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Introduction: Call of Juarez is a western developted by Techland, this old west themed-first person shooter contains all of the elements to create a perfect western such as train robbery, Gunslinging and horse riding.
Story: The game is based around two very interesting characters the first being Billy Candle he is a half-mexican searching for the legendary lost gold of Juarez, this treasure is somewhere within the city of Juarez and Billy cant find it. As Billy cant find the treasure he decides to visit his parents in the little town of Hope, Billy just arrives to find his parents brutally murdered. The second character is called Reverend Ray, he is Billys step-uncle, Ray used to be a gunslinger but has now dedicated his life to preaching, word gets round about some trouble at the old farm so Ray goes to check it out and ironically arrives on time to see a worried Billy running away for the bloody masarce of the corpses of Rays sister-in-law and his brother. This point is where the story and game kicks of as Ray has put two and two together and come up with five so decides to go get his old trusted revolvers and hunt his step-nephew down.
Gameplay: The uniqueness about this game is having two playable characters one being the hunter other the huntered this makes for very exciting gameplay. Billy approaches the game in a more stealth like manner sneaking and climbing, the weapons you use playing as Billy is a bow and arrow and a whip, the whip is Billys unique weapon as this can be used to help you in climbing. Ray has a much more in your face, hands on approach you use guns and explosives to blast your way through the levels, this is definetly more entertaining. Rays unique weapon is stangely a bible by pressing a button Ray will start quoting passages from the bible which will stop nearby enemies as they will stop and listen giving you time to blow the heads off. Ray can also go into concentration mode which puts the gameplay into slowmotion and gives you a pair of targetting reticles which you aim with at the chosing enemy and then empty the lead into them. Gunslinging is also another feature of being Ray, this lets you enjoy some gun duels against different gunslinging enemies. Horse back is another feature available within the game this is available for both characters, this is an all round enjoyable experience although controls take a bit of getting used to but once mastered it is fine. The campaign should last between 8-10 hours, and there is also some bonus missions to do and some gun duels. Xbox LIVE is fairly simple, straightforward, FPS action but this is still enjoyable, their are a variety of modes such as death match, capture the flag, etc.
Graphics: Call of Juarez looks spectacular the graphics certainly are one of the key features of the game, the mountains and the western enviroment looks truely magnificent this due down to some great lighting and texture work. The characters in the game look really good, the detail on the characters are top notch but they are a bit of a let down by some stiff animations but this is overshadowed by to many positives within the game.
Sound: The sound-effects are quality their is a wide variety that all sound realistic and the soundtrack for the game keeps well with the western theme helping to build up a great atmosphere, voice acting is fairly decent they all perform an entertaining performance.
Conclusion: Call of Juarez delivers a very enjoyable experience, this is one of the better western games available today on the market and is a very pleasing shooter, the uniqueness of the two playable characters through the game makes it a lot of fun. This game is worth getting its a solid bit of fun and has a bargain price.
Considering the huge popularity of the Wild West genre in movies and on TV over the last, what, 100 years, there have been surprisingly few cowboy-based video games. There was 'Outlaws' a long time ago... and 'Gun'... and, well I can't remember any more!
With its ten-gallon hats, six shooters, shanty towns and saloons, Call of Juarez is the latest opportunity to become a digital cowboy.
Like 'Gun', CoJ is a first person shooter. It's a pleasant surprise that CoJ drops some of Gun's cartoon corniness, in favour of a grittier approach, but without losing a rich awareness of the western genre that has existed for so many years. Juarez benefits from interesting gaming mechanics, a wealth of interesting characters and set pieces, and a series of nice touches that will make you smile.
The storyline is split between two main characters - a homicidal fire and brimstone preacher named Ray (who seems to do the majority of his preaching by unloading two revolvers into his congregation) and a kid named Billy, whose sections generally involve skulking and sneaking around.
