A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is an incredibly violent action game. Players use an array of guns, explosives, knives, and other weapons to dismember and kill enemies and innocents alike. Players can torture fallen enemies by scalping them, and they will witness torture and extreme violence during in-game cut scenes. The game also features drinking, drug use, smoking, and implied sex with prostitutes.
What's it about?
In GUN, hard-drinking, hard-boiled loner Colton White seeks to understand and avenge the murder of a man who raised him from infancy, a man White just discovered was not his real father. Players blast off heads, blow people apart with dynamite, scalp victims, slit the throats of hostages, watch as a prostitute gets her throat slit, kill animals, kill innocent civilians, and so on in this Wild West story.
Is it any good?
While White's world can be quite striking -- leaves fall from trees in green valleys while frogs croak and crickets chirp in the background -- the Wild West presented here is underpopulated, and players soon realize they are in a small, sterile territory. Exploring it gets old fast. Ultimately, there is too little to do. Even side missions, such as hunting rare animals and capturing wanted criminals dead or alive, seem tacked-on and grow repetitive.
The 18 story missions in the game rush players along, and can easily be finished in five to six hours. In the end, the violence comes off as simply gratuitous. This is definitely not for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why violence in video games is sometimes presented with such graphic detail. Are stories that contain violence more interesting? How do violence and gore sometimes cover up for missing elements in a game, like solid gameplay or a creative story? Can a game ever be good enough to justify heaps of violence?
- Platforms: PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube
- Price: $29.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Activision
- Release date: January 12, 2006
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- ESRB rating: M for blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol
- Last updated: August 25, 2016
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.