Activision has stayed tight-lipped over rumours that a GUN sequel is in development - it pretty much just sat there blowing cigar smoke at us in the dingy poker-purposed back room in the saloon.
Activision has become the latest high profile game company to dip its toes into Steam (that hissing noise is the sound of the English language having a fit).
Activision has responded to accusations that PC and console title GUN promotes racism and genocide, apologising to Native Americans who have complained about the game for any offence caused.
The Association for American Indian Development has launched a campaign against Activision for publishing PC and console title GUN, claiming that the game glorifies racism and genocide.
Activision really is challenging EA as the king of the conversion at the moment. But while it's one thing to publish ports of high-end PC games (namely Quake 4 and Call of Duty 2) for the 360, it's another thing entirely to release a pretty loveless, no-frills conversion of a current gen game and then expect people to pay full whack for it. Colour us bemused.
But before we get into the relative merits of next gen shovelware, if you haven't played Gun already, then here's the deal. Cribbing from our own review, it's "set in the harsh, unforgiving, lawless American West in 1890, a place where you trust no-one. A place where the preacher's a murderer, the lawmen are more corrupt than the criminals and even the women have the capacity to grow really unnerving facial hair on demand. Against that rather unsavoury backdrop, you play Colton White, on a mission for truth and revenge; that is, the truth of who your 'father' really is, and vengeance for his untimely death."
Eventually, it becomes a lot more involved than that, and apart from a few typical stereotypes and a bit that screams "plot twist here", the story's one of the main reasons you'll be happy to see the game through to the end. Gameplay wise, it's third person gun-slinging all the way, literally riding shotgun as you tear up the rocky plains on horseback capping a seemingly unending procession of evil do-ers, driven by greed. You'll be glad to shoot them. They deserve it. All of them.#
One of the only ways a developer can cut loose and buy themselves a sliver of creative freedom in these franchise-obsessed times is to make itself so bankable that the billion dollar, risk-averse publisher can't say no. After seven multi-million-selling Tony Hawk games on every platform in existence, you can't say Neversoft hasn't paid its dues to Activision; a pet project like Gun was well overdue. Evidently there are only a finite number of extreme sports titles a developer can stand making before it creatively self-combusts.
The surprising - and refreshing thing is that Activision has the confidence in its sole new IP to release it right in the maelstrom of the so-called Holiday season. Can a sharp-edged GTA-style Wild West shooter really cut it with the big names and become the one new brand to emerge in this increasingly creatively saccharine era? We hoped so, at least.
Set in the harsh, unforgiving, lawless American West in 1890, it's a place where you trust no-one. A place where the preacher's a murderer, the lawmen are more corrupt than the criminals and even the women have the capacity to grow really unnerving facial hair on demand. Against that rather unsavoury backdrop, you play Colton White, on a mission for truth and revenge; that is, the truth of who your 'father' really is, and vengeance for his untimely death.
When you think about it, the Wild West and videogaming really couldn't be more suitable bedfellows. Tense gunplay, bounty-hunting, hugely atmospheric settings, characters of dubious morality, hosses, stage coaches, wild animals, swinging saloon doors, out of tune pianos. What more could any game developer need to be able to concoct an exciting game? [Right now? Brothels. Oh, the West's got those too. - Ed]
Neversoft has revealed the first details of GUN, currently in development for PC, PS2, PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360 and GameCube.