I think it’s safe to say most of us never heard of 12 is Better than 6. At the very least, I heard nothing about this game before playing it. The only reason I even had a copy is because of a Fanatical Bundle from a while back. 12 is Better than 6 waited in my Steam library until recently, when I decided to knock some shorter games off my backlog. I was expecting something average at best, but 12 is Better than 6 was simply badass.
12 is Better than 6 takes place in 1873, and stars an escaped, Mexican slave fleeing to the United States. The Mexican takes up the name Juan, after his former caretaker. He then sets out to find out his memory and spout as many badass one liners as possible. I found the story entertaining. I liked seeing Juan’s past get unraveled, and the story did not waste a beat. There was rarely a dull moment in this game, and I always wanted to see what happened next.
The music was also badass and was amazing at enhancing the mood. There are more than a few Amazing VGM contenders from this soundtrack. The art style I was not quite so crazy about. The artwork is certainly well drawn, but the lack of color isn’t visually appealing. When combined with the top down perspective, it often becomes difficult to tell where one can go. On top of this, enemies often wear sombreros. This causes them to blend into their surroundings, which will result in a few cheap deaths. While this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the game, I believe this art style prevented this game from wider popularity.
12 is Better than 6 is often compared to Hotline Miami. What separates this game from most 2D shooters is that you need to manually cock your gun. You need to right click before each shot, as opposed to mashing the shoot button. Between this and the limited ammo, you will need to be methodical with your play style. You also die in one shot, which means you can’t rush in guns blazing. You will often need to take a stealthy approach as well, and kill them with your knife. At the same time, most enemies die in one shot as well. This makes the combat not only realistic, but more tense and engaging.
The gameplay was so addicting that I completed most of this fifteen hour game in a few days. This game had me hooked, and only a few stages in the main game were bad. The first of these bad stages is your typical “break out of prison with no weapons” missions. This wasn’t especially bad, but it was annoying having to redo a slow stealth section upon every death. There was also a vehicle section that thrust a new control scheme on you, and didn’t explain anything.
The story DLC The Apostles was mostly fun as well. You play as three different characters, each with a slightly different play style. The Bill Watt and the Indian Warrior campaigns were awesome, but the same is not true of Slippery Pitt’s. Rather than basing Pitt’s play style off the shooting mechanics, you need to use simple traps. This involves slowly observing enemy patters, placing traps in just the right spot, and luring them over. These levels drag the pacing to a crawl, and are not fun in the least.
Pitt cannot shoot guns for crap. He will be inches from an enemy, and will still miss. This is not an exaggeration. This means that the traps are your only effective way to kill enemies. There was in-game dialogue that said pit could not use a gun, but this does not explain why he can’t even use a knife. This results in a ton of waiting and trial and error. It got to the point where it was easier to make a mad dash for the exit, and not even bother fighting the enemies.
I probably wouldn’t have played this game if I didn’t already have a copy. The art style is unappealing, and I was never crazy about Westerns. This game will likely appeal more to fans of these types of games, but even I had some damn good fun. I didn’t get especially attached to the story, but it was definitely a wild ride.
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