solidocelot's Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (Xbox 360) review

Inglorious Bastards

    Bound in Blood, was a surprise for me, i played and loved the original Call of Juarez when it came out, technical issues aside that game was a great look into a genre we don't see very often. Though with its overall poor critic response and underwhelming sales, i never thought a sequel would be made but here we are. Bound in Blood builds upon and improves on almost every aspect of the original, from a riveting revenge story, great graphics, and easy but satisfying game play.

    The Story begins near the end of the Civil War, you play as two brothers throughout the course of the game switching between the more powerful and some would argue brutal of the two brothers, Ray and Thomas the agile and stealthier brother. Both characters control similarly enough but they have enough differences so that they feel like to distinctive play styles. Often before levels you will be given a choice to play as one of the the two brothers, Ray can dual wield pistols, and throw dynamite, he also can take more damage in exchange for moving a tad bit slower. Thomas on the other hand, is  faster is more accurate with a rifle and has throwing knifes and a bow n' arrow that can be used to kill enemies silently, he also has a lasso he can use to climb up the sides of normally unreachable grounds.

    The game couldn't be more straight forward in terms of game play you begin each level with a bit of narration from the youngest of the three brothers William, and sometimes a cut scene, and then its off to gunning down outlaws and Indians and everything in between. The game is fairly linear, with two levels in particular which tease a more open world aspect of the game, you are given a completely open traverse-able landmass to explore and its significant size makes its a blast to ride around your horse in. You can take up side-quest at the local shop were you can also buy some more reliable weapons or just some extra ammo. This is easily the best parts of the game and unfortunately only last as long as it takes you to complete the 3 side-missions in each map. Hopefully this is a sign of a step in this franchise directions, an open world first person shooter in the west, i can only hope.

    The Graphics are very impressive considering the engine was created in-house and doesn't use any of the tried Unreal or Crytex crap  that everyone seems to depend on. This engine is a powerhouse when it comes to enviorments, I've never seen better looking explosions with less fire and more dust and dirt (its more realistic).

Trees, water, canyons and open vistas that spread as far as the eye can see are by far some of the most beautiful things i have ever seen in a game.

    The Sound is pretty impressive, well as impressive as explosions and bullets whizzing by your head can be at this point. But another highlight of the game is its voice-acting agian some of the best in the buisness the brothers constant bickering is never annoying but on the contrary it makes you feel closer to the two brothers and adds to the immersion that this family would do horrible thinds to people for eachother. A favorite line of mine is "Women are like horses you got to tell them what to do"

    The Story overal is quite cliched, but still entertaining, the only thing there is to know is that there is some gold, a woman, and stubborn Confedrate General. There are smaller plot point i wont go into detail, since its good enough and ahs a few twists that it will hold your attention until the roughly 8 hr, game has completed.

VERDICT: Bound in Blood is easily the best western to date on any console, the story is cliched and gameplay isnt anything new, but the graphics, voice acting and setting are enough to boost this game past its competetors by a mile. So pick up your six-shooter and get ready for a dusty ride into the Old West.
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