Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood Reviews

AuthorReview
xxW0LFxx TFD
177,046 (120,749)
xxW0LFxx TFD
TA Score for this game: 527
Posted on 06 July 09 at 21:26
This review has 17 positive votes and 6 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Bound in Blood is an arcade style western game that draws you in with good gameplay and a fantastic storyline.
The story was well written,following the lives of 3 brothers,Ray,Thomas and William McCall.
I wont reveal the story at all so you can relax,all i shall say is the story kept my intrest for the whole game with a stunning,and emotional ending.
There's plenty of twists and turns along the way,which while not too surprising can still make you sit up and say "whoah".
Only 2 of the brothers are playable in this game,Ray and Thomas as William is a man of faith and as such wont fight.
Sadly this game lacks co-op,which is almost unbelievable as the game is almost perfectly built for it as each level revolves around the 2 brothers working together.
Ray is the heavy hitter who can dual wield pistols and kick down doors,he also wears body armor and can throw dynamite which acts as the games grenades.
Thomas is the faster brother,who can climb on objects and is better with a rifle for long range,he also carries a lasso to get to high postions and can use short range throwing knives and carries a bow as well.
You will quickly find a fave brother,at first mine was Ray but i quickly came to prefer Thomas.
Which brother you choose will alter your path through a given level as well,and what levels! the level design was very well done with some great area's,like fighting down the side of a cliff.
The game lacks any real set piece's except for the duals,as fans of westerns know this involves 2 men facing each other down,at the sound of the bell you have to draw your gun and fire.
This is done with a great control scheme,the camera angles down so your looking past your gun holster,the LS controls your movement in a circle,this is used to keep the opponent in view,while your RS controls your hand,the aim is to keep your hand as close as possible to the gun without drawing,and on the sound of the bell draw and fire.
It's a tense moment and gives you a nice thrill as you manage to draw and fire quicker than your opponent.
The gunplay is also well down,as this game boasts as a great cover system,though it is hard to describe,
Simply move behind and object and you will take cover,then use the RS to aim and your character leans around the object to fire.
It took a while to get used to but once i did i loved it!
Slow mo makes an appearence,though in diffrent ways.
For Ray ou "paint" the enemies by moving the RS over them and then once time is up he then quickly unleashes bullets into them.
Thomas's is diffrent as well,you have to pull the RT and then flick the RS back and forth like cocking a gun,the faster you go the more you kill.
Thers also co-op slow mo,where you and your brother stand opposite sides of a door then burst through,two crosshairs float across the screen,one for each gun in your hand and you take down as many as you can.
Grapphics are very good,though it suffers from pop up quite a bit which is a shame,and most of the game takes place in sparse landscapes meaning the color choice is brown.but there are some spectacular views.
About 2 hours into the game it becomes a free roaming game,though on a small scale,it gives you the chance to "check out the nieighberhood" by stocking up on supplies,getting some sidequests,which take the form of bounties etc.
It does this twice,each time theres just one small shop and a handful of quests but it's and intresting break.
Another complaint is the story mode is far too short,i completed meduim in roughly 6 hours,but there are 2 more difficulty settings after that.
There is 1 comment relating to this Review | Please log in to comment on this solution.
HelloKitty3
343,990 (230,002)
HelloKitty3
TA Score for this game: 1,063
Posted on 17 July 09 at 03:53
This review has 13 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Unfortunately Bound in Blood wasn't marketed as well as other shooters as this could easily be one of the best shooters of the summer. It's a western-themed first person shooter following the story of three brothers, two of whom by the end of a short 6 - 8 hours, will have gunned down a ridiculous number of Civil War soldiers, outlaws, Mexican bandits, and Native Americans.

Achievements are stackable, with Very Hard being unlocked upon completion of the story, and expect an easy 500+ points after a single runthrough and some time with the multiplayer.

PROS
Like others have said, Bound in Blood's strongest suit is its atmosphere, and to a lesser extent, its story which loosely follows the typical Spaghetti Western construct. It's easy to get absorbed into the game since the relatively strong story and evocative atmosphere add an almost cinematic feel to the whole experience.

