Call of Juarez: The Cartel Reviews

  • Ole Man LoganOle Man Logan572,421
    20 Jul 2011 06 Feb 2013
    46 34 27
    Let me first start off with this review as, if you liked or enjoyed the last two entries in the series at all prepare to be very disappointed.
    CoJ: The Cartel has only 3 things in common with the last too
    1. Ben Mccall has the same last name as past characters.
    2. The game is called Call of Juarez
    3. And finally there is one level that has been in past games (no spoilers here)
    That is it for the similarities
    Now what it doesn't have is just about everything else. Lets talk about that.

    Gameplay: While the gameplay isn't all that bad there are a few things that make it frustrating. CoJ pretty much plays as your standard FPS with some control modifications to feel like its different "Y" is reload and still after playing this game 3 times I couldn't get used to get. But other than that it controlled nice. Couple features in this game that I didn't like was the knock back feature, essentially when a car, grenade, or any other type of explosion hits near you, you get knocked on the ground. I wouldn't be against this if it didn't take your character a good 20 seconds to get up. 90% of the time I died after I got knocked down. There are so many little things that bother me in this game, grenade throwing is way off, friendly AI shooting at walls instead of enemies, Enemy AI just stands out in the open don't make good use of cover all in all the AI must of not graduated from High School yet.
    Now before I get to far in this let me just say this game is buggy as hell. Sometimes checkpoints wont load and you can't continue, Random enemies can't be found to eliminate to continue, Key characters can get killed and it doesn't say mission failed so you have to restart checkpoint, game says your leaving mission area even if you are going the right way, random missions fail in the middle of combat, characters talk when the are dead. Ughh I can go on and on and on. I'll just say Ubisoft did not pay enough for getting this game tested thoroughly.

    Graphics: Now this game is running off of TechLand's new engine Chrome Engine 5, but this game looks sub par . Textures are bland, environments have no life same character models are used over and over, Lighting is done poorly. It surprises me that this game is even running on the same engine as the game "Dead Island" that game looks amazing and I wonder if the devs at Techland for CoJ just either were being lazy or they didn't have the time to fully make a good looking game.

    Sound: The dialogue is what can you say.... a little racist?
    Don't know how many times I heard the word "Puta" or "Ese" but from my real life experience with the Mexican Culture is that they don't end every sentence with those two words. But in the life of CoJ:The Cartel that's how they talk. The music in the game isn't too bad it gets you somewhat in the mood to suffer through these 15 levels, but that's about the only good sound in the game weapons don't sound powerful enough and explosions don't seem to really do a whole lot of damage.

    Muliplayer:
    Ehh what more do you want me to say.... its there
    3 player Co-Op though is about the only way to enjoy this game.

    Conclusion:
    With the story running about 5hrs long and you can play through the story as 3 different characters 5+5+5= 15 hrs so I guess that's one way of making it feel like the game has a lot of replayability in it. But you only need 1 playthrough to realize the CoJ: The Cartel is a flawed rushed cash in on a what was once a good series. Don't know if the failure of this game is on Ubisofts hands or TechLand's. Hopefully this will be a sign to Ubisoft that CoJ does NOT need to be a modern shooter and bring it back to its original roots.
    Score: 2.5/10
    facepalm
    1.0
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    MAJIN BOOSHGame wasn't that bad, it seemed like it only glitched deaths/checkpoints during co-op but I only played co-op tic get the 4 achievements related to that.
    Posted by MAJIN BOOSH on 06 Jul 15 at 17:51
    Dipstick review
    Posted on 12 Oct 15 at 20:38
    SilentJay76
    "the AI must of not graduated from High School yet"
    Not only the AI, it seems. compute
    Posted by SilentJay76 on 12 May 18 at 10:58
  • CRAZE KILERCRAZE KILER1,231,230
    04 Sep 2011
    14 3 2
    The latest entry to the call of juarez franchise changes things up from the past. The first games were set in the old west and this one is in current times. Actually the only thing that is the same is one level and the last name McCall.

    First with the good. There are three people you can play with, each with their own unique perspective of the events. Each person also has thier own story, collectables and hidden agendas. The game also unlocks new guns when you level up, which is based on collectables and agends. the game also give you plenty to blow up by ways of vehicles and barrols.

    I you like the online for Bound in blood than you will like versus mode, which is cops vs. bandits. Unfortunately there are only 4 maps to play on which dramitcally reduces the replay value.

    While I am on the topic for online teh coop is completely broken. You can choose for either private or public but there is a catch. You will never find anyone in a public match, at least I didnt becuase there is no random search. I guess you have to be lucky have a random pick to play the same level with a different person as you. Even playing in a private match, the game will not let you in if you select the same person. Other than the that the game plays fine but it is a headache to play a coop game.

