Call of Juarez

aka: Lawman
Moby ID: 23915
Windows Specs

Description official descriptions

Billy Candle fled the town of Hope when he was young. Beaten by his dad on a daily basis, he looked for a way out and was drawn to the Call of Juarez - a myth about a great treasure buried near the city border of Juarez. His search yields no result and he returns, disappointed, to his birth village to visit his mother. One of the other villagers is Billy's uncle Ray McCall, once a fearsome gunslinger. Twenty years earlier, he decided to shed no more blood and take up the bible instead, becoming a reverend in Hope. When Billy secretly meets with his old friend Suzy, he is chased down the village and becomes an unlucky witness of the murder on his mother and father. He is spotted at the scene near their corpses while the farm is on fire and becomes the prime suspect. Reverend McCall swears vengeance and takes up his guns, disturbing the quiet village life. Fugitive Billy and hunter Ray become the two protagonists of Call of Juarez, a first-person Wild West shooter.

Players alternately take the role of the Billy or Ray. Their missions are set in the same locations, they sometimes briefly meet and their actions influence each other, but the paths are entirely different. Both characters can dual-wield revolvers or carry around a shotgun, a winchester or a rifle with scope, but Ray also holds a bible he can cite from to stun enemies, uses his fists, and he can kick and wear a protective vest. Billy on the other hand is younger and more athletic. He can climb rocks, shoots with a bow and uses a whip to scare off animals and swing from branches. Both characters have access to a time-limited concentration mode. Similar to the "bullet time" made famous by Max Payne, the game slows down and the cross-hairs of the weapons slowly move from the side of the screen to the middle. Players can use this technique to take out multiple enemies at once.

The playing style is also different. Ray usually moves around all guns blazing, while Billy is a fugitive, forcing him to sneak around and hide in shadows. Enemies respond to movement, sound and even flashes of lighting illuminating areas. The story takes the characters through villages, mines, but also train robberies, chase sequences on horses and one-on-one duels based on reflexes. Compared to its contemporaries, Call of Juarez is more similar to Dead Man's Hand with the linear mission structure, in contrast with GUN's large amount of freedom and the open environment.

Most objects can be picked up and moved around to the player's advantage - mainly as cover, but also for building structures, opening drawers, pushing carts and throwing oil lamps followed by a shot to set an area aflame. A compass with a red dot always points to the next checkpoint. Weapons need to be reloaded regularly, automatically or manually, and health is replenished through drinks. Players collect ammo from crates or dead enemies and can choose to exchange weapons.

The multiplayer mode features online play against up to 31 other people in different modes. From deathmatch and team deathmatch to modes like "gold-fever" in which players pick up as much gold as they can find on the map. The Xbox 360 version adds achievements, three bonus missions when you finish the game and ten duel challenges.

Spellings

  • Call of Juarez: Cđżđ║ĐÇđżđ▓đŞĐëđ░ đ░ĐćĐéđÁđ║đżđ▓ - Russian spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

86 People (82 developers, 4 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 77% (based on 57 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 54 ratings with 2 reviews)

Atmospheric wild west shooter with many highs and a few lows

The Good
There are some (and not exactly few) moments during this game in which it feel like you're playing a role in a well made western movie. For these moments alone, this game is worth a try. The game has you alternating between playing Billy, a half-mexican who is falsely accused to having killed his mother and stepfather, and playing Ray, former Gunslinger and present Reverend, who picks up his guns one last time to give the (apparent) murderer of his brother (Billy's stepfather) a chase. Since this is the section for the good stuff: Ray's levels are mostly brilliant. He's a guy like Clint Eastwood, shooting first and asking the questions later, except that he talks a bit more, with a voice actor that sounds a bit like Johnny Cash. And it's mostly in his levels that the game really shines. He's the one that gets to use most of the game's weaponry, namely a variety of pistols and rifles, with some extras like wild west style machine guns and sticks of dynamite thrown in. Oh, and he can also recite from the bible, which is kinda cool, albeit not terribly useful. He's the one that gets challenged to high-noon'ish gunfights by the game's equivalent to boss enemies and that gets to participate in exciting moments like chasing a cart on horseback in wild gallop, relying on his guns to fend off villains trying to convince him to abandon the pursuit.

That out of the way, the game's rather well looking, while sometimes a bit rough on the edges. Sound and music is what you'd expect, but nothing that'll stick to mind as being exceptional, neither for the good nor for the bad. Level design is also most often in the OK range, though some levels are rather well done, and the best that can be said about the levels that they rarely feature elements that you 'll feel have been put there for the sole reason to limit your movements, which is a very good thing, in my opinion. The story, while not exactly original, comes across as believable for the most part and "yeah, you bet" moments with hair-rising plot twists are rare (though there are a few).

