Call of Juarez: The Cartel XBox 360 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -
Call of Juarez: The Cartel
Reviewed by
Ash Pinch
on
Call of Juarez: The Cartel XBox 360 Review. Everything this game attempts has been done before and done better. The original Call of Juarez had something that had not really been explored, particularly in modern titles.
Rating:
2.9

Gameplay 6.0
Graphics 5.0
Sound 6.0
Value 5.8
Distributor: UbiSoft
Classification:
MA15+
Review Date:
August 2011
Reviewer:
Ash Pinch

5.8


Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Call of Juarez: The Cartel is the sequel to a title that had small following, providing  a decent first person shooter in a Western setting, move forward to the release of the current title and we see a shift from what set Call of Juarez apart from other shooters.  Thatís right; Call of Juarez is now set in modern times, which is disappointing for those wanting to have some old style Western shootouts.  This changes the key competition for The Cartel, because now there is nothing unique about the game, so does this stand out amongst the crowd.

The story for The Cartel is kind of strange and does not really make a great deal of sense, from what I could gather America is having trouble with the Mexican Cartels and is considering invading Mexico, odes this seem ridiculous to anyone else?    So then a task force is put together involving three generic characters, on girl from the FBI who has connectionís to gangs, one stereotypical latino-esque DEA agent, and finally there is McCain.  McCain is clearly a descendent of the character from Bound in Blood, and the only reason that this can be called Call of Juarez; he is a western style, gunslinger, homicide detective who has a husky voice.  Players are able to choose one of the three characters, each with promised differences in play styles.  This is the first major disappointment, despite stating that there are different ranges each character is stronger with, however, each character plays the exact same fights the exact same way.

Game play wise this is a fairly average shooter, the default settings are not very good so if you do want to play through the story you want to do some tinkering with the sensitivity and dead zone.  There is down the sights aiming, which is pretty standard these days, I did like how if you kept the sight still for a couple of seconds it would zoom in a little bit, making further away enemies a little easier to hit.  The enemies wonít be all that hard to see though, as the vast majority all seem to be wearing green, blue or red t-shirts.  The cover system is good in that it is clear when you are behind cover, as this speeds regeneration, another shooter staple, it would have been helpful though to have a better way to pop out from cover.  Ideally I would have liked to have been able to simply look down the sights and dire off some shots.

Call of Juarez implements some driving sections, which is a nice touch for the first person genre, the handling itself is not too bad, nothing spectacular but definitely passable.  The biggest gripe I have is the lack of freedom with the driving, one wrong turn and you are hit with a brief warning that you are leaving the mission area, then almost immediately told you have failed and may return to the last checkpoint.  This can absolutely ruin the experience of hopping in the car to pursue or escape only to miss one of the tiny white guiding dots and told to return to a previous checkpoint.

An idea that was good, but could have been implemented a little better were the solo side objectives, such as tapping phones.  The catch is that your partners canít see you, this is generally very easy though as you can often just shut a door, and in coop you can simply get your partner to turn around.  Speaking of coop, it was very disappointing that coop could not be played split screen, the online coop works but personally I prefer playing with a friend in the same room.

The games visuals are pretty poor, they are severely outdated and the animations are not very smooth.  Models are again outdated, as are the overall textures.  The game feels as though it was rushed out and there was not real care taken to make sure that things looked good.  The main characters are distinctly different, however the enemies are all essentially the same, with only a few different types and even the different not really looking all that different from one another.

The sound brings about one of the most annoying aspect of the game, the other character voice work.  It seems not matter how well you are doing they will say something along the lines of ďleave some for usĒ, which can make sense because they wonít kill many people.  This is alright and kind of funny for a couple of levels, but after a few hours of game time these will grind your ears.  Everything else about the sound is completely unremarkable, guns donít have any real impact, voice work is irritating and bland and the music score has no impact. 

As a whole this game is just another first person shooter that tries to incorporate all the standard additions of the popular first person shooters without implementing anything ground breaking.  Everything this game attempts has been done before and done better.  The original Call of Juarez had something that had not really been explored, particularly in modern titles.  Moving into modern times without maximising the modern gunslinger character this is just another run of the mill first person shooter.






 
 



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