12 is Better Than Six is a fast-paced old western shooter with a very nice hand-drawn art style that interested me very much. The game as a whole has a few interesting ideas that I did like while I was playing. With that said, the game is far from perfect with some of the issues surrounding the gameplay.
Pros and Cons
- Fun gameplay that gives you that Wild West theme
- Very nice weapons to use
- Fantastic soundtrack that I really enjoyed
- Amazing black and white art style
- The story for the game is hit or miss
- Gameplay can get very difficult in a not fun way
- There is no way to really get ammo
- Occasional bad AI
- Sometimes you can’t tell who an enemy or ally is
- Your field of view is quite small
- Melee hit registration is very bad
The story starts in the year 1873 in Mexico, with our unnamed main character waking up in a mine. He is a slave to the local people, but he decides to one day escape and go to America to live as a free man. Along the way, the main character soon realizes that he has no memory of his past and wants to recover it to find out why he was in that mine in the first place.
The story for the game is honesty hit or miss, there are some interesting things going on with it but nothing to really make it shine. The main character literally goes through a phase where he starts to remember some of his past and finds out he did some really bad stuff. The issue here is he literally threatens to kill people who don’t do as he says and has gunned people down. It’s like he sat down and said, hmmm, despite me gunning people down who are trying to kill me and me threatening to kill people, I have done some pretty fucked up shit in the past.
The more I think about this whole thing, the funnier it is to me that the main character went through a moment to reflect on his past actions while doing some equally bad stuff right now. I can understand that bad people can feel regret but when it comes to a moment like this, it feels a little off. Other than that, there isn’t really anything else that is interesting about the story.
If I had to compare 12 is Better Then 6 to any game that I have played, that would have to be Hotline Miami. It’s a top-down shooter where you can pretty much die in one hit if you are not careful. When it comes to firing weapons, you will have to clock the gun with the RM button and then fire with the left. This is a bit of an interesting gimmick as I have never really done something like this in a game I have played.
There are only four weapons for you to use in the game, that being a pistol, double barrel shotgun, a rifle, and a bow and arrow. Each weapon has a certain usage to them, but you can only equip one at a time. You are given a knife to use for stealth kills, which is useful for taking out enemies that you don’t want to deal with in a gunfight as it can and will get overwhelming when it comes to dealing with a lot of enemies at once. If you die, you will have to redo the entire level - though they are short, so you won’t feel too pressured when it comes to the game's difficulty.
There are some upgrades you can get that make combat a bit more interesting, however, they do cost a lot of money. Enemies do drop money and you can get some by doing side missions but other than that, there is not really a method to get any. Although for some reason, you can’t buy any ammo for your guns, which I find a little odd.
However, there are some issues with 12 is Better Than 6 that do hold the game back in a few areas. One of those issues is the difficulty that the game has, as it will have some spikes in very unfun ways. This issue alone would have been negligible if it were not for the other issues it has at times. For starters, you can’t get ammo by normal means. Besides there being no shops to get ammo, you can only get it by the enemies you kill. To do this, you have to go to the gun after you kill an enemy and please only do this when they are all dead. Then you have to hold the reload button, which is the R key, empty out your gun, and then pick up the enemy weapon with E. Suffice to say, this is a bit awkward to do and is definitely not something I really like doing. The bow and arrow is the best weapon in the game because you don’t have to rely on doing this sort of thing, you can just pick up the arrows after killing the enemies.
The AI is also an issue as they won’t help you when you have allies - speaking of bad AI, you can’t even tell who an enemy or an ally is sometimes. This is, of course, due to the game's art style which I don’t want to say as I love how this game was drawn. Although the only way to tell if someone is your ally sometimes is by finding out that they can’t die from your shots. So, in other words you will probably waste ammo, or you can take a leap of faith and say hello, your call.
Your field of view is limited as well, I feel that the enemies can see farther than you can, and this will of course lead to your death. I just wish I could see farther away sometimes so I can get a better grip of my surroundings. The last issue I have is that melee hit registration is really bad, the knife is fine as long as you can get backstabs. However, there is a level in act 3 where you have to go through yet another mine and use a pickaxe to kill enemies, assuming you have no ammo with you. Taking care of one enemy is fine but it’s impossible to fight two with a melee weapon and even fighting one enemy can be a chore. Mind you, this is only in a few levels, but the issue is something I should bring up.
Graphics and Performance
The art style for 12 is Better Than 6 is fantastic! I love how the game was hand drawn. The only colors you have are black and white but there is red blood.
The soundtrack is also something I want to mention, it’s really fantastic and there was no song I had that I did not like.
I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM. I experienced no issues while I was playing the game in anyway.
While 12 is Better Than 6 has some issues, I can’t lie that I did not have fun while playing through the game. I would wait for a sale though as the game is only a few hours long. There is a DLC that adds three different characters for you to play as and it is a bit harder than the base game, so it might be worth picking up to help expand the experience.