Back during the sixth generation of gaming consoles, we got a game called Red Dead Revolver, the original, Red Dead Redemption, one of my favorite games of all time. Now, Red Dead Revolver wasn’t… Terrible. I liked it, in a way, but it was clearly not what everyone wanted. It had you go through linear missions, when everyone was hoping for GTA but with horses. Sure, it’s not a bad game, but everyone was hoping for an open world wild west game… But, little did they know, that there was a wild west open world game that was released… And still, little did they know, because no one I know has heard of this game… I mean, it’s on this list, so of course they haven’t. And that game was known as Gun (Wow, what an awful name), which got released for all consoles, but I’ll be reviewing the Gamecube version because of course I am.
Gun was a game created Neversoft, who did Tony Hawk, Guitar Hero, and… Not much else. I love Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero, but it’s nice to see Neversoft getting more experimental with their games before Activision made them their lapdog and then put them down Old Yeller style because they didn’t want to work on Call of Duty too (Sorry, I just really hate Activision). ANYWAY, Gun follows Colton White, a young man with his father Ned. After a day of hunting, they go onto a steamship, that ends up under attack by hired killers, lead by hired killer Reverend Josiah Reed. Before Ned is killed by the bandits, he tells Colton that he isn’t his real father, and to find a prostitute named Jenny in Dodge City and pushes him off the ship to save him, and thus, starts Colton’s journey to finding out his past. After that, Colton gets involved with Native Americans, corrupted politicians, an evil Civil War veteran, a camp of bandits, poker cheaters, and a band of rebels trying to fight off the corrupted leaders of the west. It’s a wild west story of revenge and trying to find out Colton’s past, and it’s really damn good. They manage to piece together each one of the stories together and allow you to see probably one of the best western stories in video game format. It shows that Neversoft is more than just a bunch of crazy guys breaking skateboards over each others heads and sending their guitars through their car windows. But how’s the gameplay.
Now, gameplay for Gun is… functional. Okay, let me explain. Gun is a game that works well. The gameplay is fluent, responsive, and eve fun. But, what I mean when I say it functions is that it’s good gameplay, but just nothing special. Like a bag of chips. It’s not a meal, and it certainly won’t satisfy you, but you still enjoy it regardless. That’s how I describe Gun. It’s a bag of functional chips. There’s nothing that really makes this game stand out. You can fire on horse back… Okay. You can swap between many weapons… Alright. You can slow down time and shoot enemies- Okay, now you’re just pushing it. Slow down time to shoot. That has been done in… Pretty much every third person shooter game ever. You could say slow bullet time was original at the time, but sadly, the first Max Payne game was already out. It’s not a bad game mechanic, but good god, is it not original. You can use your horse to kick enemies a mile away- Okay, that’s kinda funny. Also, you can have the horse powerslide like you’re at the Van Halen concert and just run down enemies. Okay, the horses are the best thing in this game. Their hilarious. Too bad you can kill them if they run out of energy (Yes, kill. They die on the spot). Gun does manage to give you a lot of weapons to work with and have fun with like rifles, pistols, and arrows that explode. Though, the crosshair is a little crappy.
Gun also manages to give you plenty of side missions to do and many things to try out in the world instead of just the usual story mode. See, it’s totally a GTA game. You can go around hunting rare animals, which could have been tedious, but I find a little bit of fun with it (Except when they run away, goddamn animals). Sure, it ain’t like Red Dead Redemption where there’s more of a challenge, but it’s fun. Or tolerable at least. You can also go around hunting for bounties, and bringing the bounty back alive gives you more money than just killing them, which is very good when you need to buy all of the upgrades in this game. Bounties, doing jobs, or just finding big chunks of gold are the only way to get money in this game. And don’t worry, it’s easy to find gold chunks, which will give you a whopping $20… Remember, that was a lot of money back then. You are also able to escort people around town, and, for whatever reason, the day these people come into town is the day the worst possible thing is happening. I mean, really? You couldn’t choose to do this at a different time. You are also able to do some work for the town sheriff to help make the west a little more bearable, or help the single farmer with his crops… But you have to deal with bandits, so it’s not too boring. What I’m trying to say is, for an open world game in a time when open world games were only done by Rockstar and whoever made True Crime, this was quite a lot for it’s time. Granted, not as much as Rockstar, but enough.