If story and atmosphere is what draws the audience in, the multiplayer is what will keep them playing long after release (well, maybe for a month). Multiplayer has all the game modes one would expect, but with a Western angle e.g. Lawmen vs Outlaws, Wanted, Manhant, etc. There's also a slight persistent ranking system with character class unlocks. All said, it's fun and a strong complement to the singleplayer, but it's probably not going to keep you coming back after 20 or so rounds.

An aspect of shooters that's often overlooked, unless done wrong, is the controls which BiB fortunately gets right. Although it may be a bit "sticky" the aiming has the right amount of acceleration and sensitivity. There isn't much of a weapon selection, which is expected from a Western, but they all feel right particularly the ironsight aiming.

CONS
BiB is by no means an ugly game, but be prepared for some muddy textures, environment pop-ins, and nutty lip-syncing. There are also some clipping issues where your rifle is passing through a bit of cover, but the graphical issues do not at all detract from the overall experience.

Even with the release pushed back, BiB is still plagued with technical issues particularly on the multiplayer side. Some have actually caused the game to crash, but because of generous checkpoints, this fortunately was not too much of an issue.

ONE LINE
A bit unpolished, BiB is a cinematic Western-themed shooter with a surprisingly solid multiplayer mode.

I would definitely recommend a month-long rental.
Please log in to comment on this solution.
Latrelus
126,496 (84,415)
Latrelus
TA Score for this game: 560
Posted on 23 February 10 at 22:52
This review has 7 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Here comes Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood riding into town to have a shootout with the sheriff and down some sasparilla!

One would think that Western games would make a seamless and very popular transition onto the home video game console, just like they did from the silver screen to straight into your living room. However, the games based on the Wild West have been few and far between as of late and have ranged from the downright awful, to just about passable. There was 'Gun' and 'Red Dead Revolver' on the Xbox which the displayed graphics and AI of a baked potato, but even though the gameplay was verging on adequate what let both games down was that they didn't 'feel' like a Western. I didn't feel like I was standing in a circle, going mano-a-mano with my enemy waiting for the bell to ring to see who could be first to draw as the breeze blew the tumbleweed between us.

I was amazed that no-one had taken something so iconic as the Western and made it into a decent video game. All the elements were there: Guns, gals, deserted towns, Indians, those bits where you go into a Saloon and the music stopped as everybody turned around to stare at you...these were what made Western films so timeless and popular, so why could no-one make them into an enjoyable and immersive gaming experience? The creators of the Call of Juarez series set out to change all this.

Three brothers, two of which are cowboys who deserted their post in the American Civil War, and other trying to prevent the other two from killing each other, a girl...and gold. It may sound cheesy but through excellent and immersive settings, presentation and a long, involving plot line (with some individuality in regards to side quests) you can play was either one brother or the other, bring class elements with each character having different skills and abilities to suit your playing style. Sprinkle in some bullet time and a crazed military leader and you're in for a wild ride. Sure the AI is a bit rubbish at times, but you can forgive that. There are the shootouts from the perspective of your hand as it hovers over your gun so you can time it just right for when that bell rings, you better be the first to pull the trigger or it's game over, muchacho. It's by far the best Western game I've ever played, and a standout among the many FPS's over the years. I wanted a game that mixed the best parts of Back To The Future III and my Year 9 American West class in school. Thoughts of which take me back to my child hood, to simpler times...and Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is no exception.
Please log in to comment on this solution.
FrankieVendetta
413,522 (218,690)
FrankieVendetta
TA Score for this game: 2,174
Posted on 22 August 10 at 16:20
This review has 3 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
CoJ BiB is a massive improvement over the first game! The game is a lot smoother and handles well and there is a noticeable variation between the characters in how they play! The first game too but this one has more action and less sneaking around!

Graphics are good and the sounds are fairly authentic, while the levels are well designed! The pacing could have been better as far as the storytelling goes. Its a little slow in places and the addtion of side missions killed it at times! The side missions feel really bolted on at the end to give the game some longevity but they don't belong there really.

Its certainly no Red Dead Redemption but its better than Gun or a lot of other shooters on the market and single player cheevos are easy enough to get! Multiplayer part of the game is very average and it seem a long time is required to get the $1000000 cheevo. Its a very wooden experience and suffers from averageness in every way!

Overall its a decent game from a single player point of view but the multiplayer is very run of the mill!
Please log in to comment on this solution.