Not shooting straight
A homage to Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption on the iPhone certainly sounds like a good idea, and if anyone know how to create look-alikes for console games on Apple's devices it's Gameloft. What could go wrong with Six Guns, then?
Despite seeing some great Freemium titles this year, alarm bells started ringing as soon as the Freemium details emerged. But actually, the model doesn't really inflict too much pain on the game at first. Other issues, however, do put a dampener on things.
Six Guns starts well enough, though the lack of a story is the first noticeable absence and really hurts any attempt to engage with the main character. Instead, you're plonked straight down in the game and you're asked to save the town from bandits. It's fun at first and even the aiming feels just on the right side of auto-aim, but several missions in and you'll notice that there isn't really that much in the way of deviation.
Completing missions earns gold and this helps level up your weapons or upgrade items. You'll also need to save some for spare bullets, though these can also be found lying around if you're lucky. It's a slow going process to keep your gunslinger's fire-power up without resorting to buying more gold, though.
This is where the freemium aspect kicks in. It's obvious that Gameloft want your money , you can even argue that it's a fair price to pay for getting further in the game, but it feels forced upon the player at times, with messages suggesting making a payment. You can, of course, ignore this and carry on regardless, but many will have deleted the game before the 40 levels are over.
In its defence, Six Guns does try to mix things up by introducing the undead aspect. With demons and ghosts in the underground caves there's more than just bandits to shoot, but as you'll still be performing much the same action it's all just aesthetics.
Gameloft have provided another graphically pleasing game, everything looks pretty enough on a retina display and it can be a joy to ride out on a horse. But the nature of the wild west setting does mean that you can find yourself with nothing but sand and a few tumbleweeds for company between towns. Authentic it may be, but it's certainly not very interesting to count your 50th tumbleweed roll past.
Six Guns is a solid game with great graphics and some nice handling, but it feels hollow and bare. With no story to tie the game together and a freemium model that is all too ready to prompt you towards the store, it ends up missing the target.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 9
- Gameplay: 6
- Longevity: 6
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