|System: X360, PS3, 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 Ive 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.
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 characters hip. From here youll 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 youre done playing through the games 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, youll earn cash based on your performance that can be used to upgrade your favorite character class or even unlock one of the many that arent 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 cant say enough about this games presentation. The world that is constructed in the game feels quite authentic, from the random rubble youll find littering the ground to the sweeping shots of sprawling vistas youll 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.
If youve 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 Bloods story provides insight into Reverend Rays past while improving upon almost every aspect of the previous title. So, if youre 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.
CCC Staff Contributor