Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood box art
System: PS3, X360, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Techland 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Ubisoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: June 30, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-12 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Just about any time you might start to think “I’ve really been shooting at enemies for awhile now,” the game also throws in some variation or set piece to mix things up, keeping the game feeling fresh. Some of the highlights include using a cannon to sink an old paddleboat full of Union soldiers, gunning down horseback pursuers from inside a stagecoach, and a rafting trip down some rapids.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood screenshot

There are even some great moments that have you participating in quick draw pistol duels. During these duels, the camera gives you a very cinematic view from behind your character’s hip. From here you’ll need to use the left analog stick to circle left or right, keeping your foe in front of you and the right analog stick to keep your hand close to your holster until a bell tolls, signaling that it is time for one of you to die. The mechanics and timing can take awhile to get the hang of, but it actually does work quite well and victories are very satisfying.

Fortunately, once you’re done playing through the game’s eight to ten hour single-player campaign, perhaps twice if you want to go through as each brother, Bound in Blood also features a strong online offering for up to twelve players. There are five modes here ranging from Western varieties of deathmatch and team deathmatch to things like Manhunt, which is similar to a VIP mode where one player needs protected from the opposition. However, the most entertaining mode has to be Wild West Legends, which pits a team of bandits against a team of lawmen as they try to complete a progressing set of objectives or stop them, respectively. No matter which mode you choose, you’ll earn cash based on your performance that can be used to upgrade your favorite character class or even unlock one of the many that aren’t available for play right out of the box. There is a good variety to these classes such as their overall performances and the weapons they carry, which helps to give you a reason to keep coming back to participate in online shootouts.

While the gameplay is great, I honestly can’t say enough about this game’s presentation. The world that is constructed in the game feels quite authentic, from the random rubble you’ll find littering the ground to the sweeping shots of sprawling vistas you’ll witness during cinematics. Everything also looks superb from the generally warm lighting to the dust and shrapnel produced by exploding dynamite. Further immersion is supplied by some fantastic voice acting from Ray, Thomas, and even William. Particularly, the constant, and often chiding, back and forth that takes place between Ray and Thomas throughout the entire game really helps draw the player further into the experience.

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If you’ve been waiting for a great Western-themed shooter, then look no further than Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood. The gameplay is fun and varied, the story is entertaining, the visuals are well done, the voice acting is terrific, and the game even sports a respectable online offering. Fans of the original Call of Juarez should also be quite pleased, since Bound in Blood’s story provides insight into Reverend Ray’s past while improving upon almost every aspect of the previous title. So, if you’re a fan of the previous game, the Western theme, or are just looking for an alternative to killing aliens with space marines, be sure to give Bound in Blood a try.

By Adam Brown
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.4
Graphics
While there are some odd animation and lip synching issues with some character’s faces, everything else looks great.
4.4
Control
Besides some sporadic problems with the game’s cover mechanic, the controls feel tight and accurate.
4.6
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
With a soundtrack that sounds like it could have been pulled directly from popular, older Western movies and fantastic voice work from the game’s main characters, you’ll definitely want to keep the volume turned up.
4.4
Play Value
Sporting an entertaining eight to ten hour single-player campaign along with a respectable online multiplayer component, Bound in Blood certainly delivers in the gameplay department.
4.4
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Top gunslinger: Harness a variety of weapons from various pistols to heavy-caliber cannons and machine guns. Every accurate shot increases your concentration, allowing you to unleash deadly shooting modes when outnumbered, and even deadlier ones when the brothers work together.
  • Dual collaborative gameplay: Choose to embody Ray or Thomas, each with a distinctive gameplay style (close or long range), specific abilities (lasso, dynamite, etc.) and an arsenal of deadly weapons (dual guns, long-range carbine, etc.). Take advantage of each of their strengths and join in the fiercest fights imaginable.
  • Never-before-seen Western experience: Experience the iconic settings full of outlaws, the West before it was tamed. The McCall brothers face a renegade Apache Chief, a greedy Mexican bandit, a vindictive Colonel, and more, all driven by greed with moral disregard. Use horses, canoes, and wagons to explore the vast natural landscapes of the mythical Wild West and its legendary period.
  • Innovative online multiplayer: Developed in unison with the single player mode, multiplayer offers numerous modes and maps to guarantee endless hours of Wild West mayhem. Gunslingers, bandits and marshals struggle online for the bounty. Multiple characters are unlocked for team-based objective modes or the straightforward team deathmatch. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood introduces a Bounty system, which sees players increase the bounty on their head with more kills. Get rid of the deadliest among you to increase your bank roll!


  • Screenshots / Images
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