Alright, so, the gameplay is decent and the variety is good. How’s the open world? Small. Like, really small. There’s a total of two locations, maybe four if you count the rebel camp and the SMALL Indian camp, a mountain region, a grassland, a forest, and sand. Lots and lots and lots of sand. This overworld is so damn small, and with barely anything in it besides some sand, rocks, animals, oh, and crazy bandits who want to kill you. “But this was an older game-” Sorry, but San Andreas was just barely under a year old when Gun was released, and that overworld was huge. Maybe it’s different on other consoles, but still. Okay, so the world and the gameplay may have issues, but their not the worst thing. But when it comes to the story, it’s really good. Like, really damn good. If you aren’t a fan of the gameplay, I assure you that you will want to continue just for the story alone it’s so good. It manages to keep you interested from the beginning to the end. Unlike… Other games that has Activision’s fat fucking name on it.
So, as it turns out, Colton is actually not Ned’s son (Duh) and is actually a Native American whose parents were killed by the game's antagonist, Thomas Magruder, who was in the Civil War at the time he killed Colton’s parents, and Ned was in Magruder’s platoon when he killed them, as Magruder was looking for the city of gold, Quivira, at the time of the war, and continued to do so afterward, using his power and money to gain control over Empire City, a major town in the west, and build railroads across it to help find it easier. Why did he kill Colton’s parents……. I don’t know. Not everything has to be explained. You are told this by Many Wounds, a Native American who witnessed the death of his and Colton’s parents when he was just a baby, and now Colton wishes to avenge their deaths and kill Magruder. But of course, Magruder manages to find the city of Quivira, so you must fight him in here, and in true obscure game fashion, the final boss has to be terrible. You can’t shoot Magruder since he is wearing powerful knight armor (I’m not kidding), so you must blow him up by shooting the dynamite he throws, and it is VERY specific how you shoot it, and if you aren’t careful, you will die… And I did. I soon found out you weren’t supposed to shoot Magruder, but actually the rocks above him to cause a cave in. Thankfully, he isn’t a long boss, so you won’t have to suffer long. After you do this enough times, the walls will begin to collapse, and Magruder will have his leg stuck under a rock. Colton leave’s Magruder to be crushed to death and escapes, as Quivira is covered up with rocks and lost forever, and Colton and Many Wounds finally allowing their family to rest in peace. And if you beat the story and complete the game 100%, you will be awarded with a horse that never dies and the strongest shotgun in the game. Oh, that’s real handy. Give me the most powerful items after I just beat the game. A little late, don’t you think? Oh well, Gun was still a fun game.
Sadly, not much else is known about Gun. It got released on the Xbox 360 when it came out, but that’s about it. But don’t you worry, it did get remembered for one thing. It was described by the Association of American Indian Development as offensive garbage for having Native Americans as enemies for the first half of the game. Oh, that probably didn’t help this game much. There were rumors of a sequel to this game, however, or so people say. There were posters that said Gun: Magruder’s Ghost in Tony Hawk: Proving Ground, as well as an easter egg that read Gun 2 in the DLC for Call of Duty: Ghost. Seeing as how Batman: Arkham Asylum had an easter egg that clearly was mentioning its sequel, Arkham City, it’s not hard for people to believe this could happen. But, I know what to expect from Activision and it’s games that aren’t Call of Duty. They’ll either ignore it, or just make it a pile of shit, and that’s how Pro Skater 5 was made... Also there was this weird PSP one called Gun: Showdown. I never played it, so I don't know
Gun was a game that was too good to be true… And Activision reminded us that it was the case. Gun wasn’t remembered, didn’t sell well enough to get noticed, and was more remembered for being possibly-but-not-really anti-Native American propaganda than an enriching western story. If you want to play a game that has one of the best stories and pretty good but nothing new gameplay, than I Think you’d love to give Gun a try. So, with that being said, I give Gun the ranking of Hidden Gem. Goodbye.