    Now back to the single player, there are to many problems to count. First the level loading screens take forever, but they did give news stories to ease the pain of the long loading times. The enemies and random people almost always look the same, for example one level you have to same about 20 girls, the two in the middle of the room look alike with different outfits on.

    The driving sections of the game of the game make you feel hopeless, with the exception of level 6. In every other level you are left driving with no protection, vehicles will explode around you and your screen is is always red from being shot at. The only defense you have is to swerve, I only died once while driving in three playthroughs.

    The AI is also terrible and sometimes glitchy. There have been countless times I was ahead of the AI just for them to be waiting for me at the next checkpoint, other times it will take several minutes for them to catch up. There has been a few times I had to start a level over becasue the AI never showed up, twice on the hotel level. They also repeat the same few lines over and over again.

    This game is also full of racial steriotypes. For example the hispanic cop always calles people homes and collects weed. There is always way to much cursing, so be advised if you have young children around.

    The final flaw in this game is based on perspective. There is an easily exploited invincability glitch. This glitch keep you ivincable to everything except explosions, helicopters and cover sequences. This comes in handy for people want to rush through the game but for it to make it through beta shows they rushed the game.

    The achievements for this game are easy but will take 15-20 hours for the full 1000. Currently here on TA 17.53% of people have completed it. There is a good variety and it does encourage you to try everything the game has to offer.

    At the end of the day I commend them for what they were trying to do. It was risky for them to leave the wild west into current day. It would have worked but this game has way to many bugs that could had been easily fixed. This game is a prime example for why games should not be rushed. I recommend this game for tose who like lots of action and do not mind the bugs listed above. I am going to give this game 2 stars but if the issues were resolved I would give it a higher rating.
    2.0
  • LitaOsirisLitaOsiris958,772
    18 Nov 2011 18 Nov 2011
    19 11 2
    Originally written for gamingirl.com in 2011 but slightly updated here

    Call of Juarez: The Cartel is the third game in the Call of Juarez franchise and is once again developed by Techland. I’ve never played the previous games so I can’t compare and I’m going in with a fresh view of the series.

    Unlike the previous installments, Call of Juarez: The Cartel takes place in modern day Los Angeles and Mexico with the focus on three new characters – LAPD Detective Ben McCall, DEA Agent Eddie Guerra and FBI Agent Kim Evans. The story begins with a bombing of the DEA offices by the Mendoza Cartel, led by Juan Mendoza and his son, Jesus. This then leads to the formation of an inter-agency task force to investigate which is what ties these three main characters. From what I’ve heard, the only links to the previous games are the names of McCall and Mendoza.

    The Good
    Throughout the entire game you are accompanied by the other two characters and what I found most surprising is that your partner A.I. is more intelligent than the enemy A.I. I’ve always been one to complain about teammate A.I. being quite stupid at times so while I’m glad in one way it’s not the case here, I still like playing the game myself rather than getting to an area and have them do the work for me.

    Each character has their own separate story to the main plot and since they’re considered to be “bad cops”, they must perform certain corrupt tasks along the way without getting caught. Each character also has a weapon and range speciality – McCall is a close range fighter so he would favour pistols and revolvers, Evans is a long range expert so sniper rifles work better for her and Guerra is in-between so SMGs and rifles are his preference. This all results in the characters having different perspectives in certain levels since their tasks, collectibles and agendas are all different. This is integrated very well and is actually a great feature. For me, this was the most interesting part of the game because it added another layer to it.

    The Bad
    Unfortunately, the story itself is rather forgettable. It doesn’t have anything that stands out because what you’ll remember about the game is that mostly it’s just drive to one location, have a shootout, go to another, have more shootouts and sometimes you get a helicopter to take down. Although that sounds fairly repetitive, I still found it enjoyable because there was nothing too frustrating about the situations. The gameplay itself is good – the shooting mechanics are fairly on par with other decent shooters and there’s a variety of different weapons to choose from. My one grievance with the combat system goes to how grenades/explosives were handled. If you happened to be close (but not too close) to one, you were thrown to the ground – which obviously is realistic. Once or twice a level of this is fine but on one particular level I got caught in a loop of being thrown to the ground by an explosive, getting back up and being able to fire maybe two or three shots before getting thrown to the ground again. This went on for about a minute before it eventually killed me and during it I couldn’t even move to get into a better position.

    As mentioned, the games mixes in some driving in-between the shooting but I didn’t like the in car view while driving and the controls felt too light, perhaps, for how a car should handle. There are points in the game where you get to hang out of a car window and fire a gun, which is a lot more fun.

    The Ugly
    Unfortunately the worst of the game is the graphics. Truthfully it’s something that you would have seen five to ten years ago. The animation on the characters looks terrible when they’re talking, general textures seem off, the environments are rather generic and distances can be blurry which can cause some issues when aiming.

