After the disappointment that was Call of Juarez: The Cartel, we are greeted with this wonderful return to the series roots. Imagine this; You take Borderlands, Red Dead Redemption (without the open world) and the film: Fistful of Dollars, you get Call of Juarez: Gunslinger.
The basic story of this game is that you play as the character Silas Greaves and he has come to small saloon in the town of Abilene. He is looking for a man to take vengeance and he ends up spinning tales to the towns people that are sat in the saloon. The way the game’s story is told is by chapter with Silas narrating throughout, occasionally the other characters will narrate some of the story or they will interrupt if they want to tell it their way or ask questions. Silas, when telling the story will change aspects and be very vague or he will forget how it went down. Because he’s an old drunken gunslinger it makes sense that he would lose track of what he’s talking about. This adds a bit of humour to the story, because when he is cornered by lots of bandits he’ll say “suddenly there was a way out” and a cave will form in the side of the mountain.
It has a different art style compared to the other games, because it doesn’t use realistic visuals (that doesn’t mean the game looks bad), it goes for the cell shaded look like Borderlands. When each outlaw is introduced it does same the same style of intro too with their name and quotes about them in a comic book style splitscreen. For me that’s what makes the character build more bad ass.
Throughout your quest of revenge you’ll come up against some of the most dangerous outlaws of the old west, such as Jesse James, John Wesley Hardin, The Dalton Brothers etc. The awesome thing about this is that you’ll find secrets called nuggets of truth. These are bio cards of the characters telling you the actual history behind them, they also have cards that tell you about events that took place in that part of history.
How does the game play? Well lets just say that this game makes you feel like a complete bad ass, and I felt like Clint Eastwood throughout the whole experience. You really feel like a gunslinger throughout the game, compared to Bound in Blood it’s fast paced and not stiff. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of clearing a saloon with akimbo sawn off shotguns, it’s so chaotic with all the bullets flying past you and the over the top blood splatter which adds to the action. You can pick several play styles that suit you or a certain situation. If you like being a gunslinger then arm yourself with two six shooters, like to take out your foes at range then pick up a Winchester rifle, or do you like to see the blood clouds of your enemies close up and see them fly, then get ready for some mess with the sawn off shotgun.
The games signature duels are back and are better than ever, I’ve never felt so much tension in a game. You have to concentrate hard and it relies on your quick reflexes. You can do it two ways, the first way you can play out a duel is to do it the honourable way by drawing at the same time, or there is the dishonourable way when you draw early and gun down your opponent. When you do a dishonourable duel in the story, Silas will justify his actions by saying that he was defending himself.
After you’ve finished the story you can do arcade mode or duel mode. Arcade you try and rack up the highest score you can on levels and you don’t have the story interrupting you, so you just killed cowboys with ease with not interruptions. The Duel game mode is to test your reflexes and to see how quick you are at drawing your gun and killing your enemy, this can be super addictive when you want to compete and beat you friends time.
Overall this game is fantastic and it’s nice to see the western genre crawling back in the last three years with film and game. This comes at a bargain price for 1200 msp or about £11 on PSN and steam, you can’t knock the price considering you get a lengthy campaign and some super addictive score attack. I would recommend playing this title now if you have done you won’t regret it.