Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood Preview


Posted June 4, 2009 - By Paul Semel

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Call Of Juarez: Bound In Blood

At a recent Ubisoft press event held in Los Angeles, the company showed off a number of their upcoming titles, including the Wild West-themed first-person shooter Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, which is a prequel to the suffix-less Call of Juarez released two years ago.

However, because there was no one present from Techland, the Polish developers who are making the game — probably because they were trying to finish the game in time for its announced June 30th release — we were somewhat left to our own devices to figure the game out. Well, our devices and our ability to email a PR person later for a fact sheet.

According to said fact sheet, the game stars two brothers, Ray and Thomas, both of whom will be playable and are said to have different fighting styles: Ray likes it up close and personal, while Thomas prefers to keep his distance. Not that we had any idea who we were playing as when we picked up the Xbox 360 controller, we just started running and gunning. Which was our first mistake. In the demo we got to play, we were heavily outnumbered as we tried to cross a cornfield filled with guys trying to kill us. But after a couple of attempts, we realized we were better off hiding in the corn, and just occasionally popping out to shoot someone before hiding again, especially since it was while we were hiding that our health regenerated.

We were also able to sneak up on guys and stab them with a knife, but this mechanic was kind of awkward since, unlike in such FPSes as Call of Duty, you don’t just switch to a melee weapon by hitting a button, and then automatically go back to your gun. Instead, you have to switch to your knife, then hit the regular trigger button to stab, and then switch again to rearm your pistol or rifle.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood Preview

You also have a focus-esque attack you get to use after you shoot enough guys, but while it slows things down rather Matrix-like, it just seemed easier to bide your time and shoot guys sneakily. This also held true later in the demo when we approached a building and had to hide behind trees.

Juarez also, like CoD and many other FPS games, lets you use iron sights for more accurate targeting. Except that it just looks a lot cooler here, since, when you look down the barrel of your gun, it makes things that are close up and far away a little blurry, leaving only what you’re targeting and things close to it in focus. Granted, we doubt this will change anything about the gameplay, but it looked cool.

There were also some Western-specific things, as you’d expect, such as horse riding, and a bit where you use a rope to climb a tree so you can snipe an enemy from above. Apparently cowboys, like Khan, only think in two dimensions.

Sadly, because no developer was present, we have no idea if the game will have a co-op mode where you and a friend can play as the brothers (which, if absent, would be a prime missed opportunity). And while the press release did say there were some multiplayer modes, it didn’t say what they’d be, how many people they’d accommodate, or how many maps would be included at launch.

Still, our brief stint with the game was enjoyable, and this comes from someone who’s never been much for the Old West. We’ll see how it all shakes out when the game comes out on the 360, PS3, and PC on June 30th.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood Preview


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