GUN - Official Website

Set in the untamed West of the late-1800s, GUN is a free-roaming action-adventure game that takes players to a world without laws where greed, lust and murder are rampant. As Colton White, a vengeful gunslinger, players must straddle the line between good and evil as they showdown against corrupt lawmen, a murderous preacher, renegade army psychopaths, merciless outlaws and unforgiving Native Americans, while waging war on horseback, collecting bounties, and commandeering trains. Players travel through an action-packed landscape of high mountain wilderness, deserts and bustling territorial towns in an epic story of betrayal, greed, and revenge.

Players traverse on horseback or foot through a living, populated environment that stretches from the snowy mountains of Montana, to the plains of Dodge City, Kansas and the deserts of New Mexico where danger is at every turn. Experience an extensive variety of missions such as: wage war on horseback, hunt for bounties, play poker, protect ladies of the night, hunt buffalo, assault a frontier fort, encounter authentic gunslingers of the time and utilize a multitude of authentic weapons such as: six shooters, shotguns, Gatling guns, flaming arrows, hatchets, and dynamite.

Multiple gameplay styles include: strategic gunplay and precision shooting, stealth tactics, and use of explosives. Embark on numerous side missions to master gun slinging and horse riding. Players can unlock secret weapons and upgrade skills and abilities to improve their weapon and equipment performance.

Written by Hollywood scriptwriter Randall Jahnson (Mask of Zoro, The Doors), GUN’s engrossing storyline and plot progression will transport players back in time to the lawless West where they encounter ladies of the night, a murderous preacher, and many other characters as players battle their way through a harsh, visceral and unforgiving landscape that portrays the West as it really was. They can act as a gunslinger protecting righteousness or seek retribution as they face resistance fighters, local lawmen, renegade soldiers and vengeful Native Americans.

Game Chronicles takes a look at this bold new action-adventure game with an exclusive GCM interview.

GCM: Thank you for your time! Please get us started by introducing yourself and telling us about the team that will be taking us into the Wild Wild West in GUN.
Irwin Chen: I am Irwin Chen, associate producer of GUN at Activision.

GCM: The entire “western” genre would seem to offer a wealth of game design and story opportunities yet it is seldom explored in the world of videogames. What motivated Neversoft into undertaking a western-themed title?
Irwin Chen: The setting for the game is a personal passion of Joel Jewett, President of Neversoft and other key Neversoft leads. As the idea blossomed and more research was put into it, they knew the Wild West was the perfect place for an epic game. There hasn’t been a really great western themed title released and GUN is looking to change that.

GCM: Can you give our readers a brief synopsis of the story in GUN and the motivation for the main character?
Irwin Chen: Colton was raised by his father Ned White in the mountains of the Montana territory. Before Ned is killed in a renegade attack on a steamboat, he tells you “I ain’t your father.” Now Colton is out to discover the truth in an epic tale of greed, lust, brutality and revenge.

GCM: How much research went into making GUN as historically accurate as it needed to be, and just how accurate is it as far as weapons, guns, events?
Irwin Chen: Everything was researched from the way an authentic period gun felt when you shot it to the gait of a horse breaking into a gallop. Practical real world experiences with experts was combined with books, internet, films and anything else that could shed some light on this different world. We wanted GUN to look, sound and feel like you were living in that time. The only thing missing is the dust in your eyes as you hunt a bounty across the badlands of Montana.

GCM: When you say the word “western” you immediately conjure up images of train robberies, stagecoach hijacks, and bar room brawls. Will these staples all be found in GUN?
Irwin Chen: Of course there will be some of these western staples but we’ve really set out to create a different kind of western. This isn’t an old fashioned John Wayne vision of the west. This is the true lawless and brutal world where people would do anything just to survive and every one of them carried a GUN.

GCM: You can’t have cowboys without Indians. What role will Native Americans play in GUN?
Irwin Chen: Native Americans play a host of roles in GUN. You will run into different nations that act as both allies and enemies (some might even be both).

GCM: Red Dead Revolver offered a bullet-time mode to help when you were outnumbered as well as an innovative “quick-draw” dueling mode. What new gameplay mechanics will you be introducing in GUN that will set it apart from past action titles?
Irwin Chen: The experience of riding into battle with allies on horseback has never really been done before. We have these fantastic action sequences with 10 people mounted on horses - it’s really incredible. It’s really frenetic, chaotic action when there are that many moving things moving on screen at the same time- some enemies’ guys are gunning after you, some are on your side. You’ll be able to shoot a horse in full gallop and watch it buckle from underneath the rider. The rider will fly off injured from the fall but not dead. You get to finish him off with your 1874 Sharps rifle or just trample him. Or, the friendly AI may beat you to the punch and mow him down as well. Even if you lose your trusty steed in the midst of battle, you can target the rider, instead of a horse.

