Despite its mediocre Metacritic score, I enjoyed the hell out of Call of Juarez: Bound In Blood, Techland’s surprisingly sturdy take on the nitty, gritty western.
Hence my confusion over Call of Juarez: The Cartel, which trades the best part of the series – the wild west setting – for a present-day urban war zone, complete with the Grand Theft staples of mob bosses, drug lords and gang members. What they’ve kept, according to this latest story trailer, is the series’ sense of moral ambiguity, weaving a tale of modern gunslingers from the DEA, FBI and LAPD waging war against lawlessness on both sides of the border. Think The Shield, but with Walker Texas Ranger’s wardrobe.
Though I can’t pass judgment before playing the finished game, which for all we know could elevate Michael Bay parody to Kaufman-esque levels of genius, I can tell you that the last thing gamedom needs is another nightclub gunfight level. Trash a coffee bar, an irish pub, or the outdoor seating area of pricey, but nonetheless popular bistro. I don’t care, just no more nightclubs. Those dancing girls’ hiring bonus doesn’t cover health insurance.