Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood [review]

BreakingModern – Ah, the wild west! It was a lawless time full of gunfights, outlaws and cowboys and Indians. It was also a time period with more stereotypes and clichés then a Disney Channel marathon. Which brings me to my game review, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (a prequel to Call of Juarez). How well does it hold up? Let’s take a look.

Bound in Blood

The most important thing in any game, film or book is the storyline. And the storyline in Bound in Blood is actually pretty good. Thomas and Ray McCall were soldiers in the Confederate Army. But when Gen. Sherman burns Atlanta to the ground (dig out your high school history books for more information), the brothers take the blame for the Union’s victory.

Meanwhile, the McCalls get into a fight over a girl, which leads to one of them (the player chooses) killing the girl’s father and fleeing to Mexico. In other words, Bound in Blood is about two sharp-shooting outlaw brothers who flee to Mexico with an army of Confederate soldiers chasing them. Added bonus: Aztec gold!

I really like the game’s setup because it’s so unconventional. It’s good, it’s original, and while it brings up a lot of classic movie tropes, it does so in a way that doesn’t seem derivative.

The gameplay of Bound in Blood is different from other first-person shooter games. It’s less about powerful weapons and more about the player’s skill. The two most popular guns are the Winchester rifle and the Colt pistol, but there are a few additional weapons available when needed.

A lot of people have slammed the game for its lack of weapon diversity. But I disagree with those critics. Think of it like a game of chess where you and your opponent have equal strength. It’s skill that determines who wins. You can play as either McCall brother and each one has his own strengths and weaknesses. Your choice determines the outcome of the conflict.

Another feature of the game that I enjoy is the dual weapons system. So long as a gun is a one-handed weapon, the player can wield two of them at the same time. Also: dynamite can be used just like a grenade. Generally, if there’s a 21st century equivalent to a 19th century weapon, it’s at your disposal. That’s a unique twist.

Bound in Blood

One of the best things about the gameplay is the showdown. A wild-west showdown goes something like this: two gunmen meet in the town square at high noon. And only one remains standing. Showdowns in Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood go the same way. You have to react quickly to take down your enemy. Interestingly, gunslingers tend to shoot for their enemy’s groin (a painful, yet hilarious part of the game).

Finally, there’s a feature available that allows players to fire at each other in slow motion. This concentration allows you to pick targets within a limited amount of time, and then proceed to gun them down once the timer finishes.

The graphics are comparable to Call of Juarez. But I think the look and feel of this new game has improved greatly. For example, the Aztec treasure in the first game was just a giant pile of gold, whereas now it’s an entire room filled with a sundry of sparkly items.

Overall, I’d give Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood a 9/10. It’s a terrific game with an authentic setting, great gameplay and awesome added features. I would recommend it to anyone who likes first person shooters. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is available on Amazon for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

For BMod, I’m Puching Zhang.

All Screenshots: Puching Zhang

Puching Zhang

Author: Puching Zhang

Based in Chicago, Puching Zhang covers the gaming beat for BreakingModern.

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