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Call of Juarez: The Cartel has been released on 360 and been provided for us to preview/review by the publisher.
Believe it or not we are still playing it. Here are some extracts of what we made of it in chronological order:
"Call of Juarez: The Cartel mixes Spy vs Spy and The Wire as it shifts from the old west into modern LA and Mexico. An anxious cop drama, it deals in tension and mistrust but is let down the limitations of its genre..."
- Scared Gamer (Sat, 15 Oct 2011)
Call of Juarez: The Cartel leaves the old West in favour of a more modern era. Three player co-op and a good range of city and desert locations still distinguish the game, but will the loss of cowboys and real world problems in Juarez could sour things for fans.
There are a lot of horrific situations in the world and the drug trade running through Mexico and the town of Juarez is certainly one of them. Thus it seems like a strange move for developer Techland to move their Call of Juarez series from the old Wild West to a contemporary LA and Mexico. The change moves the franchises away from its defining feature and towards a politically more sensitive setting.
But Techland is of the opinion that a game should rely on gameplay rather than setting. While the era may have changed Call of Juarez: The Cartel will retain its defining features. The concentration mode gun mechanic makes a return (which allows you to mark enemies for fast execution in slow-motion), the three person story remains intact and the Wild West setting also still sits in pride of place, albeit now painted with a modern brush.
The three character story creates an opportunity for three player co-operative play. Online will enable you and two friends to play together through the games campaign mode (ed: why does nobody care about split-screen anymore), journeying from LA to Mexico trying to take down a crime ring. This group dynamic will be played to in set pieces that will include chases everyone piled in to a Humvee and a new move that allows a partner to burst in to the room on cue to let you work in concert to eradicate anyone standing between you and your goal.
Call of Juarez: The Cartel runs a risk of being lost in a slew of similar titles with its more modern setting, but a three-player campaign and the real world issues it draws on could still set it apart.
Call of Juarez: The Cartel will be released on PS3, 360 and PC this summer.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: