by: Finn Orfano
; edited by: Bill Fulks
; updated: 4/17/2012
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A western-themed first-person shooter with a well constructed two player story line, Call of Juarez is the story of the treasure of Juarez and the shady characters on the hunt for the gold. A fun and enjoyable experience for any age of gamer, with game elements and mechanisms that are easy to learn.
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Call of Juarez
The two character dynamic of Call of Juarez gives you the choice to play either Billy Candle or Reverend Ray. The Reverend is actually Billy's uncle, an ex-gunslinger dedicated to spreading the word of God. Billy is a half-white, half-Mexican drifter in town on the trail of the legendary treasure of Juarez, which is suppose to be buried somewhere near the town of Juarez.
The storyline begins with Billy heading out to his mother and stepfather at their ranch, when he gets there he finds them murdered. As he panics over the situation, the second character Reverend Ray arrives at his brother’s farm to find his brother and wife murdered. Reverend Ray witnesses Billy running away from the farm, and makes the obvious assumption that he's the murderer. Reverend Ray vows vengeance against Billy for the perceived crime, and begins the hunt to bring Billy to justice.
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The visual screens in Call of Juarez show outstanding visual presentation of the old west, with immersive scenery, nice lighting effects around the camp fire at night, and solid details and texture, especially on the higher resolution settings.The character models on the other hand, look shiny and kind of distorted on the higher resolution settings, the animation is robot-like and stiff as the characters interact in the environments.
You will benefit from a video card that supports DirectX 10, as the environmental details, the grass and foliage are much cleaner and detailed looking, and the lighting and shadows add to the immersive quality of the game. Loading times were excessive at times, even on a high-end machine.
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The Good Parts
Interesting two-character dynamic that allows you to pick opposite sides of the confrontation occurring over a hidden treasure of gold thought to be hidden near the town of Juarez. Reverend Ray very interesting character of two playable characters in the game; Billy, the second character you can play, is a little boring to play, only really using stealth in his scenes.
Great shooting game play and mechanics that has been beautifully crafted and designed environmental graphics, with wonderful western mountain vistas and serene desert plains that both immerse you in the old west.
The over-the-top voice acting kept the adrenalin flowing and helped to make Call of Juarez a fun, entertaining, and enjoyable interactive single player and multiplayer mayhem.
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The Bad Parts
Billy's character hasn't been fleshed out as well as Reverend Ray, you will spend most of your time playing Billy, sneaking around trying not to be seen using the games touchy mechanics. Way too much stealth with this character, give him a gun and teach him how and when to use it.
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Call of Juarez has an entertaining soundtrack that adds to the old west feel and environments of the game, helping to put you in the moment and create a western mood and feel.
The fun and enjoyable voice acting had me laughing at times, especially Reverend Ray has a few entertaining performance, but the voice actor for Billy was a little bland and didn't have the same energy as Ray.
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The single player campaign took me about 10 hours to complete, and I went back to replay a few times, so expect the game to take you 8 to 10 hours to play. The game does have an option for characters to play in an on line mode that has 4 different classes, including a sniper, which was the strongest class in the on line play.
Both options were fun, enjoyable and entertaining, keeping me happily playing a learning to ride a horse or rob a train, with occasional western slow-downs that allowed me to catch my breath.
Once beyond these two modes of play, there's not much left to do, no real replay ability for the gamer looking for additional adrenalin producing moments.
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Call of Juarez contains a good old west motif that is fun, entertaining and enjoyable to play, with immersive western environments that will take you back to a simpler time of life. A game that needs a very powerful computer for the gamer to enjoy the best parts of this title, yet is still fun and enjoyable on lesser machines.
A two character set-up gives you the choice to play both sides of this adventure, so you get to play both parts and see both sides of the story. Unfortunately, one of the characters was better designed, and is a lot more fun to play with, and this would be Reverend Ray.
If you like to ride, shoot, and spend the afternoon chasing down hidden treasure amid an immersive western theme, then Call of Juarez is a game that will provide you with the entertainment you crave. A game with a slower pace, Call of Juarez is a lazy afternoon under the Mexican sun, with a twist of treasure hunting included.