Excerpt: After a rather disappointing zombie game from Techland ( Dead Island ), this developer is back in business with the excellent XBox Live game, Call of Juarez Gunslinger that takes this franchise to a whole new gaming level, especially after the abysmal Call of Juarez The Cartel! Hey... some people liked The Cartel but I didn't!
Conclusion: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger redirects the series’ tribute act to the Western with a comic sensibility perfectly suited to a short, action-heavy campaign. It looks and plays better than just about anything in the Techland catalogue, and does so as a downloadable title at a fraction of retail cost. Suddenly, The Cartel seems twice as unfortunate.
Conclusion: This displays why downloadable services like XBLA exist. Clearly, Techland had some ideas for a new installment in a series, but weren't enough to warrant a disc release. So instead of creating a bunch of nonsense to constitute a full $60 release, they worked things down and made an abbreviated experience for a lower price. Playing the game is a blast, as the whole "desperado" feeling comes through in spades. Story is a fun play through, and could be done in one sitting.
Excerpt: There’s nothing particularly surprising about Call of Juarez: Gunslinger . It’s a western-themed first-person corridor shooter in much the same vein as the series’ earliest installments, even if the stories don’t connect at all. What is surprising, however, is that content of this quantity and quality costs just $15.
Pros: + Fun, engaging action that delivers where it counts., + Excellent writing and narration, plus a few cool tricks.
Conclusion: Concept: Relive the unreliable memories of an old bounty hunter
Graphics: Techland takes some cues from Borderlands’ art style
Sound: Solid voice-over work helps sell the running narrative
Playability: Gunplay is responsive and tense
Entertainment: Story mode is a lot of fun, and arcade mode keeps you coming back for more action
Excerpt: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is a remarkable shooter, but not because of its story, or its visuals, or some innovative new game mechanic. No, what makes Gunslinger so successful is its focus on delivering some of the most entertaining shooting around. Each and every bullet fired from your trusty six-shooter rings out with a booming blast that echoes around the valleys of the Old West and slams into villainous cowboys with a thoroughly satisfying splat.
Pros: Tight, accurate shooting, Compelling combo mechanic, Weapons have a satisfying heft and sound to them, Well-designed levels, Tense quick-draw duels
Cons: Gatling gun boss battles are shallow and frustrating, Predictable ending
Conclusion: It’s not like the concept is bad; cars armed with weapons compete in large out door arenas and areas to destroy each other. Classic deathmatch gameplay on wheels. That was a hugely popular subgenre back in the day, though I’m not 100% sure why. Was it because gamers still wanted a real game built of Road Warrior ? Was everyone hoping for a true heir to arise to the PC car combat game Interstate ‘76 ? (um, no they weren’t). Something was grabbing people.
Conclusion: It’s not every day a good Old West videogame hits store shelves, and I’ve been incredibly hopeful for Call of Juarez since the day it was announced. Although it doesn’t do everything right (especially Billy’s missions), it provides about 12 hours of campaign fun and a whole mess of replay value in the bonus content and multiplayer modes. I don’t keep many games after I’ve played them, but I can safely say Call of Juarez will stay on my shelf for many months to come.
Pros: Graphics, gunplay, voice acting and plot
Cons: Most anything related to Billy Candle, Achievement bugs