Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (2009)
Platform played: PC
Price: $9.99 on Steam
Good, Bad, or Ugly: I play them all, folks!
Earlier, I reviewed LucasArts’ Outlaws (1997). This was an exceptional spaghetti western tale of vengeance and a rescue. I have had a thirst for Wild West themed games lately. This is largely due to my current large-scale writing project. I’m currently almost to 50,000 words on my weird west/steampunk manuscript. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (2009), the gets hung up on itself and falls flat on its face in doing so. I do not regret spending the hour I played this game in, but I cannot say it was the best time I’ve had with a game. The beginning is interesting to say the least!
The player characters: The McCall brothers are serving in the Confederate States of America’s army trying to repulse William Tecumseh Sherman’s famous March To The Sea. The first level takes place in a trench system, dressed in Confederate gray the players have to stop Billy Hank from breaking through the lines. This is both an introduction to the game and the beginning of a long tutorial.
The player characters serve in the confederate army in the beginning, but they have reasons to desert following a multitude of family struggles due to the war. This is one of the central points of the plot as they are being pursued by their former commanding officer who oddly wears a Congressional Medal of Honor, which was a United States medal. Not a Confederate one, but that just goes to show you how much research had gone into the game. I believe they fell short.
Gatling guns are oddly common in 1864. These machine guns were hardly used by either side during the war. Some exceptions did happen, yes. Benjamin Butler, a general who did not get along with Abraham Lincoln purchased some privately. You can read more about him here. The game gets worse though after a battle at the McCall plantation. The most fun I had in the game was battling the steamboat in this level.
Afterwards, the apogee begins.
The level set at Fort Smith, Arkansas involves a shootout with a special quicktime event that just wrecks the game alongside concentration mode.
Outlaws did not have this, and it was certainly a success without it. This is by far one of the worst wild-west themed games I’ve ever played. The best I’ve ever played were Outlaws (1997) and The Oregon Trail franchise. All in all, I would avoid this game. Play Outlaws instead here.