The fourth installment in the Call of Juarez franchise, Call of Juarez Gunslinger makes up for developer Techland’s past mistakes, offering gamers a fun shooting adventure back in the Wild West setting we all loved in the previous episodes.
The previous installment, Call of Juarez: The Cartel, was released in 2011. The game unfortunately moved away from the franchise’s established setting, transitioning to modern-day Mexico. The result was an awkward, out of place game that left fans disappointed.
But with Gunslinger, Techland and publisher Ubisoft managed to redeem the entire series. The game is a pretty straightforward first person shooter, with three modes that are all very entertaining: story, arcade and duel.
The gameplay is neat and comfortable, with nice graphics and incredibly good and convincing voice acting. As with previous episodes, players will have to complete various objectives to progress, earning experience points with which they can level up skills and specialize in using a particular kind of weapons, dual pistols, rifles or shotguns.
The shooting is also insanely rewarding, it is incredible how much fun you can have taking bloody headshots and picking your foes one by one. Especially in arcade mode, you will have nothing else to do except shooting, as the idea is to kill as many enemies as possible in order to get a high score. It may sound boring, but trust us, Gunslinger executes this very well, offering a very engaging, tight shooting experience that will leave you wanting for more.
But the great charm of the game lies in the fact that it does not take itself seriously. This jesting attitude is best exemplified by the lead character, bounty hunter Silas Greaves, who is an unreliable narrator. The entire story is actually driven by this fact, as you will have to play through different accounts of the same event, as Greaves recounts them.
Greaves packs his story with lies and inconsistencies and as his audience calls him out, the game environment changes around you. This results in strange events: enemies disappear mid-story and you may even have to go back to the start on some missions to see what actually happened.
This smart gameplay technique will keep you engaged and amused during the five-to-seven hour story mode campaign, even if sometimes you will have to play through the same level with only minor variations. The game offers two separate endings, so we recommend playing through the last mission twice, to see both.
All in all, Call of Juarez Gunslinger is a highly entertaining Western shooter that is quite a breath of fresh air for the genre. The game is out now, for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
[Image via Call of Juarez website]