Gun (video game)
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2, Xbox & GameCube
AU November 5, 2005
NA November 8, 2005
EU November 11, 2005
EU November 25, 2005 (GC)
Gun is a Revisionist Western-themed video game developed by Neversoft and published by Activision for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360. The game was released in North America on November 17, 2005, and during mid to late-November in Europe. Since October 13, 2006, the game has been available to buy on Steam. The PlayStation Portable version, released on October 10, 2006, under the title, Gun: Showdown, features new side-missions, a multiplayer mode, and other additions that were not available in the console versions.
During its first month, the game sold 225,000 copies across the four console systems for which it was initially released. The game had sold over 1.4 million units in the United States as of October 2008. It was well received by game critics and won numerous awards, including GameSpy's "Xbox 360 Action Game of the Year."
Gun features an open world environment, including side-missions that add to the story. Players controls the protagonist, Colton White, from a third-person perspective. While traveling from town to town, bandit attacks are frequent and players must either escape or defend themselves.
Players can hunt and kill various animals like buffalo, wild horses, and even stray dogs and farm animals. The player can also cause mayhem within communities, but can attract attention from lawmakers and other gunslingers by doing so. They act as gunslingers protecting righteousness or seek reputation as they face resistance fighters, local lawmen, renegade soldiers and vengeful Apaches and Blackfoot. A Town Patience meter goes down every time a civilian is killed. Once the patience meter reaches zero, a showdown ensues between the player and the locals.
Several minigames are included in Gun. As the player progresses through the game, they can choose to complete side missions, including poker tournaments, cattle herding, law enforcement and bounty hunting. Players can purchase upgrades using money obtained from these optional activities and by mining gold veins.
Players can wield a revolver and switch between rifles, shotguns, various explosives, and bows. There are a variety of types of arrows to choose from, including ordinary, flaming, and, if unlocked, explosive arrows. Throwing knives are available in Gun Showdown. Attacking and killing enemies fills up a Quickdraw gauge which, when activated, slows down time like bullet time, switches the game to a first-person perspective and gives the player unlimited ammunition for a short duration, allowing the player to take on a significant number of enemies.
The player can switch from first person to third person overhead camera with certain weapons. There are two handheld explosives available in the game: dynamite and whiskey bombs. Dynamite explodes after a short delay, while whiskey bombs instantly ignite when they hit the ground. Enemies may roll to attempt to avoid explosives. Barrels of TNT are scattered around the environment and during missions, encouraging players to use barrels to set traps or throw and use the Quickdraw mode to shoot them and detonate the TNT. Land mines are available on the PSP version.
There is a large emphasis on melee combat, with enemies randomly charging at the player throughout the game. Players can use a bowie knife, a tomahawk and sabers. They can use enemies as a human shield, and dispatch them by slitting their throats or knocking them out if the enemy has a bounty. Players can also scalp a dead enemy with a scalping knife. Stealth plays a part in many missions as well, and players are encouraged to use bows, melee and, on the PSP version, throwing knives, in such situations. Horseback combat is also featured, and is an important aspect of the game. Fast-paced chases are featured, and players can shoot while riding. Both the player's and the enemies' horses can be killed. While riding a horse players can do close-quarter combat with any melee weapon they possess. Trampling or running over enemies is also a way of dispatching them while on horseback.
Gun is set in the American Old West, specifically in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico in the year 1880. This includes cities and badlands with populated environments that stretch from the mountains to the plains of early Dodge City, Kansas. The story, written by Randall Jahnson, features several veteran actors, including Ron Perlman, Lance Henriksen, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Skerrit and the lead, played by Thomas Jane.
The game features a number of characters whose names are taken from real Old West figures, including Clay Allison, Jose Chavez y Chavez, Hoodoo Brown, Dave Rudabaugh, John Joshua "J.J" Webb, Luke Short, Major Thomas Magruder (who was most likely based on John B. Magruder), Soapy Jennings (who was based on Soapy Smith), and Magruder's hulking personal bodyguard, Dutchie, based on "Dutchy" Schunderberger, a member of the real-life Hoodoo Brown's Dodge City Gang. The name "Alhambra", given to the brothel in the game, comes from a former pleasure-castle of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada.
