Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

Overview

I believe in every western themed video game I have reviewed I have at least mentioned the fact that I am a big fan of Western movies. So whenever I see a western based game is coming out I have to say my eyes do open up a bit wider. Today we are checking out the sequel to the original Call of Juarez game titled Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood for the Playstation 3. The game hopes with the increase in technology and a more thought provoking story line that the sequel will take the game where the first game in my opinion was unable to go. Does Bound in Blood had the right ingredients? Read our full review to find out!

Gameplay

For those who did not get a chance to play the original Call of Juarez game, this is a game set in the old west and it takes some very strong story elements and weaves those into a western based FPS. There are a lot of areas that have to go right in order to make this a success and these include intuitive controls that make the game feel like a western, great atmospheres and an engaging story. Does Bound in Blood have all of these key elements?

So let’s start by talking about the single player which opens up as dull as a game of the caliber can open up. You spend the first half hour to hour with very little plot and some really uneventful missions where you go help your brother in battle. The game starts off to such a slow pace that I really had to convince myself to move forward as it just really doesn’t keep your interest. As you do progress in the game it really does ramp up and in fact ramps up in a big way to the point where about half way through the game my feelings toward the game really took a turn for the  better.

As you do continue through Bound in Blood the game does a stellar job of weaving the gameplay and the story-line into one. There are times where things aren’t all that believable but the gameplay does a good enough job to keep you in the moment and the controls continue to sure up the experience. The single player experience itself has a lot of peaks and valleys but overall if you stick with it, its quite a remarkable experience and one that truly does trump the original.

One of the things that I should mention that really does help the experience are the controls and more specifically the way in which these now antique weapons preform. There is always a sense of the time period portrayed through out the whole experience that helps really drive home the look and feel of the game. What I really did enjoy to was the weaponry which for the most part also did a fantastic job of setting the mood right for the game.

Being that you play the game as the McCall brothers you would think this would be a perfect opportunity for the developers to include some online cooperative play, which is unfortunately lacking from the game. This seems like a big miss for a game that otherwise really does have a lot of great pieces. This is a very solid but not overwhelming western shooter. The story is good, the gameplay is solid all around, and the game itself really does lend its hand nicely to the western theme.

Graphics

One of the things I have already mentioned in regards to Bound in Blood is the excellent manner in which the game handles the atmosphere in the game, you really do feel like you are playing an old time western game which has been absent from several other western games in the past. The game itself runs rather nice with a good solid frame rate and a nice sense of action at all times. There are some weird textures every once in a while and the game does have some areas that could have been buffed up a bit. Overall  though this is a very good looking western game.

Fun Factor

I will say it again, boy did this game start off slow. In my first run through of playing Bound in Blood I was ready to really throw the game a low score, but the more you stick with the game the more you see the polish that it contains, not to mention a really stellar story. It is just so unfortunate that the game takes so long to get there which I fear will lose some gamers interest before they see the potential of the game. It should be said to that the AI at times can be a little on the slow side and can make for target practice more then fighting for their life.

Overall

When it is all said and done I became a big fan of Call of Jaurez: Bound in Blood. I really liked how the developers were able to learn from the original game and come back and make an even stronger second outing. For gamers out there who enjoy an old time western every now and again give Bound in Blood a try, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.