The Gunstringer is the latest title for the Kinect aimed at core gamers and is the first full price retail game for developer Twisted Pixel. Always a developer not to shy away from insane ideas, this one tells the story of a skeletal cowboy on a trail of revenge as he rises from the grave in front of a real-life crowd come to watch a play. You play the part of a puppeteer who hoists up the cowboy puppet with one hand, guides him left and right with it and shoots at all sundry with the right hand by using a ‘pyow pyow’ motion you would if playing cowboys as a kid.
It’s on rails so all you have to do is move one arm left and right and up to jump and the other to aim a target on the screen to light up bad guys and then make the shooting gesture to shoot everything you’ve targeted. Sometimes you’re running, sometimes you’re standing still and sometime you duck for cover automatically and gesture left and right to pop out of cover and shoot at stuff. Things are changed up even more at times when the screen goes into side-scrolling mode and when you get to run through bad guys punching them as you go.
Whilst the presentation is wonderful with the cardboard cut-out scenery and gravelly narrator, the game is unfortunately let down by the controls. They feel floaty at the best of times and the target doesn’t actually aim exactly where you point at the screen. Instead it almost feels like you’re controlling a mouse cursor. There’s also not much variety in how you control the game despite the game trying to mix things up as much as possible with different weapons and dual-control at set places along your journey. With 20 short missions it’s also not going to last you long. Sure you can go back and try to earn all the gold medals and unlock plenty of extras but you’ll tire of the gameplay before you get everything the game has to offer.
It’s a nice try but to be honest feels more like a Wii game that would work far better with a Nunchuk and Remote whilst sitting on the sofa instead of standing in the middle of the room getting arm ache. It gets an average 5 out of 10.
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