Call Of Juarez : The Cartel
The best way I can describe Call Of Juarez: The Cartel is Inconsistent. What begins as an enjoyable experience quickly becomes an aggravating, boring and repetitive mess that has little if not nothing to do with the previous games in the series.
The story of The Cartel is a pretty simple and forgettable one. In the beginning of the game the FBI, DEA and LAPD has begun working together to bring down a section of the Mexican drug cartel. After the beginning cut scene you are give a choice between three different characters, that almost play exactly the same. Ben is an up close modern day gunfighter, he prefers duel wielding revolvers and shotguns. Kim is a long distant fighter that prefers sniper rifles. How this is supposed to be helpful when most of the enemies just run straight at you, I do not know. Eddie is the median of the two preferring sub machine guns.
Each character has different "mini-objectives" throughout the missions that relate to each characters back story. IE Ben has to try to find valuables to help a hooker feed her baby. This is a somewhat interesting mechanic due to the fact that the player has to make sure he/she is not spotted by their partners. If so, the player will not receive any experience for the item. This experience builds up to leveling up and unlocking weapons to use in the campaign. You also unlock weapons when completing certain missions. This does add some sort of customization but nothing special.
The games control scheme feels very strange. Everything from the gun play to the driving seems very loose. Luckily the weapons do feel very powerful when firing them, the punching on the other hand is very delayed and will take awhile to get used to. The driving sections in this game just feel completely slapped on. The cars look and feel like pucks on an air hockey table. It's hard to avoid even the largest of hazards. At one point I hit a truck head on and the truck kept moving. I was unable to free myself resulting in failing the mission and having to restart. The loose vehicle controls can be very aggravating in the multiplayer section of the game. Players constantly hit run into each other resulting in mistaken team kills.
The multiplayer section of the game is probably the most fun in this game. It's weird saying this about a Call of Juarez game. After selecting the multiplayer mode you are given the choice between Cops and Gangsters. Each one only levels when you play it. When gaining levels you unlock different costumes and weapons. Each multiplayer map has different objectives. It is very similar to how Brink approached their multiplayer. This adds alot of strategy to the game and you do have to think about how to approach situations.
Each team is compromised of 4-6 players, inside those teams each player is given a "partner". When a player is close to their partner they receive buffs like being more damage resistant. A players partner is also the only place they can receive ammo from, so it is very important that they stick together. The problem with this though is that almost no one follows these guidelines. Most players will try to run and gun solo. So a really fun mechanic is just wasted.
A short and aggravating campaign and a slightly enjoyable multiplayer experience is what you are going to get out of "The Cartel". This game has very little to do with the previous games except for Ben being related to the previous games characters and a brief mention of the gold. I can't help but be confused about the developer's choice of direction.