Review: Alekhine’s Gun (Xbox One)

I’ve always been a fan of any game that took place in the early 40’s to 50’s, and Alekhine’s Gun is no exception. Taking place during and just after the World War. However, like any game this one is not perfect.

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Story

You play as Alekhine, a ex-Russian spy that ended up working as a normal police officer in the US (from what I could gather, more on that later). You spend some time going through the life story, playing as a Russian Spy taking out Nazi Officers and then spending time taking out high ranking mob men. It was quite hard to know exactly what the story was about, even though it seemed quite well written from the few pieces I could manage to hear.

The art in the game is quite good. Every cutscene is a collection of charcoal drawn (or what seemed to be) drawings depicting each scene and to me that was probably the best part of the game. The voice acting was extremely well done, during cut scenes and gameplay.

The problem I had mostly with the game, which irked me now to no end was the fact that during cutscenes, the sound level would drop off a cliff and hiking the volume up to 11 would do nothing forcing you to try and read what the people are saying, rendering the wonderful voice acting moot.

Other than that the game managed to keep me involved most of the time. If this had just a bit more budget to bring the graphics up to AAA standards, this could be a very good competitor to Hitman.

Graphics and Gameplay

As I said, if this game had a little bigger budget it would have been a serious contender against Hitman, but it didn’t. The graphics harks back to the days of the first Hitman game, mixed with Mafia 2 and Godfather, but somehow not as good. The graphics are good for an indie game, but for some reason they managed to make all the characters androgynous. For instance, all characters stare ahead with their doll eyes without even blinking.

Gameplay was a hit and a miss, however surprisingly well executed. I had several instances where you would crawl up behind an enemy and try to choke them but you’d just stand there waving your hands in the air until the enemy turns around.

Hit detection when firing your gun (not advised) is very good, with each bullet giving me a one hit kill. I can’t tell you how satisfying it was getting one hit kills in this game. The game also fails to make things obvious, with only tiny arrows at the top left corner of the screen showing which level you need to be. At first I would walk around for a while until I figured out that the steep hill was actually climbable.

If I were to give one criticism about the game, I would ask them to add some form of ‘highlight’ feature to show items that might make your task easier.

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Verdict

As far as indie games go, this one is quite well done. This game combines exceptional story telling with okay-ish graphics to bring a game that is as well rounded as it is complete. The game requires you to use some initiative as it doesn’t make it quite obvious at first and it will take several tries to get it right.

If you like Hitman and old style games you’d enjoy this game. For everyone else, it’s certainly worth considering.

*Reviewer finished and/or played the game to such an extent to give an informed opinion on the game and its content

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