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This looks pretty sweet. I get the impression from the previews I've read its like a GTA meets Red Dead Revolver sort of a game. Free-roaming gunslinger action in a post-civil war New Mexico. Slated for release on xbox, ps2, psp and xbox 360.

Gamespot 'impressions'

Gamespy interview

Gamespy preview

Hopefully you'll get to shoot people for laughing at your mule.


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I was really looking forward to this. Then I saw the video trailer on this month's issue of Cube and I'm not so sure. Could be the video, but it looks a bit rough and jerky. Maybe it won't be noticeable in play. Or maybe its just early development shots. I hope.

The trailer actually did the opposite of what I expected :huh:

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I want a game where I can BE Clint Eastwood.  Red Dead Revolver was not it.

Gun had better be the one for me, dammit.  I've waited too long.

Film buffs can add one more to that list, as Bits Studios today announced that it has acquired the rights to make a game based on The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in a deal with MGM Interactive, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter. The 1966 film, from director Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood, was the final film in The Man With No Name trilogy.

No details of the game have emerged yet, save for the fact that it will be from a third-person perspective and will feature Ennio Morricone's familiar score. Foo Katan, CEO of Bits, told the trade magazine that he is looking into getting the likenesses and voice talents of the movie's actors for the game.

It wouldn't be the first game for Eastwood, as the Academy Award-winning actor, director, and former mayor of Carmel, California, has signed on to do voice work for Foundation 9's game interpretation of Dirty Harry, set for release on next-generation systems next year.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is set for release in 2006 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, and PSP.

Good The Bad & The Ugly & Dirty Harry. It's hard to decide between laughing & crying.


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It's based on a book which is a bit odd. However, it does look really good and should be a bit special.


Have you played Outlaws on the PC? It's a bit old now but is still very good. It's a western FPS made by Lucasarts which was completely and utterly ignored, which was a shame because back in the day it was fantastic.

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If anyone is interested, here's the interview with the game's Hollywood script writer, first taken from IGN, and then my lonely thread...

I wrote:

I wasn't too sure whether to post this, and whether to make it an "official Gun" thread or not.

But when IGN said...

Neversoft's Gun is a Western action shooter created with an in-depth story written by a master movie story-teller, a writer who's penned stories for both movies and TV, but who's relatively new to games. We spoke with Randall Jahnson (Sunset Strip, Mask of Zorro, the Doors, Dude) about his experience writing Gun. He took our simple, innocent questions, and answered them like his life depended on it. He answered questions on the differences between writing for games and movies with more clarity than any other writer we've spoken with; what characteristics he gleaned from movie writing; the reality of the Old West; his love for Western stories; life-and-death situations; what it was like to work with Neversoft, and much and more.

...I was persuaded to just post the interview.

IGN: What is it like writing a movie script versus writing a videogame script? How is it different, and if better, why?

Randall Jahnson:  In a screenplay you're laying out a specific path that leads to a specific outcome. Ultimately, a movie has a very narrow perspective. You see only what the director and the camera and its various lenses want you to see.

In videogames the objective is still the same (tell an entertaining story), but the perspective is wider and the path to the outcome is so much more circuitous, challenging and unpredictable. For a writer like me that kind of latitude is like hitting the Mother Lode.

I love to research, especially historical periods.

There have been countless times when I've been working on a period script and I've discovered something really cool but can't use it in the movie because it has nothing to do with the plot. In other instances I've wanted to send my characters off on a wild goose chase that is not intrinsic to the story, or I simply want to linger longer in a location to explore it fully and absorb its unique atmosphere.

Videogames afford the writer (and the player, of course) the chance to do that. With the exception of a novel, no other medium can create or re-create a world so thoroughly.

For example, Gun's protagonist Colton White becomes a bounty hunter for a bunch of side missions. He chooses his quarry from a half-a-dozen wanted posters tacked on a wall. Each poster he reads aloud so the player learns the last known location and details of his quarry. Writing several of those posters was great fun. You'd never get into that kind of detail in a movie.

