Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is the latest shooter from Ubisoft to hit store shelves and it is a good one. There aren’t a whole lot of western themed shooters available for gamers allowing this game to stand out amongst all of the other shooters on the console. The story of this game is set before the events of the original Call of Juarez as you and your brothers embark on a journey of revenge, greed and love. You start out the game as members of the Confederate army trying to stop the Yankees approach, however, your commanding officer gives an order that would most likely result in the death of family members so you refuse to follow the orders. From that point on you are branded a “deserter” and your journey begins. For the majority of your journey you can decide which one of the brothers you control. You can choose either Thomas or Ray with both of them having some different skills. Being able to choose both brothers in almost every level also increases the replayability of the campaign as you will want to go through the campaign twice to see both of their stories. There is also a third brother named William, however, he is the polar opposite of you and you don’t ever get to control him. Where Thomas and Ray are ex soldiers and basically hardened killers, William is a priest who is always trying to save Thomas and Ray from themselves. He hates the type of people that his brothers have become, yet, they are a family so he still sticks by them and tries to help them out whenever he can.
The controls for this game are pretty common for shooters, which isn’t a bad thing. You also have a concentration meter in the game that you fill up by simply killing enemies. Once that is full you can initiate it and quickly take down any enemies in range. It is basically similar to how bullet time works in other titles. There are even instances in the campaign where you will team up with your brother and have a co op moment where you both are quickly dispersing with your enemies. With that being said there is no online campaign co-op and that is a really big missed opportunity by Ubisoft. I had a lot of fun going through the campaign with my A.I. brother and I can only imagine how much more fun it would have been if I had an actual friend along for the ride. It seems like the campaign would work perfectly in a co op setting and it is baffling why they chose not to include it.
There is, however, multiplayer action in the game with a few different modes to choose from. There is a “Wild West Legends” match where you have to defend a particular spot and stop the opposition from blowing it up and then you switch roles and try to build a spot up while they try and stop you. There are also modes such as “Manhunt”, “Wanted”, “Shootout” and “Posse”. It is a pretty good mixture of different modes so you should be able to find something that you like. After playing some of these matches online I was happy to see that there was absolutely no lag at all. Everything seemed to work perfectly and it even had a great way of dealing with waiting for other players to join the game. In most shooters there is a lobby that you wait in until you have enough players to start the game. In this game though you are immediately thrown into whatever map you are using and you can begin playing with/against other people. Nothing you do during this time will help or hurt your ranking; it is simply a “warm up” mode until you have enough people for a match. Once that occurs you are notified that the match is about to start. It is a great idea and definitely solves the problem of people sitting in a virtual lobby bored.
Going through the game I didn’t come across too many issues. There were a couple of times when the audio seemed to cut out on me for a minute and then all of a sudden it would return. It was the strangest thing when that would happen, however, it wasn’t a regular occurrence. Going through the entire campaign it probably only happened three or four times. The framerate also seemed to stutter momentarily whenever you would hit a checkpoint. It was nothing horrendous, there was just a momentary hiccup when the game notified you of a checkpoint. The length of the campaign will be around six to eight hours depending on the skill of the player and the difficulty chosen. At times there is a bit of an open world aspect to this title, however, it is a bit misleading. When you are in these parts of the game there is quite a bit of area to that you can explore, however, you can’t explore the entire game world. There is also an interesting option when you first start the game. It will ask you whether you are using a television or a monitor to display the game. They must have optimized the game for both options which is a tremendous idea.
Overall, I found Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood to be a really fun title. I enjoyed the western setting as well as a couple of the twists that were in the story. In addition the fact that I can go through the campaign a second time and get a slightly different view of events is a great idea. I enjoyed the cast of characters that I encountered throughout my journey as well as the story. The commentary between the brothers could be a bit repetitive at times, however, overall it definitely made me chuckle at times. Be sure to give this game a try. If you are a shooter fan, I don’t think you will regret it.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network