GUN - 360 - Preview
With the exception of the fun but short-lived Red Dead Revolver and the ultimately disappointing Dead Man’s Hand, western shooters have been sorely lacking from this generation of consoles. However, the developer/publisher duo responsible for putting Tony Hawk on the videogaming map, Neversoft and Activision, is looking to change all of that with their newest title, Gun. Secretly in development for a few years, Gun is poised to breathe new life into the genre by offering up compelling gameplay and a dark and disturbing theme, showing us just how wild the Wild West was.
Gun will put gamers into the shoes of Colton Wright, a man raised by a mountain fighter searching for vengeance against the assassin who killed his father. Double-crossed and framed, Colton scours the plains looking for those responsible for his plight, kicking ass and taking names. While most of the details are a little scant, Neversoft insists that the game will be non-linear, meaning that your character will be able to take on a host of side missions in addition to the main quest.
Also, let it be known that Gun will be extremely dark, more than likely earning itself an “M” rating. In the brief snippets that Neversoft showed up, the blood and gore levels were very high. You kill many, many people on your quest for vengeance, mowing down tons of baddies with whatever weapons you have access to. You’ll also be able to scalp foes, remove ears, and other nasty things as you progress on your journey.
The combat in Gun is pretty fast and intense. You can grab hostages, use the environment for cover, and even go into a concentration mode (think bullet time) for more focused aiming. During this time the game moves into first person, giving you extra control and making you a dead-on shot.
Gun’s non-linear gameplay isn’t limited to simply taking on side missions. You’ll basically be set in the role of a renegade without a home fighting through the Old West. You’ll ride around on horseback to get from place to place, hunting food for sustenance and fending off attacks from other parties. In one section of the game, Colton allies himself with a group of Blackfoot Indians and attacks a fort filled with defected cavalry soldiers, and sticks of dynamite and bullets fly in an intense battle.
Graphically, Gun should hold up quite well. The graphics in the PS2 version showcased some great looking environments and well-animated character models, which made use of location-specific shot damage. In other words, if you shoot a guy in the leg, then he drops to the ground, or if you shoot him in the arm he drops what he was holding and so on. While the game could use an extra coat of polish overall, it was already looking pretty impressive considering its release is still several months off.
For a title that most of us knew little to nothing about following its announcement at E3, Gun looks like a pretty far along title that should give the lonely western shooter genre a nice shot in the arm when its released this fall.