Still, there are similarities between movies and games. Both are slaves to time and budgets. Both have logistical and technological limits. In films, you can't really write a scene with the proverbial cast of thousands anymore for the simple reason of the cost (unless it's CGI, also very expensive); and in games, you can't do it because there can only be so many animated characters on the screen at any given time otherwise the whole thing crashes.

Economy of storytelling, too, is crucial in both. In screenplays and movies, you're always whittling scenes down to their essence. The same is true for games -- only more so. Cutscenes, I was forewarned, could be no longer than two minutes (about half as long as a crucial movie scene.)

Early on, Neversoft President Joel Jewett pointed to the "X" button on a controller and said to me, "That's the enemy." When you're writing these scenes, he continued, always remember there's a player sitting on that button just waiting for an excuse to punch it.

Like a gunslinger with an itchy trigger finger, you gotta respect that.

A big difference, though, was the developing process. In the film world, you write your script, hand it in, and pray to God the studio or the director or the megastar like it and then you wait for production to begin and end and enter post- and two or three years later -- it's in a theater, if you're lucky.

Writing "Gun" was like being in pre-production, production, and post- all at the same time. We'd have meetings at Neversoft to discuss some story/plot issues and at the same time they'd be showing me some rudimentary animation for missions and the artwork for characters or locations.

For a writer that's very inspiring -- but also a little crazy.

IGN: What kind of research did you do to write the script for Gun?

Randall: I guess you could say I've been researching this all my life. Like my two older brothers, I've had a real passion for the Old West for as long as I can remember.

I never had to go any farther than my own library for much of the research. I'm a book collector and I've been accumulating works about the Old West for years.

Also, the maternal side of my family is from western Missouri (or "Missoura," as the locals say), which is where Jesse James and his close associates, the Younger Brothers, hailed from. The area was a hotbed of violence during the Civil War; the James and Younger boys were part of William Quantrill's band of Confederate guerillas who brutally clashed with occupying Federal troops and Jayhawkers, the anti-slavery irregulars. After the war, of course, the James-Younger Gang graduated to further notoriety until they met with disaster in Northfield, Minnesota in 1876.

After serving 20-plus years in prison, Cole Younger came home, settled down and found God. A cousin of mine, now in her 90s, used to sit on his lap when he'd get a haircut at her father's barbershop. At a family reunion when I was 12 years old, I made a pilgrimage to Cole's grave in Lee's Summit. I still have the Polaroid of me posing proudly - big hair, thick glasses - next to his headstone. You'd think I'd found the Holy Grail!

Ghost towns, too, were an obsession of mine for a long time. Not the touristy ones like Tombstone or Deadwood (though they can be fun), but the real remote sites that are little more than a dot on the map, if mentioned at all, and accessible only by four-wheel drive. I've spent many trips bouncing down some godforsaken dirt road in search of places with names like Elkhorn, Chloride, Jackrabbit, Pahreah....

Wandering amongst these desolate ruins can really give you a vivid sense of what life was like back then - it was hard, man!

One time I was in Arizona with a buddy and we were checking out a ghost town called Gleeson, which is nestled in the arid Dragoon Mountains a dozen miles or so east of Tombstone. When we were driving in I thought I'd heard gunfire, but didn't pay much attention to cuz it seemed far off. We got out of the car to get a look at an old archway that used to be the schoolhouse. Walking ahead of my friend to get a picture, I kept noticing these "bugs" that were buzzing over my head. Damn, they're flying fast, I thought. Then I heard my friend yell, "Randy!!".

I turned around and saw Ethan flat on his belly. "Get down," he said. "Those are bullets!"

We hung low for a moment, then called out, "Got your message! We're leaving!" We scrambled back to the car and hightailed it. We never saw the shooter(s) nor can I say for sure he/they were shooting at us -- perhaps we were at the end of the trajectory of some plinkin' going on on the other side of the hill -- but we didn't stick around to find out.

