 seconds) The game takes off when the steamboat Colton and Ned (Colton’s father) are travelling on gets attacked and Ned goes down with it. Colton then manages to find his way into Dodge city, where, like any Sandbox game hero, he is asked to do everything for the people. Coincidentally though, this moves him towards his personal goal: find out why the boat was attacked and why his father was killed. He eventually falls into series of lies, deceits, betrayals and cover ups. This leads to some interesting plot twists, dramatic moments and real suspense. I also want to point out that this game was written Randall Johnson, a Hollywood writer probably most famous for writing the Mask of Zorro in ’98. Though the story mode is short on its own, it’s so well written, you might not even notice.
For those of you who haven’t guessed by the game’s title, this game is a shooter game, third person most of the time. You end up having a total of 5 gun types: a pistol, rifle, shotgun, sharpshooter for sniping and a bow and arrow. Like most games, each weapon does something different and is useful at different times, but I’m just going to mention the pistol. With this gun, you can activate the quick draw mode, which is essentially bullet time, but trust me, you’ll be using it a lot. Of course, you do upgrade your weapons as you go along, but that requires money, which gets me to the main talking point of this game. As I’ve said, this is classified as a sandbox game, meaning in between the story check points, you can adventure around, get more stuff and improve your stats. The activities you do can be taking on bounty hunting missions, help out as a ranch hand or even play poker for some extra cash. There are a lot of different side missions and all will not only give you money and improve your stats, but also train you in certain skills needed to finish the game. What I’m getting at is: play these. Not only do they help in long term, but they turn what would be a short game (with a great story) into a journey to becoming the best.
Despite this game being beautifully written, I will admit it is not beautiful to look at. Graphically speaking, a lot of things look flat when they shouldn’t, some of the more complicated images seem blurry and objects pass through other objects they shouldn’t. Another thing is that the animals look a bit 2D, kind of like if they were in Doom or Quake. The music also doesn’t add much; though it suits the cowboy theme and keeps it low key in the moments it should, the moments where it should enhance the feeling, it fails to do so. Neither of these really stop you from enjoying both story and gameplay unless they really bug you, which I know some people will let it get to them. Just try to ignore it and concentrate on what really matters.Gun just blew me away. It’s a horse riding, gun slinging, whiskey shooting fun of a game. I like this game so much that I haven’t really had the time to get into all the little thinks I like, but just take my word, this is a great game: I enjoyed the experience through and through. This is one of many Activision games I’m going to recommend, and it’s not hard to find, I see at least one copy for one of the consoles its available for every time I go into a used game store, so next time you see it, pick it up. Now I can’t leave you with the sound of failure as I usually do, I think we need some appropriate rock to finish this off. I give Gun for the Nintendo GameCube 9 levels out of 10.