Gun (video game)

Gun (video game)
Gun Coverart.jpg
Developer(s) Neversoft, Beenox (PC), Rebellion Developments (PSP)
Publisher(s) Activision
Composer(s) Christopher Lennertz
Platform(s) GameCube, Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PSP
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action-adventure, third-person shooter, Western, Stealth
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer (PSP)
Media/distribution CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, Nintendo optical disc
System requirements

OS:Windows 2000/XP
CPU: 1.8 GHz or Athlon XP 1800+ or higher processor or equivalent
RAM: 256 MB
HDD: 2.8 GB
Resolution: 480p
DirectX v9.0c
Graphics card: 100% percent DirectX 9.0c compliant 32 MB Hardware T&L capable and latest gfx drivers
CD-ROM: 100% Windows 2000/XP compatible 4x CD-ROM drive (600 kbit/s sustained transfer rate) with latest drivers

Gun is a Revisionist Western-themed[1][2] video game developed by Neversoft. It was published by Activision for the Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube, Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 2. The game was released in North America on November 8, 2005, and in mid-to late November in Europe. Since October 13, 2006, the game has also been available to buy on Valve's content delivery platform, Steam. It was released for the PlayStation Portable under the title Gun: Showdown on October 10, 2006. It features new side-missions, a multiplayer mode, and other additions that weren't available in the console versions.

In its first month the game sold 225,000 units across the four systems it was initially released for. According to TRST sales data the game has sold over 1.4 million units in the US (as of October 2008). It was well-received by professional game reviewers and Activision has noted that Gun sold the best among new video game properties. The game won awards, most notable GameSpy's "Xbox 360 Action Game of the Year".



Gunfights are an important feature of the game, with enemies ranging from outlaws to wild animals.

Gun features an open world environment, including side-missions that add to the story of the game.[3] Players controls the protagonist Colton White from a third person perspective. While traveling from town to town bandit attacks are fluent and players must defend themselves from them or escape them. Players can hunt and kill various animals like buffalos, wild horses, and even stray dogs and farm animals. The player can also cause mayhem, but this can attract attention from lawmakers and other gunslingers alike. They can act as a gunslinger protecting righteousness or seek reputation as they face resistance fighters, local lawmen, renegade soldiers and vengeful Apaches and Blackfoot. By killing civilians, a Town Patience meter will decrease with every mayhem caused. If empty, a showdown ensues between the player and the locals.

Several minigames are included in Gun. As the player progresses through the game, they can opt to complete side-missions, including poker tournaments, cattle herding, law enforcement and bounty hunting. Using money obtained from these side-missions and finding gold veins, players can purchase upgrades to their items.


Players can switch from third-person to first-person during gameplay.

Players can wield a revolver and switch between rifles, shotguns, various handheld explosives, and bows. Throwing knives are available in Gun Showdown. Attacking and killing enemies fills up a Quickdraw gauge, which when activated slows down time like a bullet-time, switches 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 players can switch through first-person to third-person overhead camera during gameplay with some weapon.

There are only two handheld explosives available in the game. The dynamite and Whiskey bomb. Dynamites provide explosion and can neutralize and enemy, but in a timed manner. Whiskey bombs are thrown and instantly ignite when it hits the ground. It has a more larger surface area damage but enemies can sometimes roll themselves out of it. Barrels of TNT are scattered all-around the environment and during missions, encouraging players to use them either in setting traps or throwing them up in the air, and using quickdraw, shoots and blows them up. Land mines are available on the PSP version.

Melee combat is a huge emphasis, with enemies charging at you many times in the game. The players can use a bowie knife, a tomahawk and sabers. They can use enemies as a human shield or dispatch them by slitting their throats. Players can also scalp a dead enemy with a scalping knife. Stealth is also seen in many missions. In this situation the players are encourage to use bows, melee, (and on the PSP, throwing knives). There are a variety of arrows to choose, from ordinary, to flaming, and if unlocked, the explosive arrows. Horseback combat is also featured and is an important part in the game. Fast-paced chases are featured, and players can shoot while riding. But horses can be killed, both the enemies's horse and the player's. While riding the horse players can do close-quarter-combat with any melee weapons in them. Trampling or running over is also a way of dispatching enemies on horseback.



Gun is set in the American Old West, specifically some parts of Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico in the year 1880. This includes cities and badlands with populated environment that stretches from the snowy mountains, to the plains of early Dodge City, Kansas.[4] The story was written by Randall Jahnson while Gerard Marino scored the game's music. The game features several veteran actors, including Ron Perlman, Lance Henriksen, Kris Kristofferson and the lead played by Thomas Jane.

