The Call of Juarez franchise focuses on a western environment, which is from 1850 approximately though can be extended right until the start of the first world war. The only game in the series so far to have broken this trend has been 2011's Call of Juarez: The Cartel. Techland's reasoning for the change in the game's design is because they wanted to work with a 'modern western' environment, and it is one of the first games to involve the present-day conflict in Mexico over the lucrative drug trade.
Games in Franchise
|NA Release Date: September 7, 2006 (PC)|
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360
The first game in the franchise released in 2006 on PC It was the only title set in America's 'Wild West' on the Xbox 360 console at the time of its release, having been ported and released in 2007. Interestingly, the PC version was one of the first games released to make use of the then-new DirectX 10. The story concerns a man named Billy, who is being hunted by Ray McCall for the murder of McCall's parents. Players switch between both characters, giving the opportunity to play as both the hunter and the hunted. Both characters possess different traits, with Ray being purely firearm based. He is the stronger of the two characters, being able to sustain more damage, and is able to wield two weapons at once. Unlike Billy, he is also capable of kicking doors open, giving him alternate paths through levels. However, Billy is more agile and can make use of a bow and arrow. He can also use a whip in order to cross chasms that Ray is unable to, as well as reaching higher elevations.
|NA Release Date: June 30, 2009 |
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is the second game in the series, but is interestingly a prequel to the original title. Bound in Blood follows Ray McCall and his brother, Thomas. The two experience the destruction of their farmland during the American Civil War, and they mount a goal of finding the 'Treasure of Juarez', in the belief it will allow them to rebuild their lives. The game does not use the same perspective switching system as the original game, instead allowing players to choose either to play as Thomas or Ray during the story. Except for a few scenes, the game allows players to continue to play as this one character - when they are unable to use this character for certain set-pieces, the game will switch characters automatically. Much like in the first title, Ray is the stronger of the two characters physically, and is more effective with pistols, while Thomas excels with rifles and is more agile, but cannot take the same amount of injury. The online component in the game uses a system similar to cops and robbers in order to divide the teams, though the groups are called 'Lawmen' and 'Outlaws'. Most of the modes are team-based and demand a co-operative team in order to succeed.
|NA Release Date: July 19, 2011 |
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Call of Juarez: The Cartel is the third game in the series, and moves away from the Wild West theme to a present-day setting. The game is set in 2011, and is based on the real-world ongoing conflict among Mexican drug cartels, hence the name. Players must choose between three characters, all of whom are law officers with dirty approaches to enforcing the law in order to cripple one of the new cartels, that has suddenly managed to rocket in power, virtually overnight. Of the three law enforcement agents, Ben McCall is a descendant of Ray, from the first two games. The game again includes an online component, and is typically based around the co-operative progression through missions in order to succeed. The Cartel may be a controversial departure for the franchise, though it is a departure that Techland justified by comparing the drug wars of Mexico in the present day to the Wild West. It is currently the first game on Xbox 360 at least to fully feature the Mexican drug wars. Other games have referenced them, such as Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas; the first mission of which is set in a Mexican town named San Joshua del Mosquiera, and one of the members of your team alludes to the drug cartels justifying the usage of the Rainbow Six operatives.