I love first person shooters and I love westerns… The wild west wasn’t really like we see in the movies, but what we see in the movies is much more interesting or romantic than real life was. So that’s kind of what we want to hear about, the good stuff, not the boring stuff.
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is the prequel to the first Call of Juarez videogame, so it’s not really a sequel is it? You don’t need to play the first one to understand what’s going on in this one basically, though you might want to grab it if you don’t own it, or maybe even play it again. CoJ:BiB is western FPS like no other really, it offers quite a bit of fun and excitement brought together by an intriguing storyline of three brothers just trying to get by in the wild west.
Here’s a couple box shots, standard stuff:
We’ll start off with a quick video of the menus etc:
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, is the prequel to the Wild West action shooter Call of Juarez. As the McCall brothers, players enter a doomed quest for the legendary Gold of Juarez leading them from a ravaged Georgia during the Civil War to the Aztec ruins of Mexico. They make their lawless trail into the wildest West ever depicted, using their gunslinging skills and killing all of those that stand before them. But when the brothers face lust, their bond of blood feels thinner than ever…
* Become a Gunslinger – Harness a variety of weapons from various pistols to heavy-caliber cannons and machine guns. Every accurate shot increases your concentration, which allows you to unleash deadly shooting modes when outnumbered and even deadlier ones when the brothers work together.
* Dual Collaborative Gameplay – Choose to embody Ray or Thomas, each with a distinctive gameplay style (close or long range), specific abilities (lasso, dynamite, etc.) and arsenal of deadly weapons (dual guns, long-range carbine, etc.). Take advantage of each of their strengths and join in the fiercest fights imaginable.
* Uncharted Territory – Experience the iconic settings full of outlaws – the West before it was tamed. The McCall brothers face a renegade Apache Chief, a greedy Mexican bandit, and a vindictive Colonel, all driven by greed with moral disregard. Enjoy a wide variety of situations, using horses, canoes and wagons to explore the open natural landscapes of the mythical Wild West and its legendary period.
* Innovative Western-Themed Multiplayer – Gunslingers, bandits and marshals struggle online for the bounty. Multiple characters are unlocked for team-based objective modes or the straightforward team deathmatch. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood introduces a Bounty system, which sees players increase the bounty on their head with more kills. Get rid of the deadliest among you to increase your bank roll!
CoJ:BiB is western themed and as one might expect you’ll come across duels where you’ve got to draw your gun and shoot faster than the other character. The system works for the most part, but takes a bit to get accustomed to, once you do it a few times you’ll be a pro at it in no time. The idea of course is to draw and shoot first, you’ll use the right stick to control you’re gun hand to keep it as close to your pistol as possible, while moving right and left to keep the enemy in focus, when the bell rings, grab your gun and fire.
A lot of the game has a dark setting to it, with the atmospheres reflecting it, from rain to haze to dusty trails to dimly lit saloons.
Depending on the character you pick to play you’ll have different weapons and abilities, like being able to handle two guns at once, use a rifle, use a lasso or throw dynamite, each brother has his own characteristics and abilities. One brother is sift and agile being able to move fast and climb obstacles, while the other is the stronger of the two, serving up a helping of brute force when required. To that effect when you go shopping at the local store you’ll have several choices as to armaments to purchase.
The graphics are decent overall, with a real western, dirty look to things, the guns look real, and you’ll have to reload them just as you would any other gun.
Switching between weapons is fairly easy, just hit the button and up pops the interface so you can select what you want to use.
Call of Juarez BiB features something like Bullet Time called concentration mode where everything slows down at certain points in the game so you can kill a bunch of bad buys before they get the drop on you. There are several times this can happen in the game automatically, but you can also initiate it yourself as well when you collect enough kills or accurate shots.
It’s a western themed games so expect to be riding on horses, and stage coaches and even in a canoe. There are also certain points in the game where teamwork is the only way to get through the game, one brother has to climb up to help the other brother get to where they need to go. These spots are highlighted by a red light.
I’m not really a fan a FPS using the Xbox controller, I’m more of a mouse/keyboard kind of guy, but the system works fairly well and the controls are responsive so you won’t die to often from missing a shot.
The game is fun to play really, you’re playing one of two brothers and you can switch between them at the change of chapters, so you can play the game through twice actually to get to different views of the game.
They’re brothers, so expect a lot of chatter between them, the dialogue can be foul mouthed, this isn’t a kids game after all, but it’s well done and believable.
The idea behind the game is that you are anti-heroes of sorts, and you’ll learn that the brothers value family above all else, that is until a woman gets involved and that’s where the brothers split against each other.
There is a multi-player online mode also that does add a bit to the replay value, but it’s a bit too much, in that there’s just too many choices, they tried to make it more interesting by adding lots of character classes and weapons but it would have been nice to maybe just play a good old game of ‘cowboys and Indians, or cowboys vs cowboys, whatever the case may be.
Most of the game is good, one major flaw is the cut scenes, they’re very long and it’s basically just listening to Willy give us a history lesson. It’s interesting the first couple times you sit through it, but it quickly becomes annoying as you just want to play the game.
We’ll finish this off with a final video of actual game play, there’s about 6 minutes or so in HD for you to check out:
If you’re a fan a FPS games and westerns then I suggest you go grab this title as you won’t be disappointed, it’s a lot of fun and well worth it for a couple times through as the different brothers. Call Of Juarez Bound in Blood is what a western games should be like, too bad it’s a bit too short though, but there are hints that things like a DLC will be coming soon.
The multiplayer isn’t too bad, it’s fun and adds to the replay value of the game, though there’s only so many times you can play through the same scenery.
+Intriguing and engaging storyline
+Wild west fun!
-Chatty, lengthy cut scenes
-Multiplayer is a bit too complicated
-Not much replay value in single player mode