Gun (GameCube) Preview

By Mike Mason 06.10.2005 9

GameCube has notoriously suffered from its lack of 'mature' content, struggling to shake off its so-called kiddy image. A notable game missing from the console has been the huge draw of Grand Theft Auto where other consoles have gotten it. Now, with the current console life cycle about to end, can Neversoft's Western answer to GTA help to pull in those that thought the console was a lost cause?

Cowboys and Indians. Many of us will have played this as children (and many adults likely still do, though for the purposes of 'history' obviously), yet there haven't been as many games as you might think about the subject, unless you look towards retro games. Sure, the current games on the market reflect some of our play times as children, such as cops and robbers, but why has nobody really dug into one of the other popular child fantasies? Things are about to change with the arrival of Gun, but this isn't looking to be a game that should be anywhere near children...

Gun boasts really rather gorgeous graphics that will push this generation ever closer to its peak performance, with some gorgeous looking backdrops full of lush fields and western towns. The character models are detailed right down to the stitches on the clothes and the explosions look quite nice, though they're let down a bit by some slightly weak-looking smoke effects. Also slightly disappointing is the fact that the frame rate looks a little bit choppy at times, but hopefully these problems will have been addressed before release. How the GameCube version will compare to the visuals of the Xbox version remains to be seen, but to say it looks ugly would be as silly as barging into a saloon full of drunken cowboys and demanding their trusty steeds.

This leads us on nicely to the comparisons with Grand Theft Auto. In fact, take Grand Theft Auto back in history a fair bit, replace cars with horses and pedestrians and enemy gang members with Indians and rival cowboys and you could be halfway there. The title is free-roaming, though it has a storyline and presumably missions, meaning you can travel between locations however you want, whether you want to saddle up on a horse or take a paddle down the river in a canoe. You can do what you want; do you want to wander into a town and start shooting about willy-nilly at everybody, or do you want to be a bit more subtle and stick to being a (reasonably) good member of society? With the free roaming nature, perhaps the longetivity of its gang-based inspiration can rub off too.

Screenshot for Gun on GameCube

It could be said that Gun is perhaps even more gruesome than the aforementioned popular crime-'em-up, though. During gun battles that you start it is possible to grab people, both innocent and not, and use them as human shields. After your gun battle you can either be nice and release them if they're still alive, or finish them off yourself by scalping them. You can also scalp enemies and keep them as trophies - a stamp collection it is not. Killing is frowned upon outside of gun battles, but this won't stop you if you wish to do so. As you might expect, there's a fair bit of claret to be spilt about and the stuff pours out whenever you get a good shot in with one of the sizable available arsenal.

Beginning the game with a weak gun, you can slowly upgrade and find better weaponry as you go along and you battle stronger foes, with each gun letting off a satisfying sound. When shooting, the game appears to switch into a first person view with just the gun in front of you visible, though it's not certain whether shoot outs always look like this, with some screenshots showing gun battles taking place in the third person. Perhaps this is an option, or it only appears in third person during particularly climatic stand-offs. The more accurately you fire, the more impressive kills can take place, such as explosive headshots and fights using effects that wouldn't look out of place in The Matrix (yes, you know what over-used effect we're talking about...).

Killing locals isn't the only way to get ahead in the world of Gun, though; you can slaughter helpless (and not so helpless) animals as well if you so wish. Wolves and bears are amongst the friendly nature bunch that you can needlessly murder, and wild horses roam free for you to take, tame and traverse the land on as well. Stealing others' equines is also an option too, if you want a ready-to-ride model. Horse riding looks smooth and fairly realistic, and if you don't get it used to the sound expect it to start getting scared when it hears gunfire, perhaps going as far as rearing up and knocking you off. There are also opportunities to do some gambling (likely in the form of poker and other card games).

Screenshot for Gun on GameCube

Final Thoughts

Gun will be hitting all of the home platforms, so it is by no means an exclusive, but it should bring some excellent gaming to the trusty 'Cube very soon, particularly if some of the visual issues are tidied a bit. If you've ever fancied living in the Wild West, put on your poncho and giddy up...

Developer

Neversoft

Publisher

Activision

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

So this game involves, however remotley, some sort of firearms?

Hmm, you could say that...

Meant to be really god game according to CUBE mag, by the way Mason nice preview.Might get it, but there are more important ones like battalion Wars and mario football which will be getting first

Might buy this if reviews are good and its not too expensive (ie not 2 discs).

It's going to be shit and you jolly well know it.

Why would it have 2 discs

Neversoft making a non-Tony Hawk game? Sounds VERY interesting!

I want this game...I just hope it isn't overly gory. I don't like crap like that...

There are also opportunities to do some gambling (likely in the form of poker and other card games)

In the card games at least, the person you play will sometimes cheat. Any time during the game you can say they're cheating and just quit...I think this usually ends up in a fight...^_^

TAG: That American Guy

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

Aha, cheers, didn't know that TAG. Seems to me like it's going to be pretty damn gory, though.

I'm surprised Activision haven't said more about this game, especially since it's supposed to be out next month.

I'm going to buy this just to thank Activision/Neversoft, show 'em there is "mature" trade on the Cube. That and the fact it's supposed to be good (avoided True Crime...Smilie

Nice preview anyway Mason, hope this really goes mature (as it sounds) and strays from the tired formula of GTA - let's face it the latter is really targetting kids, I find it rather pedantic.

Barry Lewis [ nin10do :: General Writer :: Feature Writer :: Fountain of Industry Statistics ]
"We're mentalist psychic Scots, which means we can read your mind. If you're lying, your head explodes and we laugh."

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