Today we’re taking a look at Ubisoft’s digital download game and next in their Call of Juarez series which if you recall went off on a tangent in the last game, but forget all that and just focus on Call of Juarez Gunslinger which will be available on May 22nd for £11.99 on PSN,PC and Xbox live arcade. Check out our impressions in the video.
Call of Juarez Gunslinger hands on impressions – text version.
Earlier this month we got some hands on time with the game and found that the return to the game’s wild west roots is well called for, although we also did enjoy the brotherly love in Bound in Blood a few years back.
So in this new bite-sized game, players assume the role of Silas Greaves who is a bounty hunter of sorts who spills the tale of his historic and often epic exploits with known criminals of the period, over shots of bootlegged booze. The story can largely be ignored, but there are some real gems thrown in, to mix things up as players relive the moments of Silas as his tales are being spun – often slightly exaggerated and some times changed to suit.
Our first mission saw us joining up with the legendary billy the Kid, holed up in a house and being confronted by a man and his minions who wanted to see justice and take the kid down. After some crazily intense firefighting there was a twist to the tale which we’re not going to spoil here. The gameplay itself is pretty slick, offering some real satisfying gun play as players use pistols or rifles for longer ranged kills. Weapons have a real kick to them and as the game uses a reward system in a very arcade like manner, the skill comes from chaining kills, and getting those all important headshots – which is quite easy. What’s great are the hit animations which makes the combat feel satisfying as enemies duck in and out of cover and send in the big guys armed with shields. The game’s first person approach works and the wild west flavour is captured well using the game’s cel shaded comic book style and in the linear level design. There’s also a bit of interactivity with things like explosive barrels and such like for bonus points.
The demo we played offered two main levels which were engaging, fun to play and steeped in humor as Silas narrates and sets the scene. The game features a leveling up system where skills can be boosted, this wasn’t something we paid too much attention to at the time but a quick perusal saw extra abilities no doubt becoming useful as some scenarios were tough and we did die a few times.
The second mission – a jail break scene and escape into the mountains felt completely different but still in keeping with the theme of the game. This time a shotgun was provided after a typical high noon shoot out scenario, and offered some real power behind it, although required reloading every two shots as you would expect. Silas is also able to slow down time and enter a precise mode of fire for the moments when there are simply too many guns on you. To be honest, we didn’t use this feature as often as we perhaps should and got by simply being a bit more tactical with our ducking out of cover and shooting.
Once in the mountains, we fought a boss character armed with a powerful machine gun, but took care of the blighter every time he reloaded. The journey from jail to conclusion was varied and a fun ride mixing sneaking and full on elements, setting the tone for the rest of the game which sadly like everyone else we’ll have to wait for.
Gunslinger features an arcade mode as well which takes parts of the single player levels and has gamers vying for top scores by shooting set numbers of enemies. This quick draw mode looks like being a welcome distraction and a neat part of what looks like a cool package for £12 quid. We enjoyed the game’s simplicity and style, and believe this is the appeal which goes a long way compared to the last game which was just way out there.