Ever since Lucasarts'
extraordinary game called Outlaws, the first person shooter market
set in the Wild Wild West has been rather dull and lacklustre. Sure,
there have been a few entertaining games since then but nothing
really captured that wild feeling about this era... until now!
Call of Juarez is
set in 1882 South Texas where Billy Candle who has just turned 19 is
accused of murdering his mother and stepfather. Hot on his trail is
Reverend Ray McCall, his stepfather's brother and an infamous
gunfighter who believes the Lord has chosen him to be Billy's judge,
jury and executioner. With that said, Call of Juarez is an epic
western adventure about vengeance, survival and the search for a
legendary lost treasure that almost makes this feel like you are
living a Clint Eastwood western.
Wild West: As
seen in some of Hollywood's most memorable feature films,
immerse yourself in the most authentic Wild West environments
and scenarios ever experienced on the PC, including saloon
brawls, train robberies, old-time shootouts, and bare-knuckle
Play as two opposing characters, each equipped with differing
skills, abilities and weaponry. As Billy, use your bow and
craftiness to sneak in and out of trouble; as Ray, stop enemies
in their tracks with your mesmerizing preaching, only to take
them down with your six-shooter moments later.
Shoot your way out of some of the Old West's most infamous
events, such as Billy the Kid's shootout at Stinking Springs
Ranch, in one of several objective modes or take the law into
your own hands and hunt down a band of outlaws on the run with
your friends in co-op mode!
Using the third installment of Techland's own Chrome game
engine, Call of Juarez recreates the distinct rough-and-tumble
beauty of the Old West through detailed and realistic
environments and levels that spread across miles of terrain.
Encounter intelligent Old West enemies, each with individual
skills, who use their environments to their advantage, employ
suppressive fire and work together as a group to shoot you down.
Equipment: Take to the dirt roads on your horse, equipped with
genuine Wild West weaponry and equipment like the standard issue
six-shooter or the traditional bow and arrow.
The two characters
that you play during the game are the very cool and fantastically voiced Reverend Ray
who is a preacher and is trying to repent his
sins that he managed to gain in his past life. Next you play as
Billy, an orphan who has been searching for the Gold Of Juarez and
also happens to beon the run from Reverand Ray.
As stated earlier, while you alternate between the two characters,
the reason it is done so well is that most of the time you are very
close on back of Billy and this means there is always levels full of
tension, it is also very cool to see the different types of
character do different things at the same points in the levels, one
may creep past enemies, while Ray will just blow them all away and
can then read a section from his bible to them as they lay there
While Billy's missions do have a lot of focus on stealth, it isn't
as good as has been seen in games like Splinter Cell or even Thief,
the good thing though is that the game doesn't just have you doing
that, you tend to explore more and hear more of the story when the
levels are played as Billy, he also makes good use of an Indiana
Jones style whip for getting up trees and across rocky gaps. The
levels in which you are also riding on a horse or using a bow and
arrow are all done with such love of cowboy and Indian movies it is
hard not to enjoy them even when there are some annoyances such as
relying on quick saves to get you through the levels.
Ray's missions on the other hand are more about taking out your
vengeance on the people who get in your way, you do so much shooting
that the adrenaline just keeps flowing. The best feature used in the
game though is the Slow-Motion mode that is done when you draw your
pistols from the holsters, each pistol then has its own separate
aiming reticule, moving slowly towards the center of the screen,
each gun gets fired separately with left or right mouse buttons
meaning you can take out a whole host of enemies at one time if you
can time it right.
The game also has many chase scenes, from chasing a speeding
stagecoach to rides through and into a mine. There is also a train
level which was one of my favorites and even better there are some
levels in which you have to actually think about what to do next,
something that doesn't happen enough in some of the more recent
First Person Shooters.
The graphics of the
title are quite impressive for the most part, although it does have
a tendency to look a little shabby in some levels when compared to
others. The horse riding scenes are very good and characters faces
and design is great. The game seems to use HDR for lighting too,
this works quite well in some scenes, especially when moving through
mountains and coming out into the sun later in a level.
Sound is excellent, this is one area that I can't fault at all with the speech
being first rate and I have to give my highest compliments to whoever
voice Reverend Ray as I felt that his voice work is possibly the
best and most fitting I have ever heard in a game and for that
praise comes from someone who is usually critical when it comes to
In conclusion, Call of Juarez is a must have first person shooter,
especially for those that are sick of stock standard sci-fi/doom
clones. Great story, brilliant graphics and addictive gameplay...
this is one title that you really need to check out if you love the
genre or have been yearning for that modern Outlaws experience.