I'm one of those players who usually avoid survival games, which is perhaps why I took so long to get to We Happy Few. Eventually my gamer instinct whispered in my ear: "You have to play this someday! Apparently it's very similar to Bioshock - not only in terms of its graphic style …". So […]
This time I have a pleasure to tell you about a Wild West game in Polish execution. The continuation of the Call of Juarez series titled Gunslinger is a come back to the roots after a not-so successful trip to the present in The Cartel. This time, it is neither a sequel nor a prequel of McCall brothers story, because developers decided to bring the legends of the Wild West instead. We have figures like Billy the Kid or Jesse James whose appearance is heavily inspired by Brad Pitt, who played the role of Jesse James in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford". By the way - great movie.
Of course, some of the events in the game only to some extent overlap the historical facts, and many of people met on the way are as fictional as the main character. But thanks to a little frantic first-person narrative, which to some extent is dependent on the player's actions, everything fits together. The whole idea is similar to what we could have experienced in a game called Bastion. It won the hearts of millions of players thanks to the narrator who comments everything that is happening on the screen in real time. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger uses a very similar concept, except that the main character is sitting in a bar telling his story, and from time to time exaggerating some facts or adding made up parts to the story. It may also happen that one of the people listening will introduce his own version of events.
But you must take into account that the plot is fairly short and linear, so another approach to the single player campaign won't surprise us - except the two possible endings dependent on the decision taken at the end of the game. But don't be discouraged, because the story is interesting and has some really well-directed plot twists, and is maintained in the rich atmosphere of Wild West.
The game holds up also as a cowboy shooter. The concentration mode known from previous games allows shooting a dozen enemies in the blink of an eye. In addition, they added the ability to dodge lethal bullets provided that an appropriate bar has already been filled. Another new feature is a development tree divided into three archetypes. It allows you to buy upgrades, such as slowing down while aiming, additional damage with some type of weapon or improved concentration mode.
The duel system is back after an absence in The Cartel. It may not be too revolutionary, but is certainly more transparent. You have to keep an eye on the distance of your hand from the revolver handle and at the same time, aim at the enemy. You can wait until the opponent reaches for the gun, or dishonorable attack ahead of time. It is a pity that you can not duel with other players. Wel,l there is no multiplayer at all. The only thing near that are leaderboards for the players who are racing through maps in arcade modes or duels.
The graphics in terms of artistic style is impressive. The game is presented in a slightly comic way, including static cutscenes between chapters. And despite the fact that the world is colorful and full of delicate cell-shading effect, all of the elements seem to be very realistic. In terms of sound, the voice acting of the main character is great, but it's a pity that it can't say the same thing about his legs. They are simply invisible, and it was some kind of a trademark for this game.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger gets a solid 8 out of 10. Techland came hundred years back in time to fix the errors of today. Gunslinger is a decent game that is three times cheaper than other decent games. The only serious shortcoming is that it does not include any multiplayer mode. Besides, it is an addicting production with an interestingly narrated short campaign floating on the Wild West atmosphere. And the additional modes are likely to please all the players who are waiting for the announcement of a sequel.
The Awesome[list icon="icon: arrow-up"]
- famous characters like Jesse James or Billy the Kid
- original way of narration
The Awful[list icon="icon: arrow-down"]
- lack of multiplayer