Summary: Call of Juarez: The Cartel is a hodgepodge of bad ideas and performance issues. Even if you can get past the technical problems, this heavy-handed action game never quite lives up to its potential. If you have a couple friends to play with you might get some fun out of it, everybody else might want to look elsewhere for their first-person fix! This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on.
Summary: I have a soft spot of " Call of Juarez: The Cartel ". It has a good story to tell, and manages to incorporate a lot of this in to its pacing, game play and co-op multiplayer. However, if I were to remove the story and assess it on purely technical grounds it is something of a mess. From its linear levels to its monotonous gunplay The Cartel feels like a missed opportunity whose appeal lies only in its story and pacing.
Conclusion: The story gets a little interesting, particularly the way each character is shady and has a different viewpoint with no-one getting the full picture, but there’s not enough to make me want to play it again to find out the rest. Call of Juarez: The Cartel is a disappointment and probably the end of a franchise that always had potential but never quite succeeded. And now it never will. Shame.
Excerpt: Save for a few novel ideas, Call of Juarez: The Cartel is, by far, the fledgling franchise's worst installment in nearly every possible way. The visuals are no exception. The first thing you'll notice is the amazingly ugly pixelated grey font the developers have chosen for the user interface.
Violent first-person shooter deals in sex, drugs, profanity.
Common Sense Media
25 August 2011
Summary: Parents need to know that Call of Juarez: The Cartel is an adult-oriented first-person shooter with a broad range of mature themes. Players can expect to encounter intense violence, several prolonged scenes of frank sexuality, frequent and extreme profanity, and references to drugs. Players take on the roles of well-meaning government agents and a police officer, but their murky motives and violent actions are clearly meant to be appreciated by an older audience.
Excerpt: With Call of Juarez: The Cartel, developer Techland has taken its now three-strong series into the modern era, but in doing so has produced what feels like the most dated game of the bunch. The Cartel is a desperate and misguided attempt to step into modern times, with a terrible script, basic gunplay and rough graphics overwhelming the handful of good ideas on show in the game's multiplayer modes.
Excerpt: They say you don't try to fix what's not broken. Apparently though, the team at Techland, the development studio behind the Call of Juarez series have never heard that saying. Rather than sticking with the Wild West theme that has served the franchise so well, the studio chose to move into more modern times and tell the story of drug cartels in Mexico.
Excerpt: At one point there were not enough Western shooter games. You had efforts like GUN from Neversoft (the guys who made the Tony Hawk skateboarding games), and you had mods for Quake 3 that simply lacked anything from the good old days. Outlaws, a brilliant shooter from LucasArts, was the first and only game to capture a bit of the spaghetti Western era, until a little game known as Call of Juarez showed up.
Excerpt: Ditching a traditional prologue, this modern-day reinvention of the Western-themed shooter series immediately tosses you into a raucous highway chase where, from the passenger window of your fast-moving SUV, you pump rival vehicles full of lead and watch them detonate. Within minutes, you meet the three lead characters and learn of their plight against a Mexican drug cartel, but by the time the credits roll, you may wish you’d stayed in those initial, exciting moments.
Pros: + Decent co-op experience with varied campaign locales.
Cons: - Loaded with recurring visual glitches and gameplay bugs., - Grating character quips from inattentive, lazy A.I. partners., ? Any chance for a return to the Old West aesthetic?