Excerpt: After successfully elevating the Call of Juarez name with 2009's Bound in Blood, the developers at Techland have taken a hard left turn, swapping stagecoaches for SUVs and a present-day drug war. Does Call of Juarez: The Cartel deliver on its promise of a new wild west or is it more of a creative ghost town? After a cop is killed by a Mexican drug cartel, the government forms a special task force to take the organization down.
Conclusion: I was interested in this next step for the Call of Juarez series, and I really think it could have worked; but good ideas can only do so much, solid execution must also prevail, and that just didn't happen with The Cartel.
Summary: All the great ideas in the world don't necessarily make for a great game. Case in point: Call of Juarez: The Cartel. This cooperative-focused first-person shooter has some neat concepts, but makes mistakes so fundamental you might wonder how good this game may have been, given a few more months of development time. Armchair philosophers can debate such hypotheticals.
Pros: Secret agendas smartly link the gameplay with the story, Challenges give co-op play a competitive edge, Many levels are atmospheric and offer room to maneuver
Cons: You miss out on the good stuff when you play on your own, Unlikable characters that say and do unlikable things, Lots of bugs and glitches, Frequent pauses and frame-rate inconsistencies
Excerpt: In a bold move, Ubisoft has sanctioned a shift for the Juarez franchise. It's no longer set in the Wild West, nor is it predominantly set in Juarez. Good move, or very very bad?
Pros: Innovative side-story involving character intrigue. Overarching story theme has appeal.
Cons: Poor combat, repetitive audio cues, glitchy character pathing. Graphics, animation and cinematic sequences feel old. The multiplayer is underdeveloped. A Call of Juarez title should be an old Western experience.
Conclusion: If you buy CoJ:TC I hope you are a fan of the previous games, as any newcomers to this will get an average story, with average graphics and average gameplay. It can be fun for a while, but an ultimately average multiplayer which uses an idea that has been done and used way better by IO Interactive, means I can only recommend this for a rental.
Pros: Decent storyline. Collecting items in secret is fun and tactical in co-op. Great gameplay balance (guns/cars/fighting).
Cons: Repeated dialogue is annoying. Falling on the floor from distant explosions can be irritating. Only one multiplayer mode disguised as two.