Welcome to the wild, wild west
Call of Juarez is back. Call of Juarez Gunslinger returns the series to the wild west, packing a new, cell-shaded look and a cleverly woven story. Although some parts of Gunslinger are better than others, the overall experience leads to one of the most unique and memorable shooters in recent years.
Gunslinger tells a violent tale of revenge and redemption. A tale that is narrated in-game, by a bounty hunter called Silas Greaves. Greaves is a great character. He's not only a legend of the wild west, but he's also a great story-teller. Well, kind of. You see, Silas Greaves has aged a bit since his endeavors and that has taken a slight toll on his memory and his story-telling. Greaves may for example, remember that the attacking Apache warriors were actually Cowboys - causing the scene to change as you play. This makes for some of the most memorable moments in the game. Greaves is essentially painting a canvas with his words. Objects pop out of nowhere or materialize right before your eyes as Silas Greaves narrates the story in real time. Gunslinger's comic-book art style adds to the overall experience. It feels like you're playing through a moving wild-west comic-book. The only downside to Gunslinger's story is that it gets a little bit repetitive after a while. Gunslinger's story levels essentially play identically to one another. Players are thrown into the world, fight a bunch of baddies and then face off with a boss at the end of the level. On the plus side, Call of Juarez's levels look fantastic.
You'll hardly have time to take in the sights, because it doesn't take long for bullets to start flying in Call of Juarez Gunslinger. Bullets ricochet off objects and whiz past in a spectacular fashion. It's not just the same old run-and-gun gameplay that you may be used to from other first person shooters. Gunslinger has a few tricks up its sleeve. A concentration mode allows you to slow the action down to a halt and a new "Sense of Death" feature allows you to dodge, an otherwise fatal bullet, in quite a spectacular fashion. Whether you're blasting your quick shooter from the hip or taking a carefully aimed shot at your enemies' skull from long distance, Gunslinger's action is fast and brutal. The game features a leveling up system, which will allow you to upgrade Silas' skills depending on your playstyle. If you want to duel wield pistols and run into the action guns blazing then the Gunslinger class will be the most suited to you. If you're the sort of player that prefers a rifle, then you'll like the Ranger class. The Trapper is for those players that enjoy a good old fashioned double barelled shotgun. Upgrading the trapper class will eventually allow you to duel wield two sawn offs, causing brutal damage in close quarters. Once I discovered the Akimbo option in the settings, I was in love. On default Call of Juarez uses the left trigger to aim when duel wielding weapons. With Akimbo, you fire each weapon independently, with the left and right trigger buttons. Although it's not always the most efficient way of taking down foes, it's certainly the most spectacular. Not to mention how satisfying and badass it feels!
Although there are no multiplayer modes on offer, there are many reasons why you will want to replay Call of Juarez Gunslinger. The main reason, simply being , because the game is a lot of fun. Seriously the first thing I did when I finished the story, was start a "new game plus" mode that allowed me to start a new game, along with everything I had unlocked in my previous run, on a harder difficulty . Part of replaying the game a second time around, made me want to explore the game world and find all the hidden collectibles. The collectibles feature historical information that put Gunslinger's action into a real world context. You'll find factual information about the outlaws you're up against and the game world. Once you've had enough of the story , there's an Arcade mode that focuses on stringing together combos, racking up that score multiplier and posting high scores on leaderboards. The Arcade mode is super addictive and a lot of fun. A Duel Mode allows you to face off with the iconic characters from Gunslinger's story. It's you versus 15 legends of the wild west. Although this is the weaker mode of the three, it's not as bad as some reviewers may lead you to believe.
Call of Juarez Gunslinger is a fantastic game. The game's western setting comes to life with satisfying combat and unique visuals . The first person shooter genre is largely dominated by military shooters and having said that, Gunslinger is truly a breath of fresh air. You'll experience shootouts in Saloons, fight it out during a train-robbery and explore the wilderness, occupied by Apaches. There's something magical about walking through a lush forest, preparing for an ambush that could come at any moment by screaming Native American warriors. Gaming is about immersing players in believable game worlds and creating memorable experiences. Gunslinger's comic-book-like wild-west looks gorgeous and combined with the cleverly narrated story, makes for one of the most unique and memorable shooters I have played in recent years.
8 - Fantastic
+ Great looking cell-shaded graphics
+ Awesome storytelling
+ Lots of fun
- Long load times
- Repetitive story structure