Fair disclosure: I’ve never played Gun Loco. For all I know it could be worse than Ecco the Dolphin. On second thought, is that even possible? And any game that has a character that looks like Carrot Top is inherently suspect. Anyway, I have a new mantra these days: run ‘n gun. If you want to use a firearm for self-defense, move when you shoot. Shoot when you move. Move and shoot. Shoot and move. But above all, move. According to Wired, that’s the premise behind this due-in-2001 Square Enix videogame . . .
“Described as a “sprint action shooter,” the Xbox 360 game is loaded with muscular men carrying heavy weapons . . .
Running in Gun Loco isn’t simply a way to speed things along, it’s essential for navigating the level. If you’re holding the sprint button, some obstacles will gain a blue tint, not unlike the “runner’s vision” in Mirror’s Edge. Your character can then jump over or slide under these impediments.
Another crucial skill is shooting on the go. Gun Loco might be the first third-person shooter I’ve played where there is no way to hold a button and take precision shots at the enemy. Instead, the best way to take guys out is to run and slide towards them. This inexplicably boosts your firepower and can lead to chains of quick kills.
OK, maybe it’s not always best to charge a gunman (although it worked for Jimmy Hoffa) and my local firearms emporium.
All this running left me exhausted, figuratively speaking. My first instinct when men are shooting at me is to take cover. Gun Loco demanded that I run towards my attackers and shoot them — and fast! There’s no slow-motion assist when you slide. You’re either quick or dead.
There’s also the matter of seeing where you’re going. I kept scrambling into corners and losing track of where I was in relation to the other shooters. Not helping matters were the constant splotches of blood that covered the screen. I know integrating health bars into the display is all the rage, but if I cannot distinguish my own fluids from a wall I’d rather go back to having a number and a line to tell me how I’m holding up.
Of course, in real life you keep fighting until you hostilities stop, you escape or you die. And you don’t wear a bunny’s head because it restricts your vision. Unless you’re a furry or returning from a weight lifter’s costume party. Just sayin’ . . .