Wild West Rating: (four stars out of five),Release date: October 2006,Rated Mature,Genre:Action Adventure,Publisher:Activision Inc.,Developer:Rebellion Studios/Neversoft Entertainment, $39.99, Formatted for PSP (PlayStation Portable) gaming system.
Load up your six-shooter and get ready to ride as the smash hit console game Gun gets its very own hand-held version for the PSP (PlayStation Portable). Featuring a free-roaming environment portraying wide-open Western landscapes, Gun: Showdown includes all the missions and content from the original game with some new exclusive additions. You are Colton White, a game hunter for the steamboat companies who turns into a quick-shooting gunslinger as he travels the 1880s Wild West on a quest for revenge.
The story line was written by Hollywood scriptwriter Randall Jahnson (Mask of Zorro,The Doors) and voice-acting talents include Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman, and Thomas Jane as Colton. While the story line lends itself more to Western folklore than actual history, the game makers give a few nods to some Western historical figures such as Clay Allison, Hoodoo Brown and Dave Rudabaugh. The game’s main antagonist, Thomas Magruder, may have even been based on former Confederate General John B. Magruder.
In the game, you can wield many different weapons such as a Colt Navy revolver or a Winchester 1866 rifle and can use your “Quickdraw” ability to slow down the action to increase the precision of your shots. When not on foot, you get around on your trusty mustang Rogue, who you can summon with a whistle and, if he gets injured, will buck you off his back and run away to heal. However, the game’s real appeal, from a historical standpoint, is the side missions. Since you’re able to free roam around the entire Western landscape, you can choose to bypass the story missions and take on odd jobs such as working as a ranch hand or collecting bounties on outlaws.
The game is a little controversial due to its portrayal of the Apache people, the use of drinking whiskey to restore health and its use of graphic violence. The control scheme is also a little difficult to master. However, Gun:Showdown is an extremely fun game to play and branches off from the “shoot ’em up”–style Western video games that have unfortunately become the standard.
Originally published in the June 2007 issue of Wild West. To subscribe, click here.