Like many games, CoJ has a sort of 'bullet time' mechanic. The way this works is really fun, and reminiscent of many wild west type movies - every now and then, within the course of a handful of seconds, you can unload 12 rounds perfectly into the heads of your foes. It feels really bloody heroic - or is it psychopathic?
Also there are lots of fun physics here. For example, there are quite a few puzzles that involve clever uses of barrels, planks, logs, etc... you know the drill, something that might have happened during an episode of the Lone Ranger!
AND... you can shoot off enemies hats. Slow-mo hat shooting is where it's at!!!
The game does have flaws. There are some gameplay elements here that aren't particularly polished, and there are definitely areas in which you can get stuck because what you do next is a little bit obscure.
Another flaw is the balance of stealth with action. You're going to have to like both elements from this game, because between Billy and Ray there's a lot of pure action here and a lot of pure stealth. If you're a fan of both these styles however, this shouldn't be a problem!
Overall Call of Juarez is one of the best (and one of the few) western games out there. It's got a unique feel and it's definitely worth giving it a go if it sounds like your sort of thing.
Call Of Juarez is an action first person shooter for the Microsoft Xbox 360 games console.
In this game the story follows two characters, a boy called Billy who comes home to visit his parents but he finds them dead, he is accused of them after and his uncle who is the second playable character, a priest, goes after him.
The gameplay is quite fun as you have two unique gameplay styles, Billy plays more stealthily hiding in bushes and the like.
His uncle is much more fun, you have his dual pistols to play with and there is a unique draw feature that will let you go into the slow motion mode when you first draw your weapon.
This game is based In The Old West and it is a good setting, not enough games seem to be based in this setting so fans of cowboys and that kind of thing will enjoy this.
You can get this game for about £20.00 and it is a good purchase.
Being an avid gamer I have played many games set in many locations. You find after a while that the same locations seem to pop up more than others. Any WW2 fan must be in gaming clover because the number of games that see you fight the Nazis must be in the 100s. This is a similar story to those who like to fight space aliens; if you want a probing you dont have to look far. One location that I am surprised does not pop up more often is the Wild West. Here is a time in history primed and ready for games makers to inundate the player with gun battles and horse chases. Off the top of my head the only recent games I can think of are Gun, Red Dead Revolver and Strangers Wrath. Not a huge haul for a genre that has spawned 1000s of films and books. Is there a reason why the cowboy mystic is avoided? Will the newest addition to the genre fall into the same traps?
Like most games on the 360 (it seems) The Call of Juarez is a First Person Shooter (FPS). Unlike the majority of these games you take control of two characters. Billy is a fugitive on the run and his levels use stealth as a weapon. He is equipped with a limited amount of ammo and the whip is his weapon of necessity. As Billy you are often forced to use bushes to avoid enemies or climb vast cliffs to get to your objective. These elements are pretty fun, but as I have often found with FPS games that try and introduce platforming sections, they just dont work. There is no real sense of depth in a first person perspective so you find yourself falling to your death too often.
The better sections of the game see you in control of Rev Ray. He is after Billy, who he thinks responsible for the murder of his brother. Once a villain himself the Reverend has seen the light and goes into battle with a gun in one hand and a bible in the other. Its actually possible to speak bible verse to the enemy before you strike them down. The Rev is equipped with metal armour so his health goes down slowly. This means that his sections take on a more traditional FPS style of gameplay as you shoot to kill none stop.
Both Billy and Ray come across the same enemies in the game as they stumble across a bandit groups attempts to get a hidden treasure trove called the treasure of Juarez. You fight against traditional cowboys and Indians, with the majority looking to get you dead. I thought that the AI of the enemies was a little poor as you mowed them down too easily. To make these kills slightly more interesting the makers have included a slow motion killing power for the two characters. This means that you can shoot down a group of enemies as if you were a super fast draw.
