Anthony's Film Review

Gunman Chronicles
(Video Game, 2000)

This attempt to cash in on a successful shooter game ends up being mediocre...

Whenever there is a great success in a movie, TV show, or other form of entertainment media, there is always a chance that someone will try to take advantage of making a copycat work or, at best, something that would hopefully interest people who are into what's hot at the moment. The first-person shooter video game Half-Life was such an example when a company called Rewolf made its own shooter game based on Valve Software's Half-Life game engine.

The result was Gunman Chronicles, a science-fiction western that puts cowboys in a futuristic world with high-tech weapons and spaceships. The story begins with a crew of Gunmen and their leader known as the General. There is an effort to frantically escape a threat, but sadly, the General doesn't make it. He is presumed dead. Once you start the game as a Gunman, you follow a mission objective, not knowing what's going to happen. Until a revelation is made not too long after beginning the game.

The villain is the General who was previously presumed dead. Apparently, he survived his ordeal, and his experience has changed him for the worse. There's nothing you can do to change him back. All you can do is fight your way through a few major worlds in order to stop the General's plot. You don't really have any allies. The only true ally is a computer whose voice you may hear from time to time.

I won't talk about gameplay because it's standard FPS fare. Instead, I shall comment on the look of the virtual game environment. I would describe it as one with a mysterious but weird feel. Some of the metallic manmade structures have sort of a discordant neon color scheme, and the rocky desert landscapes are of a depressing hue overall. The human enemies shooting at you don't act all that tough. Often, you'll hear one saying, "I can take it!" when he spots you. Like he thinks it'll be easy to shoot you down.

If it weren't for things like this, I could give Gunman Chronicles a decent rating. Because I was somewhat underwhelmed, I'm placing the game at the spot on my scale designated for marginally negative ratings. For you die-hard fans of shooter games, you can probably skip this one, especially if you consider Half-Life to be the new standard against which all other FPS games are judged. While Gunman Chronicles was mildly fun, it's still forgettable and definitely below the bar set by Half-Life.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Gunman Chronicles, visit the Internet Movie Database and Moby Games.


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