- Colton "Cole" White (Thomas Jane) – The Apache protagonist and player character of the story. He learned the ways of the outdoors from his adoptive father, Ned White. Cole meets many characters during his adventure; some become his allies while others turn out to be the utmost of enemies. He is a skilled marksman, and is always willing to stand up for what he believes is right.
- Soapy Jennings (Dave Wittenberg) – A safe cracker and a friend of Colton. Soapy's two specialties are cracking safes and cheating at poker, two major moral strikes against him in the Old West. During the ride to Piper Lake from the Badlands, he confides to Cole the origin of his nickname: he was cornered in a lady friend's bedroom by her husband, and was forced to hide inside the shaft of her water closet – after which he had to scrub for three days before he could get the smell off of him.
- Thomas "Tom" Magruder (Lance Henriksen) – The main antagonist of the story. He is the unofficial boss of the West, in charge of the railroads being installed through Apache Indian territory. Magruder was a Confederate major during the Civil War and led a group of soldiers, which included Clay Allison, to find the mythical city of gold, Quivira. The war ended, but Magruder's mission did not. He has made it his ultimate goal in life to find the lost city of gold and is willing to do anything to accomplish it. Margruder meets his end when he is crushed to death during a cave-in at his mine.
- Ned White (Kris Kristofferson) – Colton's adoptive father. He raised Colton under the false pretense of being his real father. Right before his death, he confesses part of the truth to Colton and sends him on his quest to find out the rest of the truth. Ned is a well-trained outdoorsman and makes his living selling animal skins and carcasses to the local riverboats sailing down the Missouri River.
- "Reverend" Josiah Reed (Brad Dourif) – A misogynistic priest who works for Magruder as a hired killer to take control of the area. He is eventually killed by Cole in revenge for the death of Jenny.
- Mayor Hoodoo Brown (Ron Perlman) – The fast-talking mayor of Empire City. Hoodoo takes orders from Thomas Magruder, although his true goal is to make his city great rather than simply earn money. Due to his dirty practices, Hoodoo has many enemies and therefore has hired two professional gunslingers, J.J. Webb and Dave Rudabaugh, as personal bodyguards. He himself is a skilled gunfighter. The mayor pretends to hire Colton as another bodyguard, but in fact intends to set him up and is killed in a firefight with Cole.
- Clay Allison (Tom Skerritt) – A former Corporal for the Confederate Army and friend of Ned White and Tom Magruder. He is the leader of the resistance group fighting against Hoodoo Brown's corrupt reign over Empire City. He and his followers work closely with the Apaches, dedicated to keeping Magruder and his men out of the frontier and restore some dignity to the Old West.
- Fights-At-Dawn (Eric Schweig) – The Blackfoot chief and a proud warrior. He is deeply concerned for the future of his tribe and saddened by the white man's arbitrary murder and theft. He befriends Colton, and recalls a time when Cole was younger, when he was attacked by a cougar.
- Many Wounds (Eric Schweig) – An Apache Indian who gave Colton to Ned when he was a baby. Later in the story, Many Wounds becomes a trusted ally of Colton and helps him out with Cole's fight against Magruder.
- Jenny (Kath Soucie) – A prostitute and the main attraction of the Alhambra Saloon in Dodge City. Jenny is tired of the small-town life and is anxiously waiting the completion of the bridge in town so she can travel south to New Mexico to Empire City. She proves to be a valuable ally to Colton, but is killed by Reed.
