Call of Juarez has been showing up on Least Wanted posters all around town following the grim disappointment of the most recent title in the Old Western game series, The Cartel.
But the announcement of Gunslinger, a downloadable sequel that returns to the series’ banjo-splang American roots offers a last chance saloon for Techland’s creation. There has always been some gold in the hills of Call of Duty’s frontier-themed cousin (in which the tanks sport hooves, not treads and the snipers chew tobacco, not diazepam) for those prepared to sift through the dry sand. The second game, Bound in Blood, offered a particularly electric canter down the theme-park ride corridor of the modern shooter.
Juarez lacks the cinematic drawl of Red Dead Redemption’s loving tribute to the big screen Western, all sunsets, stirrups, stubble silhouetted outlaws keeling from rooftops but it has plenty of its own charms for those prepared to greet the game on its own terms.
Gunslinger, with its ticker tape point rewards for stylish headshots, skill tree upgrades and bullet time shootout triggers may appear to have more in common with Bulletstorm than Fistful of Dollars – even if you are hunting famous historical outlaws in the game – but that’s no bad thing in the context of the arcade.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is set for release in early 2013 for PSN, XBLA and PC.