Review: Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

DON’T MESS WITH THE McCALLS

Developer: Techland
Genre: First Person Shooter
Platform(s): PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
Release Date: June 30, 2009
Compatability (PS3): 54MB Mininum Space | HD 720p / 1080i / 1080p | Network Players 2-12
Compatability (Xbox 360): 4MB Mininum Space | HDTV 720p / 1080i / 1080p | Online Multiplayer 2-12
Rating: 8.1

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is the prequel to the original Call of Juarez which was released on the Xbox 360 in 2007. The game was aimed to have the best West ever created and this first person shooter delivers non-stop action and a very interesting storyline. This game truly packs a punch and shouldn’t be missed especially by first person shooter fans.

The game is set a couple of years before the original Call of Juarez and it starts with two brothers, Ray and Thomas McCall, pointing their gun at each other with the third and younger brother William trying to stop the fight. You will immediately understand that this is the last part of the story and throughout the game you will see how this engaging and tense story folds. Ray prefers close quarter combat with his preferred dual guns. He takes more damage than his brother because of the armor he wears and he is also formidable in using dynamites and shotguns. The older brother is sheer power. On the other hand the younger brother Thomas prefers shooting from long range with a rifle or a bow to kill his enemies. Thomas is the stealthier of the two and he can also access certain areas with the help of a lasso. Both of them have special bullet time abilities and one of the best things in Bound in Blood is that you can choose any character before the start of each mission.

Having an argument with one of the McCalls is not a good idea.

Choosing any of the two brothers, the other character sticks with you the whole time apart from a few parts that you have to play on your own. After fighting in the American Civil War, Ray and Thomas go back to their home after refusing to obey the orders of their superior Colonel Barnsby. They find their mother dead and decide to escape to Mexico in search of a treasure to build back their home, taking with them their younger brother William, a priest. The story has a number of twists and you will make a numerous amount of friends and enemies (actually more of the latter).

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood focuses on a fast paced single player campaign full of shooting and gun duels. You will confront a huge number of enemies and beating them provides some loot which can be ammunition, weapons or money, which is used to buy more fire power from shops. Being a first person shooter, the game does not have a vast range of weapons and you will spend most of the time using the same weapon, unless you buy or find the same weapon with more upgrades. Apart from this, shooting down your enemies will level up the concentration meter which once filled up, you have a number of seconds to trigger the bullet time ability. Ray’s ability freezes time and you will have the chance to choose up to 12 targets which are shot down with pinpoint accuracy. Thomas’ ability does not freeze time but it slows it down giving you the opportunity to shoot up to 6 enemies with a one shot kill. At the end of almost each mission, you will face an enemy in a shooting duel, having only one shot at your disposal to beat him.

Bound in Blood looks awesome, unless things get closer.

Visually the game has pretty awesome surroundings and environments, but getting closer to something quickly identifies a lower quality of graphics. Some of the textures pop up in front of you. This is especially noted when riding a horse. Another thing is that during a mission the game stops for loading. Having said this, the sound is pretty good and voice acting is also great. Again during cutscenes, the visuals are nothing special especially the facial expressions which look somewhat stiff. But then again sound-wise the game is much better. You will also note the amusing relationship of the two brothers when they argue during battles.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is a very entertaining game having loads of shootouts and enemies to kill which near the end becomes a bit repetitive. The game is not long to beat, having approximately 6 to 7 hours of gameplay. Playing the whole game with Ray and then starting it again with Thomas (or vice versa) increases the lasting appeal, not mentioning the multiplayer mode which has a number of classes to unlock. Even though the game has some technical issues, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood can be an amusing and thrilling ride with the McCalls.

Reviewed by Barber – March 11, 2010

Graphics
From afar the visuals look great, but closing in will show a lot of technical issues. Sometimes textures pop up and loading times are a bit frustrating.
 
Sound
The best part in the whole game. Pretty good voice acting and sound effects.
 
Fun
An engaging story with impressive western shootouts and duels make this game fun to play. Becomes a bit repetitive near the end.
 
Final Score

 

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