The game features a number of characters whose names are taken from real-life Old West figures, including Clay Allison, Jose Chavez y Chavez, Hoodoo Brown, Dave Rudabaugh, John Joshua "J.J" Webb, Luke Short as well as Major Thomas Magruder who may have been based off of John B. Magruder,Soapy Jennings who was probably based on Soapy Smith, and Magruder's hulking personal bodyguard, Dutchie, who was possibly based on "Dutchy" Schunderberger, a member of the real-life Hoodoo Brown's Dodge City Gang. While the name of the famous house of pleasure in the game "Alhambra" comes from a former pleasure-castle of the Moorish Nasriden royalty of Granada, named for the red bricks from which it is made.[5]


In 1880, Colton White and his father Ned are hunting for game along the Missouri river. After saving Ned from a grizzly bear, Colton and Ned board a steamer to sell their hunt. Along the way Colton notices that Ned seems to have other reasons for boarding. The steamer is suddenly attacked by a reverend named Reed and a band of renegade soldiers. After losing ground to the renegades, Colton and Ned are pushed to the back of the boat where Ned reveals he is not Colton's biological father and pushes him over the side to save him from the steamboat's explosion. With a horse Colton got from a thief, he travels to Dodge City to find a whore named Jenny whom Ned mentioned. After killing a bunch of cowboys in a gunfight who abducted Jenny, she tells him that Mayor Hoodoo Brown of Empire City knows Reed's whereabouts. After assisting the sheriff in fixing the bridge to Empire City, Colton and Jenny travel through the badlands in a stagecoach and barely makes it out alive with apaches attacking them. Upon arriving Colton is made a deputy by Hoodoo and promises to help him find Reed. During a gunfight at an outlaw hideout, Colton is appalled to see the other deputies killing an unarmed couple. Colton attempts to arrest the deputies but was forced to kill them both when the two resisted. When he returns Empire City, Hoodoo tricks Colton into ambushing him at his headquarters. Colton watches as Reed kills Jenny and himself being knocked unconscious by Hoodoo. Colton was thrown into prison and framed for Jenny's murder where he will be hang. With the help of a safecracker named Soapy, Colton escapes jail and goes to the outlaw's 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 and their search for a lost city of gold called Quivira.

Clay takes him on a mission to destroy one of Magruder's trains which they executed successfully. As they celebrate the train attack that night they are attacked by Magruder's men. They repel the attack but Clay gets captured in the process. Colton convinces the outlaws to assault Empire City to rescue Clay. During the assault, Colton and Hoodoo engage in a showdown where Colton kills him. With the city liberated, Colton travels back to Dodge to find Soapy so they can crack a safe that Colton noticed back in the steamboat. After saving Soapy from men he cheated in poker the two travel to the wrecked steamboat's location. However, the two were captured by Sergeant Hollister who commanded steamboat attack earlier. After escaping the fort they assist the local Blackfoot tribe in attacking that fort and he eventually kills Hollister. On their way back to the steamboat they are attacked by Reed. Colton kills Reed and he and Soapy discover that the item is a part of a golden cross which shows the route to Quivira. Colton realizes that the other piece is with the leader of the Apaches, Many Wounds whom he met earlier. Colton and Soapy travel across the badlands with Many Wounds who reveals that Colton's father was a doctor and his mother an Apache whom were murdered by Magruder. They are ambushed by Magruder's men, leading to Soapy's capture and torture. Colton kills them and uses Magruder's armored train to assault Quivira. With the help of the Apaches and Clay's outlaw forces, Colton fights his way through the mines where he meets Magruder in a gunfight. Colton kills Magruder and escapes Quivira before it crumbled.


  • Colton "Cole" White (Thomas Jane) - The Apache protagonist and player character of the story. He grew up learning the way 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. Colton is a skilled marksman, and is always willing to stand up for what is right.
  • Soapy Jennings (Dave Wittenberg) - A safe cracker and a friend of Colton. Soapy's two specialties are cracking safes and cheating in poker; two major strikes against him in a place like 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 right in the middle of 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 a mine.
  • Ned White (Kris Kristofferson) - Colton's adoptive father. He raised Colton to manhood 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 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 misognyst priest who works for Magruder as a hired killer. Employed by Magruder as a henchmen in Magruder's game 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 to line his own pockets. 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 and friend of Ned White and Tom Magruder. The leader of the resistance group fighting against Hoodoo Brown's corrupt reign over Empire City. He and his followers work closely with the Apache Indians, 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 only 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.

