Old game/mod review: Smokin’ Guns

I downloaded and installed Smokin’ Guns earlier today, and so far I love it. It’s a Western-themed first person shooter based on the Quake 3 engine, originally released as a mod for Quake III Arena in 2001 as Western Quake 3, then in 2005 another group took over and produced Smokin’ Guns as a standalone version.

There are four different types of game available in the single player mode, listed below:

(Team) Deathmatch
Dead simple (all right, I’ll get me coat…). You shoot people to get points and the player/team with the most points win. Quite fun, even for somebody who prefers a tangible objective.

Duel
A classic Western-themed duel. I haven’t tried this one yet, but according to the Wikipedia article, it contains a reference to For A Few Dollars More while the duellers are waiting to start: the musical watch.

Bank Robbery
One team robs the bank, the other defends it, and they swap over afterwards. The robbers are given dynamite to help, but beyond that it’s pretty self-explanatory.

Round Teamplay
A cross between Team Deathmatch and the Bank Robbery. Both teams gain a point for defeating the opposing team, and whoever gets the most wins.

Okay, enough of the game modes. The sort of equipment you can use include your average revolvers, shotguns and rifles. You can also buy a Gatling gun, one of the early machine guns, but it’s quite impractical compared to the rest because you have to set it up to fire it and it burns through ammunition quite quickly. Other equipment you can buy during a match includes dynamite, Molotov cocktails, a cartridge belt and a scope for a particular rifle.

Going to the physics of the game: one thing that caught me out earlier was that with one of the revolvers (the Colt Peacemaker) and the rifles or shotguns with larger magazines, you have to hold down the reload button to reload fully. If you have your revolvers akimbo (i.e. two at a time), you can’t reload them both – you have to load each one individually, and none of the weapons reload automatically. You have to actually light the fuse on sticks of dynamite or Moltov cocktails, and the game (rather sensibly) doesn’t allow you to throw away your last knife. You cannot regenerate health, which is also takes a bit of getting used to. But I haven’t seen anything on a limit of lives, so that’s all right.

And now, the great part: the references to other works. You can play as Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, Clint (dressed as he is in the spaghetti Western trilogy), Sentenanza (from The Good The Bad & The Ugly), and you can buy a boiler plate as crude armour (particularly appropriate with Clint – just watch A Fistful of Dollars and you’ll see what I mean!).

In short: great game to while away a few hours. If you want to get it, it’s available here.

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About Philip

I'm a physics graduate, sci-fi writer, budding game designer, and amateur human.

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