When writing "Gun," I came across this saying in a book of cowboy slang: "The whine of a bullet is a hint in any man's language."

Ain't that the truth.

IGN: Did Activision present you with a general sketch and then you took it from there? Or were you totally free to write whatever you wanted? Tell us about the process.

Randall:  At my first meeting at Neversoft - which was with Joel, Scott Pease, and Chad Findley - we just spitballed. All they said to me was that they wanted to do a Western - and the only requirements were that the first part of the story had to take place in or around Dodge City and the majority of the action was to be in a town modeled somewhat after Las Vegas, New Mexico. They had no characters; no plot.

Funny - on the mantel in my office, I keep a black powder pistol. It's a replica of a Navy Colt revolver - cap n' ball. I've shot it only a couple times - it's not very accurate - you gotta be within 10 feet to hit anything - but it sure looks good sittin'


Just before I went out the door to meet the guys at Neversoft for the very first time, I got the notion to take the Colt with me. Then I thought, Wait a second.

They're gonna you're psycho when you pull out that big ol' hog leg and start waving it around. So the gun stayed home.

When I got to Neversoft, I was ushered into a room where Joel Jewett Scott Pease, and Chad Findley were waiting and each one of them had in their hands a similar replica sixgun!

I knew I was in the right place.

IGN: What have you learned from previous movie scripts -- techniques, plots, character make-ups -- that you've implemented in Gun's story to render it compelling and emotionally charged?

Randall:  The challenge of any screenplay -- and by extension, any movie - is to get your audience emotionally involved.

That only happens through characters. The characters of the drama have to make you care. If you care, then you want to find out what happens to them. So you'll turn the page of the novel, stay in your seat longer at the theater, or play the game till the next level.

Action sequences or clever intellectual exercises can hold our attention for a while, but ultimately, it's the characters who compel us to stick with it.

From my years in the screenwriting trenches, I've tried to bring to Gun a cast of compelling, three-dimensional characters. Even the bosses I wanted to be more than cardboard bad guys. Sure, some are just good cannon fodder, but for the most part, I wanted all the main characters to be well-drawn and vivid.

Colton, especially. He has to grow over the course of the game. At the end he is not the same dude he was at the beginning. He has changed. His journey is as much a quest for identity as it is an epic adventure.

I also wanted to play with expectations by turning classic Western types on their heads: lawmen who are corrupt instead of good and stalwart; white soldiers who are more savage than the "savages" they're fighting...

IGN: Why is the game's lead character from Montana? Why not Texas, Missouri, or Kansas? Those are big name Western states, too. Did Neversoft President Joel Jewett put a knife to your throat forcing you to pick Montana (since he grew up there)? He did that to us to give the game a good score…

Randall:  Fortunately, I've yet to be on the business end of a blade or barrel held in Joel's capable hands, but I can testify that one glance from those steely eyes of his can be rather... well, persuasive. Let's put it this way: If you're gonna play poker with Joel, you'll lose.

The fact that Joel is from Montana impressed me. Right off I could see that he was the real deal and that his interest in all things Western sprang from first-hand experience as opposed to some Hollywood studio exec whose idea of the West is skiing in Aspen.

But, no, he never insisted or even suggested that Montana play the location role it does.

Joel aside, Montana's cool! Kansas is too flat, Missouri too far East, and Texas... well, hell, let's face it -- Texas gets plenty of press.

Montana's called Big Sky Country for a reason. I've had a couple of great sweeps through there and I'm kind of in awe of it, actually. And its history is so rich: The Lewis & Clark Expedition explored it; Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull rubbed out Custer there; the Missouri River was crawling with steamboats; and it's home to the Blackfeet who were arguably the most ferocious fighters of all the nations on the Northern Plains.

