Product Type: Ubisoft PS3 games
Newest Review: ... detailed, but it is the kind of story you would expect from a Western film, so Techland should be praised. The characters are also very i... more
Not quite Gold standard, but still great!
Call of Juarez: Bound In Blood (PS3)
Member Name: CheesySpam
Call of Juarez: Bound In Blood (PS3)
Advantages: Great story and characters; good gameplay; it's good-looking; brilliant music and voice acting.
Disadvantages: Too many shoot-outs; does nothing new for the genre.
Call of Juarez, a first-person shooter released in 2006 on PC and the next year on Xbox 360, was good but had a lot of room for improvements. The graphics weren't great, and there were some heavily flawed sequences which frustrated. But it's clear that Techland went out and made a prequel that addressed the problem of its predecessor. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is not a brilliant game, but is a very enjoyable adventure through the Old West in the 1800's.
Ray and Thomas McCall are brothers, fighting for the Confederate Army to save Atlanta. When Thomas is sent to the frontlines one day, Ray goes to rescue his brother as he would likely be shot down in a second by the hundreds of opposing troopers coming their way. This makes the two realise that they have to go to protect their family and homestead, angering their leader. When the brothers arrive home, they find soldiers attacking the area. After wiping out the enemy, Ray and Thomas make it inside to find their mother dead with the third brother, William, at her side.
The three brothers set off, intending to rebuild their now ruined family home one day. So, they begin seeking the missing Gold of Juarez, valuable treasure that many have looked for in the past but failed. It is said that people are driven mad by finding it. Ray dismisses this myth and persuades his brothers to go with him. Along the way, they meet a notorious criminal named Juan Mendoza and become involved with a deadly weapon deal.
The story isn't very detailed, but it is the kind of story you would expect from a Western film, so Techland should be praised. The characters are also very interesting - the relationship between Ray and Thomas becomes tense as the story progresses. William's character can also be intriguing as he is so different from his brothers; he is very religious so he is against his brothers' violent acts. There are also plenty of great side characters who make the story even better.
Sadly, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood doesn't really do much new for the FPS genre. But there are several features that make it slightly different to the common shooter. So, what sort of thing would you do in a battle? A group of enemies are coming my way. I equip my rifle and shoot at an enemy on a roof. Then, I get out two rangers, shooting at nearby enemies, aiming at the head all the time. By now, I have unlocked Concentration Mode, so I tap the circle button. Everything goes into slow motion. I move my reticule over close enemies, and then tap circle again. My character automatically shoots at those people in quick succession. There's one enemy left, so I have a bit of time for experimenting. I shoot at a lamp. A fire starts, so my opponent is stunned. Finally, I grab a chair from by the nearest building, and whack the enemy in the head.
The one thing that makes this game different most of all, though, is the fact that you can choose between playing as Ray and Thomas at the start of each level. Both characters has his own unique ability. For example, Ray can dual-wield weapons and use dynamite, while Thomas can use bows and throw knives. This also adds replay value, with trophies for playing every level as both characters.
However, this doesn't change that some people will get bored in the middle of the game because gunfights take up most of the game's average 10 hour length. It all boils down to whether you love or hate FPS titles.
Bound in Blood's multiplayer isn't brilliant, but you might waste a few hours on it. There are several modes that take place across various maps. You earn money for getting kills on your enemies, and can spend it on a temporary update for one of the many classes, or simply purchase a new class. When the game first came out, a lot more people probably would have been playing it but now, there aren't many. Therefore, less available games come up when you do a quick search - most people playing now use Manhunt mode, which is a fairly good game, but it would be nice if more people used other modes. It is an enjoyable experience, though.
Despite some minor graphical issues, the game does look great. Standing on top of a mountain and looking down at the scenery is full of detail. The faces do look realistic, with lots of detail, but a bit ugly at times. Also, there are only a couple of enemy face types. Look down on bodies and you will find most look the same. Sadly, this harks back to the Half-Life days. That's 1998.
Bound in Blood features some brilliant Western themed music that you won't be forgetting for a while. There are several fast-paced pieces that play in action-packed sections such as chases or gunfights, but music is slower on the credits and loading sequences. Voice acting-wise, the heavy accents may get annoying sometimes but are suitable for the Western setting of the game. One of the main problems with the sound is that in-game, Ray and Thomas constantly repeat phrases they used before. But overall, there is some brilliant music and good voice acting on offer here.
In my opinion, the PEGI 16+ rating is a touch over the top, but the 12+ rating wouldn't have been high enough. When shooting enemies, a medium amount of blood sprays but doesn't splatter. There is a lot of swearing with two uses of f*** and s*** is used possibly more than twenty times. More minor swear words are also used. I'd say this game is suitable for people of ages 13+.
Overall, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is a great first-person shooter that's worth buying. It features a great story with loads of excellent characters. The game doesn't contain anything significant that does anything really new for the genre, but there are some small features that set it apart from the big shooters like Call of Duty. The graphics aren't always good-looking but the scenery is beautiful and there is plenty of facial detail. The online mode isn't essential to play, but worth your time. And for just over a fiver used on Amazon, it's worth a go.
Thanks for reading! This review is also posted on Ciao under my name YoshiCheesePuff.
Summary: It isn't FPS heaven, but worth getting.
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