Development and marketing

Gun was marketed through the use of "Last Call Poker" — an alternate reality game from 42 Entertainment.[6]

Reception and sales

Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 79%[7]
Metacritic 79/100[8]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 7/10[9]
GamePro 4.5/5 stars[10]
GameSpot 7.4 of 10[11]
GameSpy 4/5 stars[12]
GameTrailers 7.6/10[13]
IGN 8.0 of 10[14]
Official Xbox Magazine 9.5/10[15]
Official Xbox Magazine (UK) 9/10[16]
Play Magazine 8/10[17]
X-Play 3/5 stars [18]

Gun received mostly positive reviews from critics, although Xbox 360 met positive to mediocre ratings. It holds aggregate scores of 79% and 79/100 at GameRankings and Metacritic, respectively.[7][8] IGN stated that "Neversoft has finally made a good game besides all their Tony Hawk"[14] GameSpot described it as "initially a 19th-century Grand Theft Auto"[11] while GameSpy addressed it as having "just about everything you could want from a game set in the Wild West".[12] In its first month the game sold 225,000 units across the four systems it was initially released for.[19] According to TRST sales data the game has sold over 1.4 million units in the US (as of October 2008).


The game was highly acclaimed by many and has scored great ratings and awards. GameSpy awarded it "Editor's Choice"[20] and "Xbox 360 Action Game of the Year" saying that it needs "a sequel and fast."[21] The game's protagonist Colton White was placed #7 on Game Informer's "Top 10 Heroes of 2005" list[22]. Additionally, 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".[23]


The Association for American Indian Development has started a boycott of the game, saying it contains "derogatory, harmful, and inaccurate depictions of American Indians." On the boycott's Web site, the group is hosting a petition and demanding that Activision clean up various aspects of the game before rereleasing it to retailers, or simply issue a worldwide recall of the game.[24] The site goes on to suggest that a game in which players were required to kill members of specific racial groups like African-Americans, Irish, Mexicans, or Jews would never be tolerated, "but apparently, killing Indians is still fair game." The site also mentions events and revelations that take place later on in Gun's story, but says they do nothing to excuse the earlier portions of the game.

The 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."

Rumored sequel

In February 2006, publisher Activision hinted that a sequel may be on the way.[25] 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.[26] IGN has also added the game as "other game by Activision".[27] According to Joystiq, publisher Activision apparently hinted during a 2006 financial conference that a sequel may be in production.[28] However, no official announcements regarding a Gun sequel have yet been made.

More rumors resurfaces when Activision took its internal studio Neversoft off the Tony Hawk franchise in early 2009 and now puts job requests and hiring new staffs. As spotted by Internet sleuthing blog Superannuation, recent Neversoft job listings indicate that the studio is gearing up for a "new action shooter game." Neversoft has posted a number of positions for the project, including a Senior Designer, Lead Multiplayer Designer, Level Designer, and Scripter.[29] Gamespot went on in further investigation, finding the job listings heavily emphasize that the game will feature both single- and multiplayer components. Further, Neversoft's project will apparently carry a "realistic" aesthetic, though no other context for this design philosophy was teased. With GameSpot saying, "A revival of that franchise isn't out of the question, considering the recent success of Rockstar San Diego's similarly themed Red Dead Redemption".


  1. ^ GameSpot Video: Gun Developer Interview
  2. ^ GameSpot Video: Gun Video Review
  3. ^ "Gun gameplay". Gun Wiki. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  4. ^ "Gun Setting". Gun Wiki. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  5. ^ "Gun Setting". Associate Publisher. 
  6. ^ "Gun Setting". Associate Publisher. 
  7. ^ a b "Aggregate score". Game Rankings. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  8. ^ a b "Aggregate score". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  9. ^ "Gun". 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  10. ^ "Gun Xbox 360 review from GamePro". 2010-05-07. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  11. ^ a b "Xbox 360 review". Gamespot. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  12. ^ a b "Xbox 360 review". GameSpy. 
  13. ^ "Gun Review". GameTrailers. 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  14. ^ a b "Xbox review". IGN. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  15. ^ "Gun". Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  16. ^ "Gun Score". Xbox Magazine]. January 21, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Review: Gun". 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  18. ^ "Xbox 360 review". G4TV. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  19. ^ "Activision warns of "significantly lower" earnings". GameSpot. 
  20. ^ "Action Game of the Year". GameSpy. 
  21. ^ "Action Game of the Year". GameSpy. 
  22. ^ "Top ten Heroes". Game Informer. 
  23. ^ "Interactive Awards". Annual Interactive Achievement Awards. 
  24. ^ "Gun controversies". Gamespot. Retrieved 2008-08-22. 
  25. ^ Ross Miller (2006-02-06). "Activision hints at a Gun sequel". Joystiq. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  26. ^ Justin McElroy (2007-09-12). "Gun sequel poster in Tony Hawk Proving Ground demo". Joystiq. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  27. ^ "IGN Hints @ Gun 2". 
  28. ^ "Activision hints at a GUN sequel". 
  29. ^ "Gamespot look". 

External links

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