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In Case You Missed It – Call of Juarez: Gunslinger

Sometimes a game just slips under the radar. Whatever the reason for this occurring, be it bad marketing, classification problems or a strange concept, some games just fail to find their audience. Here at Player2.net.au we want to highlight these rough gems and that is where “In Case You Missed It” comes in. Some games just deserve a second chance.

In Case You Missed It – Call of Juarez: Gunslinger

In the world of western video games there is one name that rules the roost, Red Dead Redemption. Apart from that illustrious title most western themed games have been mediocre at best. That is until Techland finally perfected their Call of Juarez franchise with Gunslinger. Ditching the family drama of the previous games (and the poorly thought out entry into the modern era) Gunslinger sees a famous bounty hunter telling his tales to an appreciative audience in a typical western saloon. This not only serves as the narrative for the game but as a very interesting feature.

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The game sees players acting out these stories but as the narrator is unreliable things can change on the fly. For example in one instance players hear the narrator talk about being surrounded by a group of Apache. At this point the storyteller’s listeners informs him that there were no Apache in that area. The narrator explains that he just said that to see if they were awake and as a result the Apache abruptly disappeared from the game. This style has an appealing charm that makes the player guess the validity of these stories and wonder whether this actually is a famous bounty hunter or just an old man with a penchant for wild stories.

The gameplay is as straight up action focused first person shooter. There are some minor platforming sections but for the majority of the game players will be shooting everything that moves with a variety of period weapons. Dual pistols, shotguns, rifles and dynamite make up the majority of the players arms and all are entertaining to use. There are some light RPG elements involved as well with players able to upgrade their abilities in regards to each weapon. There is also a combo system in place that rewards headshots, multi kills and dispatching enemies using the environment. The better the combo the more XP is earned. It is a wonderfully implemented system that encourages repeat playthroughs and score chasing runs.

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The game also looked great using a cell shaded style that enabled Gunslinger to differentiate its self from the pack. From the outline of the enemy against the browns of the wild west, the bright blossom of blood after nailing a head shot or the explosion of a dynamite filled cart it all looked stunning. What was even more impressive though was the implementation of the traditional gun fighter showdown. Using both thumbsticks the player was tasked with keeping the hand of the main character near his pistol until the signal at which point they would draw and shoot at the opponent. It is perhaps the best implementation of this Western trope ever seen in a video game.

If you are looking for a deep engaging experience about the perils and dangers of the wild west this isn’t your game but if you want to live our your spaghetti western fantasies then look no further. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is a simple game at heart but it is one that is built exceptionally will with a lot of love for the setting it is based on.

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Call to Juarez: Gunslinger is available on Steam, Xbox 360 and PS3 and can regularly be purchased for under $10.

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