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Have you heard of Gunman Chronicles?

Content of the article: "Have you heard of Gunman Chronicles?"

Gunman Chronicles started life as a Half-Life mod, but impressed Valve & Sierra so much it became a full retail game. The international group of modders behind it formed a studio, Rewolf, just for this singular release.

Gunman Chronicles is an interesting mix but the end result is flavorful. The game takes you through levels with a variety of themes, including ancient mayan buildings, Jupiter's moons, space bases, and earthly canyons. The opponents are also a mish mash of ingredients; space cowboys, soldiers, aliens, robots, even dinosaurs.

The game doesn't have a special story, but it is structured and paced well enough to keep me engaged. There are elements like a reluctant hero, humans exploring space, revenge, a rogue AI realizing itself, and an ending that sets up for what could have been an interesting series.

The game's most interesting element would be the weapon system. The game gives you a few guns and a few ammo types, but each gun has modes that can be customized. In some cases, this just allows switching between a bunch of firing modes, explosion types, or a scope. But in other cases you can customize how many shells you shoot, trajectories, damage, activation mode for projectiles, and more. It makes for some interesting moments in the game.

Since the game is based on a Half-Life engine build before Steam existed, it can feel a bit unrefined in places since it did not receive the updates that Half-Life and related games received. The difference is minor though, I guess it's something I notice because of the long time I've been around.

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Apart from some environmental puzzles, the game has interesting moments during gameplay, adding to some of the hectic moments and the chase of the antagonist, making you feel so close yet so far. The game also has elements derivative of Half-Life like: small aliens that jump and bite you, enemies that shoot current, wall panels that recharge health, but they feel like they belong here.

The game doesn't overstay it's welcome and maintains a good pace, and it might not be a great game but I definitely came out of my playthrough with a feeling of time well spent. If you're looking for an FPS and are open to something old, I can recommend Gunman Chronicles. Nowadays it might be difficult to run and the game never came to Steam for unknown reasons, but here's some resources:

Original release installer

Easy to run mod release for Steam

Don't forget to read the short backstory in the manual, and watch the intro video (..mediarewolf.avi)


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