When people think of gunslingers, they often think of the Old West. Riding around, looting banks, and quick-drawing guns all come with the territory. One of the most notable Western games of the past decade is Red Dead Redemption 2 which is often regarded as a high benchmark for Rockstar Games.
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It also may be the best video game Western of all time. The protagonist, Arthur, could fill enemies with lead with a quick stroke of his hand. That’s an example of an open-world game but there have been RPGs that have carried on the cowboy and gunslinger motif through character classes. These are just a few fine examples.
6 Salvador The Gunzerker
- September 18, 2012
Borderlands is like the shooter-based equivalent of the Diablo formula. Players can go out into the world or in dungeons, fight enemies, level up through EXP, and collect tons of loot. Every hero comes with an assigned class that gives them certain bonuses but no matter what class players choose, gameplay always revolves around shooting guns. Of the many heroes in this series past and present Salvador from Borderlands 2 was the one that most resembled a gunslinger-type character.
As the Gunzerker, Salvador could dual-wield guns in his special state. It was a great class to choose for players who planned to play the game solo even though Borderlands 2, and its sequels, are meant to be played in four-player parties. Multiplayer comes with the looter shooter territory and makes things much easier.
Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories
Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days
- September 6, 2009
- Nippon Ichi Software
Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories was the first sequel in the series which was also on the PS2 like the original. It, like its predecessor, was a tactical RPG that put a twist on the genre. Hero characters came with assigned classes and they could equip gear and level up like in traditional RPG fashion. However, there were other odd factors like the ability to go into gear to level them up through mini-dungeons or the ability to throw characters across the map to cover large distances.
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Besides hero characters, players could create random minions from a variety of classes. The Gunner class was introduced in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories and looked like a classic cowboy. They specialized in gun attacks and Gunners would return in most sequels. These classes were all male-based though but there was a female equivalent that was added into the next game called a Gunslinger which carried over into the latest entry, Disgaea 7: Vows of the Virtueless.
4 Demon Hunter
- September 3, 2013
- Action RPG
The Diablo series popularized the action RPG looter genre and many have copied it directly or put their own spin on things like the aforementioned Borderlands series. Every entry came with a set amount of classes players could choose from and these classes could not be changed midway through. Diablo 3 introduced the class known as the Demon Hunter which could dual wield two crossbows. Now, even though they aren’t guns, the crossbows players could unlock in the game fired at such rapid succession that they were practically guns anyway.
It was Blizzard’s workaround to add guns to the series albeit in a cheeky way. Demon Hunters appeared in the mobile game Diablo Immortal as well but that’s it so far. With Blizzard’s continued support of Diablo 4, it’s possible players could jump back into the role of a Demon Hunter again or perhaps they will add a class that acts like a truer version of a gunslinger.
Final Fantasy Type-0
There are too many Final Fantasy entries with gun-based classes to go through. This series was one of the first to introduce changeable classes, along with the Dragon Quest franchise, so it makes sense they would have several classes that fit the gunslinger model. Some highlights include the Gunner in Final Fantasy 10-2 and the Gunner in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.
Final Fantasy Type-0 will be chosen as the highlight of today though as it has a class that fits the very definition of a gunslinger. This PSP action RPG was based around a military school and every cadet in the party specialized in a weapon. King used two twin revolvers and his acrobatics in battle would make Dante from Devil May Cry blush. Cater was another playable character who used a gun, but she only used one and it shot magic bullets.
Rogue Legacy 2
Rogue Legacy 2
- April 28, 2022
- Cellar Door Games
- Roguelike , Metroidvania
Rogue Legacy 2 was not a straight RPG, but this 2D roguelike had many elements in the genre along with classes. Players would not go through the game as one class like in a lot of action RPGs though. Since this was a roguelike, death would be around every corner as it was challenging. Once dead, players had to choose one of several heirs to carry on the family legacy.
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These children would come equipped with classes like the Gunslinger. It was one of the better classes in the game too as it gave players a revolver and an opportunity to shoot enemies from a distance. Ranged attacks in general were a huge improvement over the original which mostly contained melee-based classes.
Yakuza: Like A Dragon
Yakuza: Like A Dragon
- November 10, 2020
The Yakuza series began on the PS2 in 2006 and for a decade, every entry was a brawler with RPG elements. This changed with Yakuza: Like a Dragon in 2020, the seventh main entry in the series. It introduced a new protagonist, Ichiban, and it gave players a new battle system through turn-based combat. Ichiban and his fellow heroes could change classes that would unlock as the game went on.
Some classes were exclusive to certain characters, like Hitman, which was Joon-gi Han’s default class. Hitman may sound like a stealthy role like in the Hitman series, but a better name would have been Gunslinger or Korean John Wick because Joongi Han’s gunkata was unmatched in the game. It looks like Hitman is returning in the sequel, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, along with a new class called Desperado. There are no details as to what kind of class this is yet, but based on the name, Desperado might be gun-based as well.
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