The Call of Juarez has gameplay that is neither poor nor excellent. Like many games in the FPS genre it sits somewhere in the middle. It handles well enough and the ability to slow time is good. However, the use of a Wild West setting is not enough to lift the game mechanics above average. (3 out of 5)
The storyline and characters are probably the areas that Juarez shows the greatest promise. Techland (for Ubisoft), the company who made this game, are a Eastern European company so their views of what the Wild West was like comes from old movies. The sense of justice and men with honour permeates the entire game, to the point that the engine will not allow you to shoot innocents or dead bodies. I was impressed that this game had such a good story that engaged me enough to like the lead characters. There was more going on than the average game and it was one of the reasons that I played through till the end. Will Billy prove his innocence before Ray catches up with him? (4 out of 5)
The lifespan of this game is on two fronts single player and multiplayer. The single player experience is a pretty good size for the genre taking around 10-14 hours to complete. The lifespan should then be increased with the online aspect of the game. Unfortunately, as you will read soon in the online part of this review the online game will not hold your attention for long.
There are achievements available like in all 360 games and The Call of Juarez takes an interesting route into giving them out. Rather than receive points just for completing each level you have to do a unique task e.g. shoot 5 hats off the enemy in mission 5. This means that you can go back and replay the game to get the extra achievements you missed the first time around. (3 out of 5)
When you first get your hands on Juarez you are impressed with the online features that the game has to offer. There are plenty of maps that allow you to compete in various deathmatch games online. You can take the role of different types of cowboy who have different strengths and weaknesses e.g. the minor has dynamite but is a poor shooter, the sniper is a good shot but weak. With a good balance of characters the game could have been great online; unfortunately crippling lag means that the game is unplayable. Add to this the fact that hardly anyone is playing this online and you are not in for the most fun experience. There are far too many companies investing time into multiplayer deathmatches that no one will play. The single player experience could have been better if the time and money spent here had been redistributed. (2 out of 5)
As this is two years into the current generation of Xbox I have now got particular standards towards graphics. Juarez just about manages to reach these standards. In the open vistas the game can get pretty stunning, unfortunately the closer up sections are far uglier. The characters models are ok; its the textures and the bland surroundings that give the game a distinctly boring palette. The levels are so boxy you can tell they were built with a gaming engine that could not do curves. The same engine is planning to be used in a Zombie shooter set on a Caribbean Island, if this game is going to look good they will need to improve the graphics. (3 out of 5)
There is a huge potential available in the Cowboy genre to make sure the game is expansive and not set in grey corridors. Large parts of Juarez see you riding a horse on the open plain in pursuit of the enemies and these parts are fun. I also liked the sections that saw intense fighting amongst the wooden house in towns. These two elements make up about half the game; it is the other half that lack quality. Billys sections in particular suffer as they are often platforming or stealth. Both things do not work too well from a first person perspective and the level design is not good enough to make it fun. (3 out of 5)
Having based The Call of Juarez in the Cowboy genre Techland have a great potential for the sound and music on offer. Overall, they do a really good job with quality acting and music. They have obviously taken their inspiration to heart and created some great atmosphere. Unfortunately, this good work is somewhat undone by the poor management of sound. The game is automatically made with surround sound in mind and if you do not have it you will not hear a character unless they are directly in front of you. This is a ridiculous situation and it often leaves you straining to hear what the characters are saying. Eventually I had to switch on the subtitles to get the dialogue. (2 out of 5)
The Call of Juarez is a game that is good, but could have been better. Gun is a very similar game that came out at 360 launch and unfortunately Juarez is not sufficiently different, or better, to fork out the extra £30 it costs. In my mind Juarez is a perfectly adequate game that is fun to play. However, this does not make it worth a full £50. Instead I believe it is a game that people will buy and appreciate at a reduced price in the future. One for completists only. (3 out of 5)
Maker: Techland RRP £50
Amazon uk £31.98
At £25 at Play.com this game is becoming increasingly worthwhile.