Previews

Hands-on with Gameloft's Six Guns for iPhone and iPad

Redemption?

Hands-on with Gameloft's Six Guns for iPhone and iPad
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iOS
| Six-Guns

Yes, it looks a bit like Red Dead Redemption, but you already knew that by looking at the screenshots.

Gameloft’s upcoming single-player offering Six Guns isn’t an exact replica of Rockstar’s hit cowboy game, though, despite the large mesa-filled open world and aggressive wildlife suggesting otherwise.

Instead of keeping it (fairly) real and using a good portion of gaming time to highlight the slow creep of technology into the old way of life, Six Guns introduces werewolves, witches, and a gosh darn laser gun

Yeah, you heard me – a laser gun.

What's yer name, pardner?

Needless to say, Gameloft is about as interested in realism as your main character Buck Crosshaw (seriously) is in negotiating with banditos.

This disregard for realism extends into the gameplay itself. If you’re not interested in riding around the expansive open plains for hours on end, following the traditional hand-holding waypoint markers along the non-linear mission tree, you can just hit a 'quick travel' button to skip all of it.

Six Guns is an almost arcade-like experience, mainly thanks to the missions themselves, which show Gameloft might just have realised that not everyone has ten-20 minutes spare to play one level on mobiles. In contrast with Backstab’s often sprawling, multi-part affairs, Six Guns’s levels are focused, quick, and – importantly – repeatable.

Objectives range from the traditional, such as horse racing and defending against waves of enemies attacking a specific location, to King of the Hill style round-based missions and straight out linear corridor shooting.

Repeating the missions makes them tougher, adding more creatures into the bargain, but likewise also increases the gold and XP gained upon their completion.

Got your boots on backwards

Right now, however, Six Guns appears to be in the throes of an identity crisis. It’s an open–world game you'll probably end up navigating through menus, and it looks like a premium game but it's currently flirting with a freemium mistress.

The shop (again accessible from anywhere in the game) is currently filled with real-money special items alongside in-game currency weapons.

There’s even a waiting time applied to healing your character, which is almost certainly going to rub a fair few players up the wrong way should it make it into the release build.

Draw!

The final decision whether to go with an up-front fee or only charge for in-app purchases hasn’t been made yet, but it was interesting to see a game that’s so far along in development still undecided as to which path to ultimately take.

What's certain is that the odd combination of steampunk and traditional wild west gameplay, with an arsenal that includes an ornate cross-shaped rocket launcher called The Crucificator, has got me chewing my tobacco in perplexed anticipation.

Six Guns is expected to draw first on iPhone and iPad later this year.