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Six Guns is the latest action game release from Gameloft. What initially looks to be a Red Dead Redemption emulation soon turns out to be much less. This is still an open world mission based game set in the Old West, but the lack of any kind of narrative and the freemium payment model definitely shake things up. That's right, Gameloft just pulled a Glu Mobile.
The game drops you into a random mission as a nameless gun for hire. You save a rather buxom woman who is also nameless and proceeds to give you all of your missions. You'll start out with relatively normal missions, clearing bandits out of a fort or defending an area for a certain amount of time, but then things get weird. Out of absolutely nowhere, you're suddenly fighting vampires, flying banshee ghoul ladies, and stone gargoyle statues that shoot lasers. Between bandit troubles and the fight against things that go bump in the night, you'll occasionally take time off to participate in a horse race or visit a shooting gallery. The change in tone between missions is rather jarring, which only accentuates the lack of any kind of story tying things together.
The only reason to play this game is to level up. When you level, you'll gain access to stronger weapons, fancier clothes, and faster horses. Guns are very upgradeable as well. Here's where the freemium stuff kicks in. you can play as long as you want, but you'll have to buy more ammo and health when you run low. Honestly, as long as you're careful and manage your money, it seems like you can play forever without stopping. Should you have to resort to IAP, you can buy gold or stars, which are the special currency you get for leveling. You can also buy experience itself, and of course, health refills. The lowest purchase price for anything is two dollars. luckily, ammo refills are at least offered for free every few hours.
The open world is nicely rendered, with some areas looking much better than others. You can explore the open sandboxes on horseback or ride from mission to mission, but the waypoint system for the horses is extremely annoying. Luckily, you can fast travel to any mission at any time. There are plenty of issues with AI and bugs, from enemies that don't spawn when they should, making you think you're stuck, to escort missions where, of course, the prisoner you're escorting gets stuck behind a chair.
All in all, the production values are fairly high, even if the game seems to be coming apart at the seams with all these bugs and issues. The game just feels completely pointless without any kind of story. it's just random missions for the sake of missions, which are still fairly fun, and if that's your thing, more power to you. Gameloft seems to have created a system in which you really won't need to pay to play, as long as you're careful. There are also some in-game achievements to go for in this iOS Universal game.