But beware: Colton isn't really from Montana; it's just the place he and Ned happen to be at the start of our story. (They've probably ranged all over the Rockies and into Canada as well). Colton's real heritage is at the core of Gun's mystery.

IGN: How did you decide to develop the characters, Ned and Colton? Do the characters have mixed backgrounds and hidden pasts that are likely to shock people like in Chinatown? Or were Sergio Leone's 1960s spaghetti westerns more of an impetus for the story of Gun?

Randall:  They came about a bit by accident. I'd been sending ideas for characters and scenarios to the guys for a while; they were lukewarm about a lot of it because it was stuff they had seen before in other games or films. On a whim, I sent them this one-page description of the main character which I titled "What You're Made Of." It was written in the second person: "Your given name is Colton. That much you know. You reckon you're somewhere north of 20 years, but can't say for a fact...."

"You" went on to describe your mentor, Uncle Ned White, and what little you knew about your past and a traumatic encounter with a cougar....

The Neversoft guys really responded to that, and that's what got the ball rolling. Curiously, I never dropped the "You" point of view. The whole cutscene script was written that way: "You jump on a horse and yank your rifle from its scabbard," etc....

In regards to hidden pasts, both Colton and Ned have them. Whether they're as shocking as the "she's my daughter AND my sister" moment in "Chinatown" -- I'll leave that for players of "Gun" to determine.

As for Leone, sure he was an influence but not the impetus. My sensibility for Westerns has been shaped less by spaghetti and more by stuff that has a kind of counterculture bent, like "Little Big Man," "Jeremiah Johnson," "The Long Riders," "The Missouri Breaks," "Will Penny," anything by Peckinpah, and -- though not a Western -- "Apocalypse Now."

IGN: Do you play any games?

Randall: I'm a total greenhorn. Prior to this I'd never played a game -- and still haven't, to tell you the truth.

There was a learning curve, to be sure, but Scott and all the others didn't mind. When I first met them, they asked what kind of computer I worked on. I said a Mac. They just laughed.

IGN: What is it about the Wild West that you like, that drives you? What kinds of elements have you infused into the game that reflects the Wild West's color, violence, and raw sensibility?

Randall:  To me the Old West has always been this incredible paradoxical arena where countless destinies were played out. It meant life, it meant death. It meant closeness to and reverence of Nature, it meant the wanton rape of the land and the genocide of its native peoples. It was a place where a man could forge a new name, a new identity, a new life, and where he could disappear without a trace.

Also, I find in it elements that - at the risk of sounding a tad corny - give me insight into today's world and an appreciation for the valor and sacrifices of those who lived then.

Years ago I was in Oklahoma researching a different project. On my last day there I visited the memorial for the federal building bombing, which brought me to tears (this was before 9/11). Then I drove west for nearly 100 miles to a little town called Cheyenne which sits in the middle of the Black Kettle National Grassland. In the quiet rolling fields just outside of town I took a self-guided walking tour down a dirt path that wound through the site where in 1868 Custer and his intrepid boys in blue attacked a Cheyenne village under chief Black Kettle. Out of the hundred or so villagers killed, only 11 were warriors. Custer also ordered his men to shoot the Indian ponies since they could not be turned into saddle horse. Their bones remained on the site until the 1920s when they were finally collected and ground into fertilizer.

In a single day -- and a hundred miles apart -- I saw both ends of the same thing. And the West is full of sites like this, sacred and profane, marked and unmarked.

I'm not sure what this all means other than perhaps by revisiting the events of back then we might glean some insight to help us navigate through events of today.

IGN: The Wild West had several parts, several chapters to its development. There is the Gold Rush in California, the American Civil War, the connection of the West and East by railroad, and the establishment of many, many towns due to mining, herding, farming, etc. Does the story reflect American history in an accurate way, and if so, could you give us some examples?

