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Six-Guns Review

By , on December 12, 2011


Six-Guns: Gang Showdown
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Decent variety of quest objectives; saving hostages, racing, sharp-shooting and wave-based defense to name a few.
  • Smooth 3D performance with a colorful Western theme.
  • Simple, streamlined third-person controls.

CONS

  • Missions scale over time, but fail to adjust the environments for variety.
  • Ammunition system can leave you high-and-dry all too often; forces you in to alternative and less desirable missions.
  • No narrative justification for progress; Skinner box gameplay at its finest.

VERDICT

Six-Guns comes closer than any other freemium title to providing an experience that's packed with action and worth coming back to time and again, but its lack of a narrative and repetitive quests remind you far too often that you're playing a freemium title that's designed around its 'store' button.


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At times its hard to know whether or not a game is meant to be taken seriously, or if it's just an elaborate piece of satire meant to be enjoyed sardonically. Six-Guns by Gameloft treads a fine-line where the developer's usual penchant for emulation is almost completely derailed by its experimental 'freemium' model of gameplay, making it perhaps the best offering in this classification while simultaneously providing very little in the way of meaningful gameplay.

Freemium games have come a long way, relatively speaking, from needing to constantly reap the benefits of timed activities, to being arbitrarily restricted in how often you can play a full game. Six-Guns is the culmination of this train of thought, placing you in control of a cowboy in a Western setting (albeit one also populated by supernatural beasties), out to cleanse the land of evil (or just turn a quick buck or two). Sadly all the restrictions of a freemium setup reduce the game to what amounts to a pile of repetitive mini-games designed only to encourage you to unlock more minigames.

Bullets, much like health-packs and even the clothes you wear are considered premium objects, something that requires constant investment in to a 'store' to keep up the good fight against bandits and vampires alike. While this may sound harsh, the game isn't without alternative objectives and players can participate in races or a handful of exploration-based challenges to put some cash back in to the coffers. Also, much like Gamelofts recent open world games, players can teleport straight to quest locations, making it a great game for quickly loading up and completing a handful of objectives in a short space of time.

Unfortunately it all comes off as hollow and meaningless when there's no story to tie these objectives together and worse still, repeat missions only marginally increase the challenge while keeping the same locations, meaning you'll quickly get bored of defending the same building or freeing captive prisoners.

Taken at face value, Six-Guns makes for an excellent free title for those who just want to kill their spare time with something more than just harvesting plants or running a cafe. Those hoping for a compelling action title are sorely out of luck as Six-Guns lacks the variety and narrative required to keep a player invested in the game.

Screenshots

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