We also have created a cool quick-draw mode. When used properly, you’ll be able beat opponents to the punch in a showdown. In the blink of an eye, you’ll be able to slow-down time, and get the 1st shot off before your enemy has the time to aim or even before he has time to draw his weapon. In this mode, you can also juggle between multiple targets so you can take down 3-4 guys in an instant. As you progress through the game, you’ll really feel like you’re developing the lightning-fast reflexes of quick draw specialist.

GCM: About how many weapons will we get to play with? Any favorites?
Irwin Chen: There is a whole arsenal of weapons for you to choose from including pistols, knives, shotguns, swords, rifles, bows, tomahawks and even a sharp shooting rifle. The weapons are upgradeable so as you play and earn money you’ll be able to reload them quickly, do more damage and even fire faster.

The double-barreled shotgun is a personal favorite.

GCM: Will the gameplay be tightly bound to a script or linear set of missions or will we be relatively free to explore the environments on our own?
Irwin Chen: The west was truly about freedom. That is the real driving force behind such a large part of the population packing up and striking off towards the sunset. To truly capture the sense of endless possibility of that time we needed and enormous streaming world for the player to explore. The more research we did the more we found out how brutal, lawless and real that world could be and we thought this will make a great video game. The story is really there to guide you through this massive world but you can take it at your own pace. Feel free to explore, hunt, gamble, ranch, mine for gold, fight off bandit attacks or ride for the pony express and then go back the main storyline when you feel like it.

GCM: From what we’ve seen so far there seems to be quite a bit of combat on horseback. What were some challenges in mixing combat and riding and are there any advantages to mounted combat versus walking?
Irwin Chen: It was a challenge to get the horse to feel just right. We needed to move and react differently than when you are on foot so that there is a unique feel. We wanted the horse to be an asset to the player so it had to feel natural to ride (after all, Colton is an expert rider) and easy to fight from. We researched all aspects of the horse in the game to really make it stand out from other games. Neversoft also focused on being able to seamlessly transition from on-foot to horseback and vice-versa. You’ll be in the middle of battle where you’ll have your horse shot out from under you and you’ll have to fend off attackers without one.

Is it better to fight on horse or on foot? It depends on the type of fighting you are doing. Horses move faster and are therefore harder to hit. You can also trample your enemies and the horse can take damage for you so in a full-blown firefight. I would say fighting on horseback is your best bet. You could also sneak around, get on top of rocks or behind walls and lean out and snipe your enemies, which isn’t as easy from horseback so it really depends on the situation.

GCM: What are your plans for multiplayer in GUN as far as game modes, environments, and possible future content download via Xbox Live?
Irwin Chen: We really wanted to concentrate on making an amazing single player experience before we moved into multiplayer game modes. There could be plans for the future though.

GCM: What’s with the severed ears they were passing out at E3 and how do they factor into the gameplay?
Irwin Chen: The severed ears are in reference to specific parts of the story. You’ll just have to play the game to figure it out.

GCM: If you had to pick one single element of GUN that sets it apart from anything else we have ever played, what would that be?
Irwin Chen: This is the first game that lets you explore an entire world showing you the true lawless and brutal world of the old west.

GCM: For our technical readers out there, how does the Xbox 360 development process differ from the old Xbox or even the PC or PS2, and what does this new technology allow you to do now that you couldn’t have done last year?
Irwin Chen: The Xbox 360 will feature 720P high definition resolution, superior character models, faster frame rate, dynamic lighting, better facial animation and normal mapping. The Xbox 360 allows more freedom to include features and effects that just weren’t possible with the memory constraints of the current-gen systems. The world will definitely feel more alive and full on the new hardware.

GCM: Westerns have a very distinct flavor when it comes to music and spoken dialogue. Will you be casting any known celebrities in leading roles, and who is your music composer?
Irwin Chen: Some of the better known actors we have cast are Thomas Jane (Deep Blue Sea, The Punisher) Kris Kristofferson (Blade, Planet of the Apes) as well as Brad Dourif (Deadwood, Lord of the Rings). The music is composed by Christopher Lennertz (Medal of Honour: European assault).