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Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger - Shooting It’s Way Out of Mediocrity?

30 May Posted by + in PlayStation, Xbox | Comments
Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger – Shooting It’s Way Out of Mediocrity?
 

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Upon hearing the name Call of Juarez, a chill ran down my spine. For a series so full of mediocrity in the past, the idea of playing a fourth entry in the series wasn’t exactly appealing. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger however surprised me. The kind of surprise that I love in video games. Too often these days do I find myself surprisingly disappointed by a game with plenty of hype, but rarely do I find myself taken aback by a game that I was ready to write off before it had even started. Gunslinger takes the series to downloadable territory for the very first time and much like Ubisoft’s other recent shooter Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon delivers an action packed adventure you won’t want to miss.

Our hero and narrator for Gunslinger is Silas Greaves who begins recounting his life story of revenge, bounty hunting, and numerous encounters with the likes of Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy, and Jesse James to a group of saloon regulars. As you might expect, weaving a tale of one’s past adventures serves as a perfect springboard for flashback focused missions that’ll take Greaves from small towns and mines to canyons and all the expected cliché cowboy settings you can think of.

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Now I know what you’re thinking, flashbacks aren’t exactly anything new. What sets Gunslinger apart though is the way in which the narrative is presented with Greaves’ voice constantly narrating as you play through each mission. The true icing on the cake however is the moments where mistakes are made when Greaves tells his story. One such example saw myself surrounded by apache Indians fighting for my life only to have one of the saloon listeners questioning Greaves’ tale. A short pause in gameplay followed by a quick alteration to his story and before you know it, the Indians are now replaced with outlaws. Another had Greaves explain how when given a choice in route his first thought was to take the mine despite it being dangerous. After a havoc-filled trek that would ultimately lead to his demise, I found myself sat there wondering if it was my fault the bounty hunter had died. Before I know it however, the game rewinds back outside the mines with Greaves dismissing his first instinct and instead opting for a ladder instead. Its great fun to see these moments unfold and also a cool, unique way of keeping things surprising in the game’s campaign.

At its core, Gunslinger is a fast-paced first person shooter with a strong focus on chaining kill combos, getting high scores, and unlocking new abilities. The game has a very arcadey feel to it (almost like a shooting gallery) with large open battles out the window in favour of short focused gun fights in smaller environments where maintaining your combo meter often becomes a game in itself. Whether you’re dual wielding pistols or getting up close and personal with a shotgun to the gut, the gun play feels satisfying not to mention always action packed. The promise of extra experience points for more skilled shots also tempts you to be more accurate with shots and utilize your slow-mo concentration ability where times slows to a halt allowing you to pick off enemies one by one. Enemies will put up a good fight although at times it can feel a little too much like trial and error. Making one wrong move can often result in many a bullet hole in poor old Silas Greaves forcing you back to the last save point. Boss battles too can border on frustration with outlaws feeling more like overpowered bullet sponges.

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