Call of Juarez:Bound In Blood(2009) Review
Good morning folks.
Today we're heading back to the old west, we're taking a look at an old west shooter many of you might be familiar with.
Call of Juarez:Bound in Blood.
Set in the years of 1864 to 1866, we're introduced to the McCall brothers.
Thomas McCall and Ray McCall. The McCalls are currently fighting the American Civil War, the brothers are fighting for the Confederacy, after they defeat the Union soldiers they disobey the order to retreat to Jonesboro they instead disobey their orders to instead return to their home to save the family farm from Union Troops.
Once they arrive, they defeat every Union Troop but find their mother dead. Their younger brother William however is alive and join the two brothers, Ray makes a promise to rebuild the family home, however both Ray and Thomas know that after deserting their superior, Colonel Barnsby. They instead run and become outlaws.
Ray hears rumors of the Lost Treasure of Cortez, Ray leads his brothers into Mexico to find this treasure to rebuild the family home. There they come across a man named Juan "Juarez" Mendoza and a woman named Marisa.
Mendoza enlists Ray and Thomas to help find the treasure and promises the brothers that he would give a share of the treasure to the brothers.
Meanwhile an Apache tribe is making plans to make war on "the white people" led by their chief Running River. The plan is to obtain 300 rifles for the tribe, in order to do that they need to get the guns from people who hate the whites like them. As payment, Running River plans to give whoever offers the rifles a medallion that will lead to the treasure.
To add to the mix, Ray is in love with Marisa and will even kill Mendoza just to be with her, however Marisa might not share the same feelings for Ray.
The story I found was actually pretty good, it had the elements of a Spaghetti Western movie, I was actually reminded of the story to "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" and "For a Few Dollars More"
I was very interested in the story and did not find it at all boring. It kept my attention all the way through.
Bound in Blood uses the Techland developed engine, the Chrome 4 Engine.
With that said, the graphical presentation of the game is very good. Lush and detailed environments which range from the deserts of Mexico to the western towns of Arizona and beautiful green forests of Indian territory.
The one thing that I did not like with the presentation was the character design and animation. The characters will only have one expression on their face, never will you see any sense of emotion on these characters.
Thomas always has this neutral expression on his face, he never expresses anger, sadness or joy. Ray always looks angry and William has the same problem as Thomas.
These character cannot express any other emotion unless they're voice acting.
However the voice acting was good the lip sync animation for the characters were way off, they either looked like they were saying the words right or speaking a whole different language.
Which is also very well done.
This however is where Call of Juarez shines. The gameplay has the elements of a spaghetti western film, outlaws, gunslingers, bank robberies, stagecoach chases and jailbreaks with shooting gallery like design.
Running through the level with your handy six shooter or lever action rifle is very fun and really immerses you into the world. What really surprised me about the game was the cover system. Most FPS shooters you simply would hide behind a wall or a box, in Bound In Blood you can stand behind cover or crouch and lean out to inspect the area to have your weapon ready to fire at the bad guys, either aiming down the sights or firing from the hip with ease.
It helped out greatly in many situations and it never got in the way or ruined the flow of the game, it was natural and smooth that didn't harm my accuracy, it didn't harm the experience.
Before each mission begins you can choose which brother you want to play as, each having their own unique abilities and traits that the other doesn't have.
Ray is a strong CQC expert, being able to dual wield two different revolvers and throw dynamite at the enemy. He is also very strong and more resistant to damage.
Thomas on the other hand is agile and can both be good in close quarters and long range engagements. Thomas can use throwing knives and a bow and arrow, he also has a lasso for the player to use to reach higher out of reach areas to surprise the enemy or find some loot, I played as him through most of the game and I preferred Thomas over Ray due to the long range marksmanship that Thomas has over Ray.
It wouldn't be an old western without duals. At the end of almost every mission and even side quest is a dual, the way these tools are done is you move your hand close to your gun without having your hand directly on the gun, you need to move your character to the correct position where the character you're dueling with is seen without any blur. A bell will ring telling you when you should reach for your gun.
I did like this mechanic at first but it got used at the end of almost EVERY mission, sometimes I would have my hand set in the right position where I could draw the weapon quickly but for some reason the gun wouldn't be drawn and I would lose the duel constantly, I must've restarted one dual about 8 times before I actually won the dual.
I would have reviewed the multiplayer, but there isn't any sessions running on any of the servers.
Where Bound in Blood shines is the gameplay, story and environment design. Where it falls is it's character expressions and lip sync.
There's really not much bad about the game.
I give Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood an 8 out of 10.