A scene from the game Wild Guns Reloaded.

Game review: Wild Guns Reloaded is a blast from the old-school arcade shooter past

Wild Guns was a cult game when it first appeared but Reloaded should shoot its way into the hearts of retro aficionados and modern gamers alike

Wild Guns Reloaded


4/5 stars

In game arcades the world over, trigger-happy players wielding plastic guns stand in front of screens blasting away at everything from zombies to bank robbers and even ducks.

The “shooting gallery” is a time-honoured mini-genre that comes in numerous forms. Duck Hunt, Cabal, Time Crisis, Virtua Cop – seasoned arcade gamers will no doubt remember most of those, but only true fans strapped on the Wild Guns belt.

And now we have the Reloaded version, a somewhat strange offering considering it was just a cult game to begin with, but one that lovers of retro games will be happy to play again.

Developer Natsume has taken the classic 1994 Super Nintendo sci-fi Western and given it a makeover for the PlayStation 4. Its timeless storyline, about a scorned woman looking for revenge, and its simplistic, sci-fi robots and laser beams gameplay has all been amped up and given an HD spit-shine.

Graphics are clean and crisp, its mix of cowboys and steampunk mechanicals still gloriously ’90s but now with enough detailed edge to please modern players.

Major additions include two new characters and a host of original stages. And then there’s the old-school difficulty setting – the one possible drawback to an otherwise worthy upgrade.

You’ll still have to battle through stage after stage without a save feature, and just one death will send you back to the beginning. A small bit of functionality could have changed that, but we’re kind of glad the makers didn’t. Part of the original’s charm was the challenge it presented and toning that down with a simple save feature might have diluted its appeal.

Wild Guns Reloaded occupies a strange place in gaming – it’s neither a big-budget thrill or a small-scale artistic venture. It’s loud, brash and relentless, a throwback to the good old days of video games.