Randall:  All those chapters are represented in "Gun" in one way or another and that was by design. Do they reflect American history in an accurate way? Not entirely. "Gun" is still a videogame, let's remember, not a history course. But I do think it effectively represents the greed that was present in the form of robber barons, mining and cattle operations, and other power structures. And the violence, of course. ("Gun"'s sound effects, by the way, are awesome!)

But I do hope it sparks curiosity in the minds of its players to investigate those real-life chapters of the West's development. Maybe a player, for example, will be surprised to see Chinese present in the game on several occasions and will want to find out why.

IGN: Is there anything else about writing the story for Gun that we haven't covered, or that you feel is crucial to telling the IGN faithful?

Randall: That feels like enough blab outta me for a while. Play the game - and we'll talk some more.

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  • 1 month later...

Man, I'd love to see a good, epic Western game. And this just might be it. I'm going for the 360 version as well. It doesn't exactely push the machine to its limits but it is the best looking version of the game. Can't wait to get on my horse and fight with and against indians, enter saloons, kill grizzly bears and rule the West.

Nice voice cast as well:

Brad Dourif

Tom Skerritt

Lance Henriksen

Kris Kristofferson

Thomas Jane

Ron Perlman.

Oh, and Western fans might want to check this:


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Man, I'd love to see a good, epic Western game. And this just might be it. I'm going for the 360 vesion as well. It doesn't exactely push the machine to its limits but it is the best looking version of the game. Can't wait to get on my horse and fight with and against indians, enter saloons, kill grizzly bears and rule the West.

Nice voice cast as well:

Brad Dourif

Tom Skerritt

Lance Henriksen

Kris Kristofferson

Thomas Jane

Ron Perlman.

Oh, and Western fans might want to check this:




We made this one especially for you. :(

Fun game, although I'm not enitrely sure about an open-ended structure. The representative mentioned a rigid level structure with lots of side-quests instead.

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When this was announced I thought it was the follow up to Red Dead Revolver as I'd heard that had a next gen version on the cards. Have to say I was more than disappointed when I saw this. The characters looks so... characterless. The design look quite boring.

I like the bear attack but other than that, i don't see anything that'll make me want to get it when I already have Red Dead. It looks more open but I'm not really sure if that's something I'd want in a game like this. I never felt limited in Red... apart from the Annie Stoaks level with the roaming buffalo and bison. If Gun is going to have huge levels, there needs to be a lot going on to ensure boredom doesn't set in.

I'll probably rent before buying it. Hopefully it'll be able to include all the staples of a great western like Red.. a top score and varied missions.

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Looks fucking shit to me. I'm a huge fan of westerns / spaghetti westerns etc, been waiting for a good wild west game for a long time. Gun looks just fucking awful.

Anyone doing Deadwood the game? :lol:

Until there's a game with the drama, music, violence, heroism and panache of movies like Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly etc... I'm not interested. Gun just looks like Wild Wild West meets Total Overdose. Yuck.

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Is there a game - apart from Okami and Shadow and the Colossus - that doesn't look fucking shit to this forum?

I've seen the game when I was at Activision not too long ago and fucking shit is certainly not what I would call this.

Gun looks most intriguing, i'm hoping it delivers on its design premises. it could be the next big telly game.

*flashback to previews of GTA 3*

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You say the 360 version will be the best because...it's high definition? It's got nice graphics? I doubt most sane people will care, to be honest.

Most sane people wouldn't care whether it had nice graphics or is high definition?

Wouldn't you prefer the better looking version, given the choice? I would. And I'm relatively sane.

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Is there a game - apart from Okami and Shadow and the Colossus - that doesn't look fucking shit to this forum?

I've seen the game when I was at Activision not too long ago and fucking shit is certainly not what I would call this.

It's all about taste, isn't it? Some have it, and some don't :P

Based on the footage I've seen so far, I think Gun looks awful. I'd love to proven wrong of course - I'm a bit of a spaghetti-westerns-buff and have been waiting and waiting for a great western videogame.

On the basis of the trailer... it looks like a western made by someone who isn't really interested in westerns.

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