Cowboys are hot property in recent times – Red Dead Redemption blasted the charts and even the Cowboys and Aliens film is rekindling the interest in chaps and hats! But the Call of Juarez series is starting to look a bit long in the tooth which is probably why Ubisoft have reinvented the series by bringing it to modern day LA in Call of Juarez The Cartel.
Call of juarez the Cartel game review PlayEject
Starting the game you find yourself thrown into instant action without so much as a sniff of a story or explanation hurtling down a highway and leaning out of a van window as you shoot at your assailants’ tyres so you can escape. Succeed in that and you get a flashback to a few months previous where you are introduced to the three main characters of which you can chose to control: Ben, Eddie and Kimberly. Each one has their own back story and advantages to the assault from long ranged, close up and medium ranged attacks and guns as well as personalities which play out as you progress.

After you’ve been introduced to the story: the Drug Enforcement Agency being attacked by a drugs cartel so you are called in to help the FBI; you being your way through the first few linear missions. Rather than being plonked into a situation you have to drive there by way of what can only be described as appalling car physics and handling before jumping out and running into a forest to pick off randomly spawning enemies who blend into the foilage and seem to either be immune to well placed shots or fall at what we thought was a mere graze of a bullet.
Call of juarez the Cartel game review PlayEject
Trudge through the first couple of levels and Call of Juarez The Cartel opens up a bit to a variation on missions but the enemies remain the same albeit with a decent AI as to where you are and what your crew are planning. More car chases will crop up which do add welcome brakes from the monotonous running and shooting and the set-pieces like kicking in doors and entering slow motion sequences but all the while it feels like a chore to get through.

The individual stories for each character is quite well done – we decided to play as Eddie Guerra and kept getting texts and calls from bookies and drug pushers – Eddie’s clearly not a straight shooter and had to pick up packets of drugs to provide his dealer with without being spotted by Ben and Kimberly.

Overall we were expecting another Wild West game with some outrageous scenes in the modern day LA but was left with what felt like a clumsy post-generation console game with a few good bits that sadly couldn’t drag Call of Juarez: The Cartel up to scratch.

Call of Juarez The Cartel – Launch Trailer:

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