The Wild West may bring to mind visions of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and The Magnificent Seven, but we can’t help but think of the near-legendary campfire scene in Mel Brooks’s Blazing Saddles.
Fittingly, Gameloft’s Six-Guns drops quite a few bum notes of its own.
As usual, Gameloft has taken inspiration from elsewhere in the video game world, and Six-Guns borrows plenty of ideas from Rockstar’s popular Red Dead Redemption.
You’re thrust into a large, sandbox-style world and expected to complete 40 different missions. Success earns you cash with which you can purchase new items and upgrades.
While the premise may boast Gameloft’s traditional lack of originality, the visuals are also in tune with the company’s usual standards - in short, they’re fantastic.
Six-Guns looks amazing, with detailed character models and breathtaking scenery. The only drawback is that it does tend to chug a little when there’s a lot of action occurring.
Gonna be a showdown
Six-Guns has a well-crafted touchscreen interface which is easy to navigate and intuitive to use. You can open a map, call your horse, or discharge your sidearm with a single button press. Combat is also pleasantly straightforward, thanks largely to an auto-aim system that's so effective it practically finds your target for you.
Six-Guns starts well, and ensures that you have all the information you need to become fully accustomed to the controls and game mechanics. But cracks begin to appear once you’re a few missions in - while there are different objective types, most of the tasks fall into the same basic template.
The repetitive nature of the missions is made even more glaring by the fact that Six-Guns is almost entirely devoid of plotting. You are literally told nothing about your character, his motives or his relationship with the people in the game.
The man with no name
Given Gameloft’s penchant for solid storylines in its games, this can only be seen as an uncharacteristically odd choice. Without a plot to drive the game forward, you simply move from mission to mission without any sense of actually achieving anything.
This is a crying shame as the game is very enjoyable once it starts flowing. The ability to upgrade your equipment keeps things interesting, and the power to quickly jump to points on the map to prevent tiresome riding is a welcome one.
Six-Guns is free to play, but you’ll soon discover that it's heavily skewed in favour of in-app purchases. If you’re dedicated (and skilful) enough, you can happily finish all 40 levels without actually spending a single penny, but it’s not an easy task.
Run out of town
We wonder if Gameloft has deliberately kept costs down by avoiding cut-scenes and plotting, instead choosing to offer a bare-bones action experience which will hopefully tempt enough people to open their wallets and make in-app purchases.
The game is certainly persistent. As soon as a commodity - be it health or ammo - is running low, the game prods you forcefully in the direction of the in-game store.
Six-Guns has style, and it manages to nail the western atmosphere with relative ease. It’s just a bit curious that Gameloft has decided to push the game out to market with no plot attached - something that leaves it feeling disjointed, aimless, and repetitive.
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