In 1880, Colton White and his father Ned are hunting for game along the Missouri River. After Cole saves Ned from a grizzly bear, they board a riverboat to sell the meat. Along the way Cole notices that Ned seems to have other reasons for boarding. The riverboat is suddenly attacked by a reverend named Reed and a band of renegade soldiers. After losing ground to the renegades, Cole and Ned are pushed to the back of the boat, where Ned reveals he is not Cole's biological father. He pushes him over the side to save him from the steamboat's explosion. With a horse procured from a thief, Cole travels to Dodge City to find a whore named Jenny whom Ned mentioned. After rescuing Jenny from a gang of cowboys, Cole learns from her that Mayor Hoodoo Brown of Empire City knows Reed's whereabouts. After assisting the sheriff in fixing the bridge to Empire City, Cole and Jenny travel through the badlands by stagecoach and barely survive an attack by Apaches.
Upon arriving in Empire City, Colton is made a deputy by Hoodoo and promises to help him find Reed. During a gunfight at an outlaw hideout, Cole is appalled to see the other deputies killing an unarmed couple. Cole attempts to arrest the deputies but is forced to kill them both when they resist. When he returns Empire City, Hoodoo tricks Cole into ambushing him at his headquarters. Cole watches as Reed kills Jenny and is then knocked unconscious by Hoodoo. Colton is thrown into prison and framed for Jenny's murder, for which he is sentenced to be hanged. With the help of a safecracker named Soapy, Cole escapes jail and goes to the outlaws' new hideout, where he meets their leader, Clay Allison. He later learns that Reed and Hoodoo are both working for railroad tycoon named Thomas Magruder in his search for a lost city of gold called Quivira.
Clay takes Cole on a mission to destroy one of Magruder's trains, which they execute successfully. As they celebrate later that night, they are attacked by Magruder's men. They repel the attack but Clay gets captured. Cole convinces the outlaws to assault Empire City to rescue Clay. During the assault, Cole and Hoodoo engage in a showdown, and Hoodoo is killed. With the city liberated, Cole travels back to Dodge to find Soapy so that they can crack a safe that Cole first noticed on the riverboat. After Cole saves Soapy from men he cheated in a poker game, they travel to the wrecked riverboat's location. However, the two are captured by Sergeant Hollister (who commanded the attack on the riverboat at the beginning of the story). After escaping Hollister's fort, they assist the local Blackfoot tribe in attacking the fort as Cole kills Hollister.
On their way back to the riverboat they are attacked by Reed. Cole kills Reed and he and Soapy discover that the item is a part of a golden cross showing the route to Quivira. Cole realizes that the other piece is with the leader of the Apaches, Many Wounds, whom he met earlier. Cole and Soapy travel across the badlands with Many Wounds, who reveals that Cole's father was a doctor and his mother an Apache who were murdered by Magruder. They are ambushed by Magruder's men, leading to Soapy's capture and torture. Cole kills them and uses Magruder's armored train to assault Quivira. With the help of the Apaches and Clay's outlaw forces, Cole fights his way through the mines, where he meets Magruder in a gunfight. After causing an explosion in the mines, Cole leaves Magruder to be crushed by the falling rocks while he escapes Quivira before it crumbles.
Development and marketing
|This section requires expansion. (October 2011)|
Reception and sales
Gun received mostly positive reviews from critics, although the Xbox 360 version met positive to mediocre ratings. It holds aggregate scores of 79% and 79/100 at GameRankings and Metacritic respectively. IGN stated that "Neversoft has finally made a good game besides all their Tony Hawk". GameSpot described it as "initially a 19th-century Grand Theft Auto", while GameSpy addressed it as having "just about everything you could want from a game set in the Wild West". In its first month, the game sold 225,000 units across the four systems for which it was initially released. According to TRST sales data, the game had sold over 1.4 million units in the US by October 2008.
The game was highly acclaimed by many, and has scored high ratings and awards. GameSpy awarded it "Editor's Choice" and "Xbox 360 Action Game of the Year", saying that it "needs a sequel and fast." The game's protagonist was placed #7 on Game Informer's "Top 10 Heroes of 2005" list. At the 9th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, Gun was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Original Musical Composition", "Outstanding Character Performance – Male", "Outstanding Character Performance – Female", and "Outstanding Achievement in Story and Character Development".
