Jessie James, Billy the Kid, the Daltons – Silas Greaves knows every single one of them. At least, the former headhunter claims this in a dusty saloon in front of a group of a group of curious listeners. In matters of story, Gunslinger falls back to a brilliant trick. Silas leaves none of his steps uncommented, but his memory doesn´t seem to do so well anymore. Also, he likes to embellish things. So real memories are mixed with flowery fantasy.
With his pulled-down hat, he talks about an adventure in which he was surrounded by outlaws. After a listener asked him how he could get out of such an situation alive he answered that he surprisingly found a secret escape way which he didn’t notice before. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The story of the former headhunter is full of surprising twists.
Also the various locations provide much variety. In the Campaign, which is about 7 hours long, you shoot your enemies in little Western-Cities in wrecks of giant paddle steamers or on a Bridge full of explosives. But the best moments in this game are the ones with the Western-Legends. It´s really funny to see, what oblique ideas the developer Techland had to display people like Billy the Kid and his companions.
Side-quests, as we know them from the previous games, aren´t in Gunslinger. Everything is a linear path without much range for decisions. Most of them only concern the covering opportunities. You shoot yourself through those areas with the typical arsenal of Western-Armory like Colts, rifles or shotguns and get per-kill a certain amount of points. You get extra points by performing special kills like head-shots or long range kills. With this system you build up combos to maximize your point output. After you have gathered a certain amount of points, you level up. After leveling up, you can spend a skill point in one of three talent-trees. For example, you can get a skill which allows you to dual-wield revolvers to kill enemies much faster.
Besides the campaign, there are tw0 other game modes. In the “Arcade-Mode” you run through the story-levels and try to get as many points as possible in the lowest time. Your score can then be uploaded to the online leaderboards. In “Duel,” you compete with 15 opponents in revolver duels. In those, you have to react in the perfect second so you don´t get killed by your opponent. You have 5 lives to kill everyone. This can be really frustrating at some time if you don’t get the timing right. A multiplayer mode isn’t implemented in Gunslinger.
Both on a graphical level as well as on the acoustic side, Gunslinger isn’t so bad when you compare it to its price of 15€ (about 20$). The landscapes are pretty nice with many little details. The English spokesmen are really well chosen for this kind of game and the effect sounds are simply gorgeous. Overall the synergy between the graphics and the sound create a really believable Western world.
In my opinion, this game is great. It’s a bit of a pity that the developers left out the multiplayer mode for those two more-or-less senseless bonus game modes. Also, I don’t like the comical style of the game that much. The humor in the story is ok, but at some points the jokes seem a little bit put-on. In my opinion it should have been a lot darker. For me, the 15 euros were definitely worth it. To anyone who wants quick western action with a lot of humor I definitely recommend this game.
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