valkyrie_44's Call of Juarez (PC) review

A Sleeper Western that Shouldn't be Overlooked...

Graphics:
- Graphically the game is really nice, the lighting and ambiance really does this title favors. The character models look and interact well with the environment.

Sound:
- The ambiant audio is very nice, espcially in the areas with stormy weather, the voice acting compliments the title well. The sounds from weapons fire offers a good abundance of alterative sounds to add distinctiveness to the offered weapon types.

Gameplay:
- Gameplay in this game I have seen has turned some people away, for me it was a huge plus in my book. The change between both of the characters you play, offers a little stealth action, platforming, and a first person Tomb Radier / Indiana Jones gameplay. The gunfighter's style of play being very forward, with more of the usage of gunplay, and the usage of the in game's version of bullet time. The subltites between both character's are very pronounced, and does not detract or bore me from the game. In fact I find this as one of the game's most positive traits.

- The level design albeit in most areas the game profoundedly linear, but in my opinion it does not cheap'n the game's design, and feel. Since the game should be noted as mostly a linear style, which means you must work your way from point A to point B in some fashion.

Technical:
- From a technical aspect in DX9c, Technically, this game is very well done, Techland really done well on this game. It ran extremely well on Windows XP, and still did quite handsomely in Windows Vista, in fact I have not noticed any alterations in the performance to a different OS. The last couple of patches for my version one added an official map pack, while the other fixed some net code issues, and added some anticheat features. From my point of view the successive patching was good, but from the initial release the game was already in very good shape.

- From the DX10 aspect it is gorgeous, the lighting and ambient effects are really nice, unfortunately the side-effect is you will need a beefy machine to get decent framerates with the eye candy.

Overall Impressions:
- When this game intially arrived at my home in November 2006 with my ATI X1950XTX, I had my doubts, and pretty much written it off as crap. First off it was developed by a company I had never heard of, never heard anything in the previews, and lastly it came to my possession without a developers label from Gigabyte. After Installation, and tweaking up the graphics, I was greatly shocked by the atmosphere and the look of the game. I wasn't really a big fan of Gun, and westerns in general, this was mostly due due to my dad's love of Gun smoke and Bonanza, he would watch both of those shows constantly when we were kids during Saturday morning cartoons.

This game offered a lot more of a grit, and strong presence, the storyline was excellent, and the shifting storylines between both of the main characters kept the game from becoming another monotonous first person shooter. The multiplayer aspect was a hit and miss bag, I found that joining a game was good, and quite engaging, and the netcode to be very stable. Hit detection was good as well, and the community at the time of writing  offered  nice teamwork came into play, the group you are with would find the momentum very progressive. On the other hand, the negative aspect with my version, note I do not know if this is a direct translation to the US version, the multi play lacked for more alternatives in play, I would've liked increased map sizes, and more weapons / classes would've really put this game on a different stage, but with the mix, and match setups I do agree that would've been a difficult standard to achieve.

Overall, other than a few very minor shortcomings this is definitely one of those sleeper hits I suggest you experience for yourself.
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