As a secret western fan I was looking forward to this game with baited breath, but to date not much has been done in the PC gaming world that really brings this era of our culture to the realistic forefront. I can safely say that this game captures the look and feel of the 'old west'.
The first thing that hit me when I started playing this game was the detail of your surroundings, and the authentic feeling it gave me when I started wandering around. But if the visuals were the left jab of the boxer I was soon hit by the right hook of action, and about 10 seconds into the gameplay your thrown in the deep end with explosions going off left,right and center, trees collapsing on top of you, heat shimmering and sound blurring your screen. At times I was so awe struck and occupied with the action going on around me that I probably missed some of the visuals.
The developers must be praised for the level of detail they have put into recreating that era of america. Not many games have had me spending ages looking around at the scenary, especially in an FPS, but this game did. The game ran smoothly on my rig but I did find that the screen tearing while doing the vehicle and carriage gameplay scenes really irritated me, we should not be having that kind of problem in games these days.
The gameplay was on the whole good. There is something refreshing to not play a game where your either wielding flamethrowers, grenade launchers, assualt rifles, and driving every type of vehicle under the futuristic sun or wielding a sword, staff or waving your hands and shooting lightning bolts from your finger tips in a fantastical setting. In this game you have pistol, rifle, knife, bow, gatling gun and dynamite. Thats it. Granted there are varients of the above and some offering various differences in power, rate of fire and reload time but they all stick to the above catagories and each is slightly different in looks and feel.
The cover system is good in principle but it has a couple of niggles, one being that it doesnt always work and you can find yourself being fitted up for a wooden box sooner then later. Secondly it is very limited in perspective, your view is extremely limited when your trying to peek out from the cover and more often then not you get a bullet in the eye. Maybe a touch to realistic there.
While were on gameplay I was very shocked to note there isnt a single player co-op option. On all the recent games I've played which included a co-op option as standard this game leant itself more to this system then any others.. you play one of two brothers who work together. It screams co-op.
The actual option in the single player to choose a brother is pretty nifty aswell offering at least some replayability as you see the story and play the game from the perspective of the alternate brother and using his differing abilities to bring various outcomes.
The multiplayer is probably the worst side of the game so far. This is mainly down to the lack of servers, strength of connectivity to the servers and random disconnects people have been receiving when trying to play online. I can imagine the multiplayer being very fun with a group of friends on LAN and once patches have come out to stabilize and improve but until then it is a lackluster side that tarnishes an otherwise amazing game.
Overall, the game is a very good piece of gaming software and will proudly stand in my collection as one of my favorites. With its good story, amazing looks, stunning audio and character voiceovers and wild west gameplay style I gave it 4 stars. The 5th star vanished due to its screen tearing, lack of co-op potential and 'rough around the edges' multiplayer. Mixed bag but on the whole very good.