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High Noon with Smokin' Guns

By Leslie P. Polzer on August 05, 2008 (7:00:00 PM)

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Since the release of the Quake 3 engine source code in summer 2005 a lot of modifications and spin-offs have emerged. One such spin-off, Smokin' Guns (formerly known as Western Quake 3), is all about classical Wild West themes: big rifles and revolvers, wailing steel guitars, bank robberies, and smooth talking. It's a game you don't want to miss.

Packages for the game are available for Arch Linux on x86-32 (built by me from the ArchLinux User-community Repository) and for Linux Mint. For all others, Valery Reznic has used his Magic Ermine to create a self-sufficient binary of Smokin' Guns that should run on both 32- and 64-bit x86 architectures.

If that fails, you can build SG yourself from source with assistance from the Arch Linux patch and build script. On the official download page you can find the source and data tarballs.

"Howdy, partner!" -- your first game

Upon first start you will be greeted with the game's main menu screen, accompanied by atmospheric background music. The menu is represented by a wooden table with different items as choices. A click on the twin pistols, for example, leads you to multiplayer mode, while the bottle with gun oil in the upper right corner symbolizes the options area.

Click on that bottle and take a quick look at the options panel to check whether everything accommodates your system configuration and habits. You want to check at least the Player pane to set your name and the Controls pane to take a look at the control bindings and adjust them if you wish.

When you are done, press Escape to get back to the main menu. Now click on the single revolver to enter Single Player mode. In the list on the left, choose the map wq_dry (Dry Gulch), which is well suited for beginners because it has a simple layout with almost no dark areas and mazes. Click on the bullet in the lower right corner of the screen to start the game.

After the map has loaded you will find yourself at some random location, hopefully without any enemies in close proximity. If you see any, try to find a hiding spot or get rid of them with your gun (press the left mouse button to shoot).

Take a look at your equipment. You always start with a Remington 58 six-shooter and one knife. To change weapons, select a category by pressing the keys 1 to 4. You can press the numbers repeatedly to choose among weapons in the same category. In theory you should also be able to cycle through your weapons with the mouse wheel, but this didn't work for me.

Press B to bring up the Buy menu, and use the mouse or number keys to navigate. You have some starting money, so why not spend it? A good boiler plate for example (from the Equipment section of the Buy menu) can keep a few torso shots from hitting you, which is important because you can't get any hit points back. If you're a cheapskate, you can also just run around with your revolver in the hope of finding something lying on the ground.

Now find an enemy to practice on. You should be able to locate one quickly by listening to gun noise, screams, and footsteps. When you have one in your sight, aim and shoot at them. Normal fire, with your left mouse button, will take a bit of time to aim and fire a precise shot. At close range, use the right button (alternate fire) to shoot more rapidly but with less precision.

Chances are that your magazine will run out of bullets soon. If this happens, find some cover (press C to duck) and hit R to reload. Some guns' magazines (e.g. your Remington revolver's) need to be reloaded as a whole, while some will take individual bullets (e.g. the heavy Peacemaker revolver or the shotguns). You can move while you reload, but you won't be able to attack in the middle of doing it, so be careful.

 

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High Noon with Smokin' Guns

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.242.108.31] on August 06, 2008 05:50 PM
"Chances are that your magazine will run out of bullets soon. If this happens, find some cover (press C to duck) and hit R to reload. Some guns' magazines (e.g. your Remington revolver's) need to be reloaded as a whole, while some will take individual bullets (e.g. the heavy Peacemaker revolver or the shotguns). You can move while you reload, but you won't be able to attack in the middle of doing it, so be careful."

Thanks for the review -- a fun game, and one that will run even on my low-end hardware.

If you review any more games with guns / gunplay, you might to bear in mind that there are a lot of peculiarities in gun terminology, and dorks like me who will point out when they're not observed by writers. Specifically:
- Revolvers don't have magazines. In a sense, the cylinder is conceptually much like a magazine (in that it holds multiple cartridges), but it's simply not called that. Ask a gunnie about clips v. magazines, too, if you want to hear some true indignation ;)
- What you put into a gun isn't a "bullet," but something *containing* a bullet, which might be called a cartridge, or a round / round of ammunition. This may sound pedantic (it is!), but it's a bit like saying that you put went to the grocery store to buy a dozen egg yolks, if you bought the rest of those dozen eggs as well. A bullet *by itself* is just a small bit of metal; it won't get far without a case, powder, and primer, and it's this combination that gets loaded in a gun.

Cheers,

Tim Lord (timothy at slashdot)

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