Published on June 1st, 2013 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger Review
Call of Juarez has been one of those franchises that saw early potential for the seldom used spaghetti western shooter genre in gaming, but faltered as the time went on. In its last retail offering, The Cartel, we saw the series jump to modern time, and in turn ended up among the worst in the series.
In Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, we are taken back to the ruthless time of the post Civil War era when many settlers headed West. This is a part of American history that has been scattered with stories of bandits, robberies and just cut throat outlaws that took the law into their own hands. It’s nice to see that the series returns to this core.
Platform: Xbox 360 via XBLA [Reviewed], PlayStation 3 via PSN
Release Date: May 27, 2013
Editor’s Note: A code for the game was received for review purposes.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is an Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network title, so no retail release this time around. However, Gunslinger maintains the over-the-top, aggressive gameplay of prior releases, and combines it with a fine-tuned cel-shaded art style that leads toward the Borderlands route.
We play as an old bounty hunter by the name of Silas Greaves, who takes players along in his adventures on the wild West. From shootouts with infamous western icons such as Jesse James and Butch Cassidy, to the comic book style panels, Gunslinger is primed as a a good old shoot-em-up time killer.
The story of Gunslinger is told through the narration of Greaves, and what developer Techland did to tell the story is incredible. We all know that many western stories are usually either false or extremely exaggerated, but as the story is being told we are playing through the rich narrative.
When Silas is called out on a lie, the situation he is in alters around his point of view. Players push through his version of the tale, and when an event is triggered, we are forced to re-play the same level but with the truthfully approach. For example, there was a part when you hand to enter a mine that was laced with explosives, but when called a liar by a member of his audience you had to re-play the level without all of the explosives as they were exagerated. This makes Gunslinger fresh and fun throughout the course of the campaign.
Gunslinger is a fun, run-and-gun shooter that rarely takes itself seriously. The action is plentiful and never seems to get dull. Enemy AI is surprisingly smart and challenging, though after a while they do get a bit predictable. That being said, any tough enemy can be quickly dispatched with a good headshot.
The game features an easy to understand leveling system. Greaves earns XP based on how enemies are taken out, for example, headshots, environmental damage and melee attacks.You can then spend the earned points in a three-point skill tree, which, when points are spent, help upgrade the weapons used by Greaves: Pistol, Shotgun and Rifle categories.
Gunslinger is story driven and features no multiplayer, however, with its seven-hour campaign, the extra mode is unnecessary There are two different endings to the campaign, and aside from collecting the many collectibles that the game has to offer, there is also an arcade campaign mode which gets you points for virtually everything that you do within thestory. It is all score driven, and you can compare your score to friends on the games leaderboard.
The last game mode is based on dueling and if you remember dueling from the franchise’s past, it is an utter disappointment as the controls are horrific.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is a breath of fresh air to the franchise and worthy of your time. It takes a different path from the past iterations, and that has made all the difference — it is lighthearted and artistically sound. And, instead of staying in the present, we are once again transported back in history where the series belongs.
The way the story is told is new and refreshing. Even though the dueling mechanic is broken (again), and the game’s frequent load times are enough to make me poke my eyes out, it was an overall enjoyable experience.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger Review
Summary: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is a true breath of fresh air to the franchise and worthy of playing. It is not like past iterations, but instead of staying in the present, we are taken back in history. The way the story is told is unique and re-freshing all in the same time. Even though the dueling mechanic is broken and the games load times are enough to make me poke my eyes out, it was an overall enjoyable experience.