With my recent play-through of Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, I have been wondering why there are so few good old west games. As some of the regular listeners of the podcast may know, I am a huge fan of the old west in general. With the upcoming release of Red Dead Redemption, I have decided that this would be a good post to chronicle some of the old west games I have played.
1. Gun (PS2, XBox, XBox 360, GameCube, PC, PSP)
The old saying “first is worst” comes to mind with this game. While not a horrible game, it barely makes it past the line of mediocrity. Graphically the game is not that good looking, with even the 360 port looking pretty awful. However, some of the character models are surprisingly detailed for what is technically a last-gen game. What really brings down the quality of this title is the lack of variety in most of the missions. The game plays very “arcadey”, with most of the missions involving the player going from point A to point B and back again. The story is what really stands out in this game, involving the typical revenge plot line with a dash of fortune and glory added.
2. Red Dead Revolver (XBox, PS2)
This is by far the best old west title I have ever played. While the graphics are absolutely atrocious, even worse than the previous title, the gameplay and narrative make up for that. The game sucks the player in straight from the opening title screen, with an amazing main theme and well-done video. It is probably the only opening to a game that I do not instantly skip through. The game introduces all the main characters of the game not just with a cutscene, but with a full level where they are completely playable. The game even had an amazing multiplayer, which included over 20 playable characters with unique special abilities.
3. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (XBox 360, PS3, PC)
Revenge plot? Check. Fortune and glory? Check. Femme fatale who breaks up a brotherly bond? Check. This is THE old west game until Redemption is released. While not the best old west game I have ever played, this is certainly in the top few. The graphics and character models in the game are amazing, and some of the shoot outs can get very intense. The quick draw moments, which basically serve as the game’s boss battles, are some of the most tense, fun sections I have ever played. The narrative and cutscenes are among the best I have seen in a long time.
Well, there you have it. I know there are a few more old west games out there, but those are my top three. So I ask you, true believers, are there any you feel I should have put on the list? Should any or all three, have been stricken from the list? Comment with your thoughts!