May 23, 2013

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger Review

Lasting First Impressions


fter 2011’s disappointing Call of Juarez: The Cartel, the third of the Call of Juarez series, I was honestly surprised to see Ubisoft and Techland announce another game in the series.  With Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Techland is returning the game to its wild west roots and pairing the game down to a downloadable title instead of a full retail disc.  The fact that it is now a downloadable title, however, should not detract you from the quality that it delivers.  The wild west, a time set during the American frontier in the latter half of the 19th century is ripe with stories of outlaws bigger than life.  Outlaws like Billy the Kid, Pat Garret, and Jesse James, each with their own stories both real and fictional.  Call of Juarez: Gunslinger pays homage to these iconic outlaws and brings them to life like never before in a graphic novel inspired game.

Gunslinger is narrated by a bounty hunter names Silas Greaves as he regales the local barflies with his life story. A story that finds him crossing paths with many of the notorious outlaws that are now just stories in a dime novel.  As the story is told, the player plays through the actions that Silas took as he battles gangs of thieves and bandits, fights alongside Billy the Kid, and even a showdown with the legendary Pat Garret, among others.  The narration of the game reminds me of Bastion as the Silas Greaves seems to tell the story just as the player completes certain actions.  As the story progresses, players will obtain XP that can be spent on skills to increase their abilities and eventually become the most ruthless bounty hunter ever seen in the wild west.  Players can choose to concentrate on one of three branches of gunfighting skills when upgrading: Long Range, Dual Wield, or Up Close and Personal.

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Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is beautifully rendered with high colour and high contrast and really looks and feels like a graphic novel.  Fans of Borderlands will find many similarities with the artstyle used here.  There are times, however, that the high colour images makes the enemies hard to spot.  During play, there were several times in which I could not figure out where I was being shot from.  The enemies seemed to blend into the background much too easily.  This wasn’t enough to detract from the shear amount of fun this game provides, though.  The FPS action is fast and deadly and controls with ease.  As someone who does not do well in FPS games, I found this game controls easily and lining up headshots seems very natural.  One skill obtained early on allows the action to slow down slightly as the left trigger is pulled, allowing more precise aiming.

Along the way, players will be able to search for and find Nuggets of Truth, collectables that tell the real story of the Old West.  These are fascinating tidbits of information about the true story behind the legends.  While the game certainly takes on an aire of the fantastic side to these outlaws, these collectibles tell us about the real people behind the famous names.  It is obvious that the developers spent a great deal of time researching the real stories of the Old West and the characters portrayed in this game.  With movies such as the Young Guns series being among my favourite movies of all time, I found myself particularly intrigued with Call of Juarez: Gunslinger and especially loved reading through these Nuggets of Truth.

It may be late in this console generation’s life, but Call of Juarez: Gunslinger joins such wild west hits as Red Dead Redemption and Gun as being a high quality and immensely fun western tale shooter.  With beautifully rendered environments, high contract comic book like visuals, and a great story, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger should go down as one of the best wild west games this generation.

Techland, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.


Screenshot Scavenger Hunt #006

Screenshot Scavenger Hunt #006

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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