11 of the greatest western games.
With Red Dead Redemption 2 soon to be released upon the world, it’s time to kick off those boots, pour a whiskey into a dirty glass, and catch up on some of the greatest western Games ever made throughout gaming history.
The Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail started out as an educational text-based adventure game, way back in 1971. In which school children would play a 19th-century pioneer wagon leader who had to manage resources and get their posse safely across the American frontier. Originally consisting of just text and printouts, it was updated to include graphics upon home console release on Atari later on in the 80’s. It continues to be updated, and used in some schools to this very day!
Wild Gun Man
Originally an electro-mechanical arcade game, Wild Gun Man was converted into video game format in the mid-80s for the Famicom and NES., making use of the Nintendos Light Gun. Players would wait for the instruction to FIRE and then proceed to blow away gringos and bandits from the comfort of their living room.
An arcade classic, similar to Commando or 1942, Gunsmoke would see players take of the old west in a top-down scrolling shooter style. Being released later on the NES, the story was updated and the protagonist was given the name Billy Bob, a bounty hunter out to cleanse the land from vicious criminals.
Another Arcade classic that was put out on home release for the Genesis and SNES in 1993. Sunset Riders was an up to four player, side scrolling, shoot em up, where gamers could play as Steve, Billy (who both carried revolvers), Bob (rifle) or Cormano (shotgun) and blast there way across eight levels on foot, horseback and even on top of a moving train.
Wild Gun is a Sci-Fi western game made for the SNES in 1994, and combined both platform and shooter styles of gameplay. Players would control Annie, or bounty hunter Clint, in an effort to avenge the death of Annies family. With the gun holstered, you could run and jump about freely, but drawing your weapon would keep your character static, as you aimed to blast the baddies in the background.
Using the Dark Forces engine, Lucas Arts produced Outlaws for the PC back in 1997, and it was one of the first few FPS western games. Although critically praised, the game didn’t sell very well, but has since gone on to claim a cult following.
Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive
Desperados was a stealth real-time strategy game, influenced heavily by Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines. You play up to six characters, as you try to unravel the mystery of a shadowy train robber, known simply as El Diablo.
Red Dead Revolver
The first in the Red Dead franchise was very different to its successors in the series, having an almost arcade, cartoon feel. The titular “Red” would have to combat larger than life villains across multiple stages, but the game would be most fondly remembered for it’s fun and often tense multiplayer deathmatches.
The first open-world western game, Gun was actually quite a big release back in 2005, selling plenty of copies and winning many awards and praise. However, despite being a success it was later over shadowed by the Red Dead series and fell into obscurity. Players could mount a horse and travel from town to town undertaking various missions and jobs.
Call of Juarez
A first-person shooter for the PC and XBOX 360, Call Of Juarez received mixed reviews, but did well enough to garner itself three sequels. You play Ray McCall, a preacher who abandons his position to re-enter the life of a gunslinger, and clean up a dirty town. Despite uninspired levels and awful voice acting, the original Call Of Jurez was still fun to play, all though sometimes for the wrong reasons.
Red Dead Redemption
Not only one of the greatest western games ever made, but one of the greatest games full stop. It can be easily labelled as “GTA in the west”, but Rockstar’s second favourite child is more than that. Forsaking the guns and vehicles to include more roaming and discovery, Red Dead Redemption took everything that previous western games got right, and pulled it all together into cowboy perfection.