The Association for American Indian Development declared a boycott of the game, claiming that it contains "derogatory, harmful, and inaccurate depictions of American Indians." Featured on the Association's boycott-specific website was a petition demanding that Activision clean up various aspects of the game before re-releasing it to retailers; the group called for a worldwide recall of the game if the revision was not completed. The site suggested that a game in which players were required to kill members of specific ethnic groups, like African-Americans, Irish, Mexicans or Jews would never be tolerated, "but apparently, killing Indians is still fair game." The site also mentioned events and revelations that take place later in the game's story, but assert that they do not address the problematic portions from earlier sections of the game.
On the now-defunct GamerGod.com website, contributor, Beth Dillon, concluded on January 31, 2005, that:
Even though the historical period portrayed in Gun was fraught with racism, Activision's decision to publish a racially stereotyped video game represents a serious misstep in social responsibility. Like Custer's Revenge, Gun provokes wonder. In this case, the industry has unfortunately bought into the popular misconception that games are frivolous because they are made for fun.
The game's publisher issued this brief statement:
Activision does not condone or advocate any of the atrocities that occurred in the American West during the 1800s. Gun was designed to reflect the harshness of life on the American frontier at that time. It was not Activision's intention to offend any race or ethnic group with Gun, and we apologize to any who might have been offended by the game's depiction of historical events which have been conveyed not only through video games but through films, television programming, books and other media.
In February 2006, publisher Activision hinted that a sequel may be on the way. More rumors began in September 2007 when a poster for Gun: Magruder's Ghost was spotted in a demo for Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, also a Neversoft title. IGN has also added the game as "other game by Activision". According to Joystiq, Activision apparently hinted during a 2006 financial conference that a sequel may be in production. However, no official announcements regarding a Gun sequel have yet been made.
More rumors spread when Activision took its internal studio Neversoft off the Tony Hawk franchise in early 2009, putting out job requests and hiring new staff. As spotted by Internet sleuthing blog Superannuation, Neversoft job listings indicated that the studio is gearing up for a "new action shooter game." Neversoft posted a number of positions for the project, including a Senior Designer, Lead Multiplayer Designer, Level Designer, and Scripter.
- Staff (8). "Gun Developer Interview" (Video). Gamespot Asia. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- Greg Kasavin (8). "Gun Video Review" (Video). Gamespot Asia. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- Staff (2012). "All Games > GUN™". Steam. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- "Gun gameplay". Gun Wiki. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- "Gun Setting". Gun Wiki. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- "Gun Setting". Associate Publisher.
- "Aggregate score". Game Rankings. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- "Aggregate score". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- "Xbox 360 review". Gamespot. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- "Xbox 360 review". GameSpy.
- "Xbox review". IGN. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- "Gun Review". GameTrailers. 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- "Gun Xbox 360 review from GamePro". GamePro.com. 2010-05-07. Archived from the original on 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2010-05-17.
- "Gun". oxmonline.com. Retrieved 2008-10-14.
- "Gun". Eurogamer.net. 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- "Review: Gun". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
- "Gun Score". Xbox Magazine]. January 21, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2011.
- "Xbox 360 review". G4TV. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- "Activision warns of "significantly lower" earnings". GameSpot.
- "Action Game of the Year". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 2009-04-30.
- "Action Game of the Year". GameSpy.
- "Top ten Heroes". Game Informer.
- "Interactive Awards". Annual Interactive Achievement Awards.
- "Gun controversies". Gamespot. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- Chris Leigh (3). "GUN is "derogatory, harmful and inaccurate"". PALGN. PAL Gaming Network. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- Beth Dillon (30). "Stereotype of the Month Entry (12/30/05) – Review of Gun From GamerGod.com: GUN Misfires". Blue Corn Comics. Robert Schmidt. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
- Ross Miller (2006-02-06). "Activision hints at a Gun sequel". Joystiq. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- Justin McElroy (2007-09-12). "Gun sequel poster in Tony Hawk Proving Ground demo". Joystiq. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- "IGN Hints @ Gun 2".
- "Activision hints at a GUN sequel".
- "Gamespot look".