Decent Replay Value
At $15, you’d hope there’d be a reason to continue playing after beating the story. Fortunately, Gunslinger provides a handful of reasons to keep on playing. First, there is the New Game+ option which sees your partially upgraded Silas taking on a higher difficulty. Then there’s Arcade Mode. Here you can put your skills to the test as you strive for the highest multipliers and overall score as you shoot your way through some of the campaign’s environments. Lastly, there’s the Duel Mode. Duels can be found throughout the campaign, but for anyone looking to go one-on-one with a string of contenders, this is for you. In a duel, the player must utilize both the left and right analog sticks to succeed. The right stick is used to keep the cursor on the opponent (who will probably be pacing) to increase your accuracy percentage upon drawing your weapon. The left stick controls Silas’ hand position over his revolver. Find the “sweet spot” and your draw speed will increase. Now, there’s one more piece to the duel. When the sound of the heartbeat becomes audible, you can draw if you wish. But drawing before your opponent will result in a “dishonorable” victory. Waiting for your opponent to draw and then drawing your weapon is the only way to achieve the much more commendable “honorable” victory. These three modes should give players enough of a reason to keep spitting lead at bandits for a while.
Lengthy Load Times
This one is pretty straightforward. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger houses some horrendous load times. It is immediately apparent since waiting for the main menu to load is rather lengthy. Waiting on your level to load can be a chore and since a noise doesn’t play upon completion, you may not notice that the top right corner has switched to a START button prompt to begin the game. It’s almost as if the developers knew that their load times were bad because one of their loading page tips says that it was considered dishonorable in the Old West to spam the START button before the game has loaded.
Lacking Weapon Variety
I greatly enjoyed shooting up those that stood before Silas, but it must be said that it started to get dull after a little while due to the limited weapon selection. You have your revolvers, rifles and shotguns. That’s it. The only variations come from diving down one of the skill trees, otherwise you’ll keep picking up the same firearms level after level. Fortunately, each gun feels great and impacts their target to pleasing effect. That being said, throwing Silas a few more weapons wouldn’t have hurt, and it would have helped extended the experience further.
Mixed Boss Battles
Duels occur throughout Gunslinger‘s campaign and, honestly, they’ll probably be your preferred method of facing bosses. The other method involves the more traditional type of boss. You know, the one where they’re given a lengthy health bar and you have to overcome their predictable and annoying tactics. Most of these type of bosses that Silas has to contend with are fairly forgettable. You’ll want to finish them off as quickly as possible and return to firing your revolvers at low-level goons.
Techland has achieved something with Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. For one, it’s unbelievably fun, but more importantly it’s polished and smooth, something past Call of Juarez titles and Dead Island could not achieve. This is a wacky, over-the-top Wild West game which bundles the arcade style insanity of games like Bulletstorm with gorgeous comic book styling and exceptionally tight shooting mechanics. It is only held back by lacking boss battles and annoying load times. Gunslinger may stand as the best Call of Juarez so far and the entry seems to have made the series relevant once again. If you can’t figure out what to do with that $15 burning a whole in your pocket, you could do a whole lot worse than Gunslinger.
[Editor’s Note: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger was reviewed on the PlayStation 3 platform. The game voucher was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Call of Juarez: Gunslinger Review,