Wow, my first review! Rather exciting, in an I’m-a-published-nerd-Internet-writer kinda way. I’ll bore you with a few sentences about me before cooking the real meat of this article.
I was turned onto this site by my brother (not by birth, but you’d never know it) Travis Combs; so, if you like his writing style, mine probably isn’t too far off for you. I can’t claim to be a videogame freak like Travis, but I’ve been around the block. I’ve had everything from a Colecovision to a TurboGrafx-16 CD, to my current beloved Xbox. I guess that’s enough of “this is me” crap—let’s go on to what you actually give a shit about.
Why the hell am I even reviewing this game? It was a pretty big hit—hasn’t it been covered enough already? Probably, but it’s my review and you don’t have to read it. Besides, I borrowed it from Travis and I wanted to try it out.
I’ll begin by saying that I haven’t even beat this game yet. I know, I know. Just hear me out. I will beat it, probably a few hours after I’m done typing this, but I want to get my thoughts out while they are fresh.
This game irks the hell out of me. Part of me loves it and wants a sequel; part of me thinks it was a half-assed attempt at bringing the Western genre to Rockstar (a company famous for games I really don’t give a shit about). The premise rocks, the story isn’t bad, and the weapon choices are great. There are tons of things going for this game, but what brings it down are things so important to me that I have a hard time recommending it to anyone.
I’m reviewing the Xbox version, which is supposed to be faster and perform with fewer glitches. Well, if that’s the fucking case, I’ll never touch the PS2 version. The graphics could be so damn good, but they aren’t; and whoever’s idea it was to have the shitty “old 1920s movie” overlay effect, you can die in a fire. Those cheesy effects are something for your home movies, or whatever it is you call those tapes with your girlfriend. In addition, everything seems to be though a lens that’s been smeared with Vaseline (your girlfriend movie again?). I’m playing this on a damn HDTV and it looks like VHS; if I paid for this game, I’d be über-pissed.
Then there’s the glitches. They are so prevalent I almost have to laugh. At first I thought it was the disc, so I cleaned that. Then I thought maybe my Xbox was dirty, so I cleaned that. Then I thought maybe I should just play this in a clean room, and I could wear a biohazard suit so as not to infect the game with my own personal dust. None of these worked (and a hearty thanks to the chaps at Intel for the clean room). Sometimes players would get stuck, which was fun momentarily because I could chuckle to myself as I shot them repeatedly in the head. But does that make for exciting gameplay? No.
I guess the only other thing that really pissed me off is the way the game unfolds itself to you. It’s almost as if you take baby steps to the next level. Every level takes a maximum of 5-7 minutes to finish; some are way, way, way shorter. And when a level is over, you’re done. No walking around and looking for items, no hidden whatevers, nothing; poof, you’re back in the fucking town which barely ever has anything exciting going on.
I still give this game a 7.5 for fun, because it is fun; it just as easily could have been a 10 if Rockstar would have put some time into it instead of getting ready for Grand Theft Auto 7: Suburban Trench-Coated Teenagers. So, what am I really saying, overall, is rent it or borrow it from Travis. It’ll be a good time—just not what you wanted.