The Bad
Since I omitted the Billy levels above, you might have figured they'd appear down here, and if so, right you were. Billy gets to do a lot less shooting, and even if he has weaponry, he's often not allowed to use it in order to stay undetected. If he is to use force, it's mostly against non-sentient enemies: Wolves, Snakes, Spiders and other animals. He's a bit like a male Lara Croft, excluding some more memorable body features. Well, being forced to sneak around isn't the reason I put this in the bad portion of the review, it's just that the game's sneaking system isn't exactly sophisticated. In fact, it's pretty basic, with sound, cover and lighting (only used in a single level) all playing a role - but unfortunately, these roles aren't consistent, and more often enough, it's a trial and error, quicksave and reload affair which is often borderline annoying and which crosses that border even more often. In one of the game's worst design decisions, the very first level stars you as Billy trying to sneak out of town. That's one of the games most terrible levels, cause there are plenty of people patrolling the streets, and if one of them sees you, you're as good as dead. Possibly realizing their own mistake, the developers chose being detected here NOT to fail the mission. So, unlike in later levels, you COULD just use the god-mode to simply walk out of town right through the badguys - but don't say I encouraged you to do so. ;) In his later levels, Billy often has a whip to fend off the critters and to swing across chasms, rarely he has firearms, and if he has, he's likely VERY tight on ammo. In the bottom line, Billy's levels are usually more boring and/or annoying, but this makes you really appreciate Ray's straight-forwardness when it comes to using firearms. There's especially one level, where you need to sneak your way across a well guarded farm with Billy, and right after that, you come back there with Ray, puncturing all the guys that forced you to duck into bushes moments ago with a unhealthy dose of bullets. Talk about a nice change of pace.

One of the worst parts about the game still has to be mentioned, though: Loading times. They are long. LONG. LOOOOOOONG. Sometimes, when you were playing youngster Billy in one level, and have to wait looking at the loading screen for Ray's level to appear, you'll feel to have aged the appropriate amount to be able to slip into this considerably older guy's shoes now. To give you a figure here, having a level load for five minutes will be a common sight even on a good system, and with a somewhat older rig, crossing the ten minute mark is not impossible. And I'm not exaggerating here. As a positive note: This does, however, amount in almost non-existent swapping during the levels, which will always run very fluent even on a low end system. And, in case you were wondering, you'll not have to switch 5 1/4" floppies, either. ;)

The Bottom Line
All in all, the heights in Ray's missions more than make up for the lows in Billy's. After each part of the game in which you were forced to duck in the mud, to run for cover at the sight of someone armed only to be promptly caught upon reaching your destination and be challenged for a fight with the guy you were hiding from, after ascending a HUGE peak in a seemingly endless series of jumping, grabbing and climbing in order to get some bird feathers, only to find the guy you were getting them for murdered upon your return, you'll have a level in which you'll let your guns talk, and only them, and in which you can imagine the baddies you're exposing of being the level designers that came up with the ordeal you just went through. Case in point, the game's secret collectibles are wanted posters bearing the developers faces on them... So, if you have even a passing interest in wild west stories, don't give this one a miss. And even if westerns aren't you thing, chances are you might still enjoy this game.

Windows · by Cadorna (219) · 2006

Wanted dead or alive

The Good
Call of Juarez has many nice things. The western ambient is really good, especially at the beginning. The physics are perfect, you'll see your enemies falling from buildings, roofs and many other places breaking wooden things like in the movies. You can also take many objects of the stage like boxes to access other areas or just to find some hidden secrets.

The music is really good and it'll make you feel like you're in a western movie. The FX are good enough too and the voices are brilliant.

Graphics are good, you'll walk through the night, dawn, day and some details like grass are perfect. You'll feel the heat of the dry desert with details like blur caused by the hot temperatures.

The gameplay has good things too, it's a pleasure to use the bow and the slow motion is nice. You can use it to save yourself because the game is hard (anyway there are three difficult levels if it gets really hard) and you can use slow motion mode to kill your enemies easily.

The story is really good, just like a western movie. A deep vengeance story with action and a little bit of drama for two playable characters faced up the most part of the game, so, it's like running from yourself and trying to find yourself after, which makes the game funny.

The Bad
When you start there's a really good sensation of western movie, but it breaks up when the game really starts (when the action starts). It's a pity because that was a good sensation. At the beginning there are lots of details, many objects and stages are full of things but when you continue the game, stages become more simple, with less objects and details.

Sometimes the game is really repetitive, especially when you're reverend Ray because you have to kill the enemies and nothing more. When you're Billy you have to do a lot of things, you'll have to climb, to hunt, to sneak and many other things which makes the game more attractive for the player, so, when you've done some episodes you'll pray that Billy's story continues. It's like a very interesting first person adventure game versus a redundant FPS where you only have to kill all the time and nothing more.

As I said, you have to find Billy and run from Reverend Ray most of the time, so, as you are both of them, you'll have to play in the same stages two times, one for Billy and the second one to catch him as Reverend Ray. It doesn't happen always, but it's a little boring to play in the same place again.

Each character has different and common weapons. Billy has a bow. To use it is one of the best things of the game, but you'll only use it to hunt some rabbits and in the last episode, so, you'll want to use the bow a lot more and you'll not do it because it won't be available 'till the end of the game.

The jumps are bad, really bad. Billy can jump and grab to higher platforms and Ray can just make a little jump, the problem is that Billy doesn't grab all the times, and it's frustrating.

To finish with, the game is short, and has no replayability, maybe just for finding all the secrets, but nothing more. The final battle is a poor battle, and it could be much more better.

The Bottom Line
If you like spaghetti western this is your game, if you just want to play a FPS, there are many other games of this genre which are really much better than this. Anyway, it's not the worst of them all.

Windows · by NeoJ (398) · 2009

Discussion

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Is this just awesome or am I really dumb? chirinea (47064) May 26th, 2012

Trivia

Cut versions

In the German PC version several blood effects when shooting enemies were removed and arrows no longer get stuck into corpses. In the Xbox 360 version all blood on corpses was removed.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Sicarius.

Xbox 360 added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: POMAH, Sciere, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third.

Game added September 13th, 2006. Last modified November 15th, 2023.