Late To The Xbox Party: Gun (2005)

Sometimes it feel like I’m traveling back in time with my 360 games. I started with a new game Skate 2 (well, new at the time) and I’ve been working my way through some of the better games from the console’s history thanks to buying mostly used games from Game Stop with the credit I made from the more expensive, newer games. I’m pretty slow at all this, so the credits have lasted me a good long while. Anyway, Gun came out in 2005 which was the same year the 360 debuted. It also appeared on the regular Xbox, GameCube and PS2, so I was a little leery that the game might feel too last gen and not be any fun, but I actually had a really great time with it.

No these aren’t the best graphics in the world and yes they reminded me of the few times I went back and played my PS2 because the figures are kind of boxy and a little twitchy, but the game is so fun that I didn’t really care. Much like my beloved Spider-Man 2 and Crackdown, Gun’s an open world game that gives you a lot of freedom. There’s the main story missions which are pretty entertaining with you riding around on a horse, shooting bad guys in the face and making sure bad guys don’t explode a bridge. But, you can do these side missions where you help out with the Pony Express, go after bounties offered by wanted posters and assisting the sheriff with some hooligans causing a ruckus in the town. I like that kind of freedom and because I liked the mechanics of the game (for the most part, more on that in a second) doing these side missions was fun.

For the most part the controls are very simple and logical. Everything from riding a horse to shooting dudes feels natural. There’s even a slow-mo option that you build up that allows for easy blasting. There were two control elements I had a problem with, though. First off, when riding on a horse, you’ve got to hold down the left button above the trigger to go fast. It just felt awkward and not intuitive at all, especially if you’ve been away from the game for a while. The other control scheme I didn’t like was weapon selection. You acquire are these rad weapons from hand guns, shotguns and rifles to bows and arrows and even a sniper rifle that you grab from defeated enemies, but selecting between them is not an easy task. You’ve got to hold down one button while selecting with the D-pad. It’s not so bad if you’re getting ready for battle, but in the heat of the moment, it’s hard to do that while running around.

Aside from that, though, the game was a ton of fun and I recommend it for anyone looking for an older game to try out. I didn’t really pay much attention to the story because the cut scenes did look old, but the voice cast is amazing and include Tom Jane, Lance Henriksen, Kris Kristofferson, Brad Dourif, Ron Perlman and Picket Fences’ Tom Skerritt. I’d watch those guys in an actual movie, so hearing them in a five year old video game was an unexpected treat. Next I’m either going to power through Brutal Legend or Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, two games I didn’t enjoy much or just jump feet first into the first Bioshock. I’m leaning towards Bioshock.

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