    The Posse
    There are cooperative and competitive modes as well. Although the cooperative mode is fun, you have to start on the lowest chapter your team combined is on which may be annoying for some players. However, it is more interesting because the layout of some levels does allow you to strategise with your teammates and plan how to take down an area of enemies since there can be multiple entry points. The competitive mode has Team Deathmatch and Missions as multiplayer types and you play as Cops or Outlaws. It’s nothing ground-breaking though.

    Achievements
    The achievements in the game are fairly easy to get. The only grind is having to play through the game three times as each character but the only good thing is you get to experience each character perspective so there's some variety. I found the best order to play in is as Guerra, Evans and then McCall.

    The End
    Overall Call of Juarez: The Cartel is fairly bland. Parts are fun but they’re overshadowed too much by the flaws. The game would have definitely benefitted from more development time. If the graphics were improved and the different character perspectives were expanded in a better story, the game would have done a lot better. The potential was there – it’s just a shame it wasn’t used.
    3.5
  • II RedDwarf IIII RedDwarf II506,301
    12 Feb 2012 12 Feb 2012
    8 7 0
    Not only did they move away from a solid story driven series but the lack of polish and glaringly obvious bugs really let the series down.

    One of the main gripes I had was just how cliche the game feels. The developers pass you through levels which have appeared earlier in the series. This only makes you wonder how these buildings are still remaining standing and some, the fort, look like they have been ripped straight from the previous game. Too many scenes resembled, or re-imagined, previous scenes in the series thrown into our timeline.

    Quality checking, Whats that? On the Disco level car chase eddie asks if the helicopter is one of ours to which he replies back to himself, "how the hell should I know?". He does like his drugs though, so maybe this was put in on purpose to fill out his character. Subtitles missing dialog and spelling errors are more abundant than the cloned prostitutes frequenting most of the levels. Model clipping is rife throughout, especially the majority of prostitutes who's feet are usually embedded in the floor. AI should be renamed ASS (Artificial static stupidity) and the best bug ever, invulnerability! Get your slomo gauge full, enable and then instantly reload the checkpoint to find none of the ASS opponents can kill you. Dont get me started on the graphics.

    The acting is ok in parts but you quickly get annoyed at the stupid one liners your partners spout at you constantly. Take a multitude of enemies down with precise shooting, missing one gets the response "have you practiced recently?"
    Take all opponents out for them to say "If I wasn't covering your back you would be motherfucking dead".

    There are funny parts to the game which will get you laughing. Unfortunately its nothing the developers planned, just the hilarious animation of Ben running with his arms stretched out in front of him holding his guns....constantly! The guy must have shoulder muscles and forearms to match that of Arny! "Get to D Chopper!" The animation on the dancers in the disco must have been captured from the devs themselves after a few sniffs of crystal meths. I mean come on, who, other than deuche bags dance like that? I have never seen a pole dancer walk constantly around a pole. When I said I have never seen anyone, I meant my friend, who told me about it once.

    And finally to the multiplayer which is virtually non existant. I spent 20 minutes waiting in the lobby to only see 3 people. I still couldn't play online as we needed 4 each side. Dont even bother trying to search for people who want to play through the game Coop as no one ever turns up. Its like a suicide bombers reunion party.
    Go grab a friend and play. Just be warned, if you get the friend to buy the game on your recommendation they may not appear in your friends list again.

    The only saving grace I give this game is that it only takes around 4 hours to complete the campaign.

    On a plus note, Ubisoft have sent emails to people asking them how they can improve it. Back to a western theme. Yeeehaaaawww!
    1.0
  • bone21bone21167,450
    31 Jul 2011 31 Jul 2011
    3 13 0
    Call of Juarez: The Cartel is the lastest installment of the Call of Juarez series. Unlike its predecessors, Cartel is set in a modern day environment where you play as one of three members in a U.S. - led joint task force trying to bring down a violent drug cartel.

    It's a shooter but has aspects of the driving and RPG genres as well. The fact that the game breaks up shooting, interrogating, and car chases in a strategic fashion makes it stand out among others. Also, the three characters (Eddie, Ben, and Kim) are very likable and eventually you will grow attached to them.

    Graphics aren't the best, but the gameplay and fluidity more than make up for it, even when playing in co-operative mode. Framerate is solid, even with explosions and gunfire erupting there isn't even a hiccup. Multiplayer is also a great addition, adding a competitive atmosphere to the great single player/co-op experience - where police and criminals face off in missions to see which side comes out on top.

    Above all, this game is a great package: intriguing story, fantastic gameplay, and last but certainly not least, easy achievements. If I could give this game an extra star, I would.
    5.0