Release Date: May 22nd, 2013
Platform: [Reviewed: XBLA], PSN
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rated: M for Mature
The past iterations of Techland’s Call of Juarez series took quite a dip, meeting with less than favorable reviews with critics and audiences alike. The downloadable arcade title sees Call of Juarez back to its Wild West heritage and brings new life to the franchise.
The story is told by main protagonist Silas Greaves, a bounty hunter, as he narrates his gun slinging to the local bar patrons as you play out the events in his flashbacks. Throughout the story you will hear altered versions of Greaves story from his point of view and what the eager patrons believe what happened via “dime novel”. Theis mixed story has you fighting one group of foes only to fight another, or to replay an event as Greaves tells the story straight.
You face off against the West’s most notorious outlaws like Jesse James, Billy the Kid, and other infamous legends. From beginning to end you are given objectives that take you from point A to point B, not giving you much chance to look around, but that is overshadowed completely by the gameplay.
The gun fights have you facing off against numerous assailants as you arm yourself with the era appropriate weaponry. The game plays out like and arcade shooter where you will earn XP for kills. You will have a score multiplier and will be awarded extra points for skill shots like longshots and headshot.
Two meters will be available for use as you massacre your opponents, allowing you to slow down time and pick off enemies with precision, and another that gives you an opportunity to dodge a kill shot. The XP you accumulate will go to leveling you up, earning you a Skill point that can be put toward your preferable play style.
The familiar locales of any western can be found here; from saloons to dusty towns you will leave a trail of bodies in your wake. The story does its job of telling the story of a man with a knack of shooting up a place. It’s not extremely serious in comparison to games like the Red Dead Redemption or GUN, but if you love westerns you’ll do just fine.
When Greaves concludes his 5 plus hour story you can hit up Gunslinger’s two other modes, Arcade and Duels. Arcade drops you in the middle of a shootout where you will be ranked and scored for how well you can keep the multiplier going, skill shots, and how fast you can drop your foes. Playing through the story has prepped you for Arcade so you can find yourself having lots of fun with no story to cease the action. And Duels is exactly what it sounds like, one-on-one duels against 15 opponents.
This arcade title looks good with detailed models and environments. You will also notice the slightly familiar art style which reminded me of Borderlands. The music is the nothing different, but gets the mood just right to deliver a true western atmosphere. And the sound effects of bullets and explosions sound like they were ripped straight from a western film also add that extra layer, to put you in that gritty western feel.
I may have had doubts coming into Gunslinger. The last Call of Juarez may have left me hesitant to play Gunslinger, but I was amazed on how much there was to it. The gunplay was fast-pace and tense delivering fun all throughout the story. There are neat little collectables that you can collect that gives you actual info on outlaws and western topics. And the Arcade and Duels mode are surprisingly enjoyable to where you’ll be coming back again and again. Call of Juarez may not be the best FPS on the market, but you’ll want to check this one out.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5