With the release of the Ubisoft-Techland collaboration Call of Juarez: Gunslinger on May 22nd, some early reviews from dedicated video game sites have emerged. In a two-part interview with lead storywriter Haris Orkin, Westernsreboot.com initially explored the approach of the game toward the Western genre and history – those segments can be viewed here CoJ-PT1 and here CoJ-PT2. To complement that perspective, it is worthwhile to survey those who professionally evaluate video games in terms of the more technical aspects of gameplay. Call Juarez: of Gunslinger– a downloadable release – became available for Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation3 and PC platforms on May 22nd.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is a first-person game in which players take on the role of bounty hunter Silas Greaves in the American West of the 19th century. Gamers play out the past deeds of Greaves in a narrative flashback while he recounts them to patrons and staff of a 1910 Kansas saloon. His stories – which will be modified and challenged while he tells them – include the tracking of real-life Old West outlaws such as Billy the Kid, the Dalton Gang, Jesse James, and Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid – these historical figures, among others, appear in the game.
Gamespot.com has given Call of Juarez: Gunslinger an 8 out of 10 score or “Great” rating. That site praised the detailed environments within the game that help to create an Old West feel.
Gamesradar.com has given the newest edition in the Call of Juarez franchise a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5 stars and has described the game mechanics as “exhilarating”. That site’s review also touched upon the changeability of gameplay – something discussed in the westernsreboot.com interview with Orkin. As Greaves’ own recollections are changed and corrected during his narration, details in the world change and different figures appear. Gamesradar.com considered that one of the “most engaging” features of the game.
Eurogamer.net has rated the game 7 out of 10 and complimented an honor system that labels you as “dishonorable” if you draw before an enemy within a specific stand-off scene – waiting for your opponent to draw first, while harder, maintains your character’s honor.
N4G.com bestowed an 8/10 score upon the game. This gaming site specifically lauded the tension of the duels that occur, noting that they necessitate a “fine mix of concentration and pure reaction“. One IGN.com contributor gave a score that was the highest of the sites surveyed – Call of Juarez: Gunslinger was granted an 8.2/10 or “Great” rating and the technical gameplay was characterized as “amazing”.
Finally, Gameinformer.com appraised this Western game with an 8 out of 10 score. Among the aspects this gaming site liked, the voice-over – which was directed by storywriter Orkin – was praised for working to “sell the running narrative” and game-play was deemed “responsive”.
Westernsreboot.com will return to Call of Juarez: Gunslinger in future postings to further consider its approach to the Western genre and history as experienced within the medium of gaming.
(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)