Call of Juarez: Gunslinger: Best Western Next to Red Dead Redemption

     It isn't often I can say that a game is wholly great, but Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is  just that.  It is even less so that it is a western game.  Somehow, this installment of Call of Juarez doesn't just do it right, but the writing and game play are handled extremely well.

     Gunslinger is a downloadable game that tells the story of Silas Greaves.  He narrates the story, changing parts here and there and it alters the in game during play through flashbacks to his younger days.  At one point all the Apaches poof into cowboys because he changes what he was saying.  The reason for this is two-fold, and makes sense once the story is at an end.  ***SPOILERS***  He purposely does it a couple times for entertainment purposes- embellishing to make himself both look better (or worse), and then later to help confirm a person's identity.  He uses the misinformation in story telling to see if his suspect knows what really happened, which would prove that they were there or had inside information.

     This method of game opens up alternate hypothetical story lines- pathways taken that didn't occur, but are played to show what could've happened if he took a different route.  In this manner the world itself changes at times.  Sometimes due to his remembering forgotten details, or as others question him and he adds to the narrative.  There are entire portions of time that are replayed because his tangential stories wasn't what really happened.  At one point you get to play 3 different versions of stopping a bank heist due to shifting perspectives.  Sure, it's been done before, but it is handled so well in this case, that is needs to be noted.
     Another interesting thing of note is time slows and turns sepia toned as things are happening between the narrator and those he is telling the tale to.  He asks for more booze, exchanges witty banter and even leaves to go piss- leaving the listeners to comment about Silas and his story while he's away.

     There are plenty of familiar western names found that cross Greaves' path.  He was friends with Billy the Kid, John Wesley Hardin, Jesse James, and a run in with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Even a nod to events at the OK Corral.

     Really, the only troublesome problems are the Gatling gun boss fights and the obligatory duels.  For the Gatling bosses you have to continuously chuck dynamite and hope not to catch a stray bullet.  The Gatling can mow you down in a second if you don't stay in cover.  As the duels go, it takes a bit of getting used to, but using both joysticks to balance speed and focus becomes an annoying hassle while also trying to keep the focus reticule on the opponent's body.  They aren't to difficult, but it is aggravating that the speed will just flip direction seemingly at random, which can directly cause a loss in the fight.

     As a Borderlands fanatic, I can see this game has drawn many references and style from that beloved series, but really, it works quite well in this situation.  From the semi-cell shaded graphics to the skill tree development, it all works wonderfully.  Outside of Red Dead Redemption, I've never played a western with this much enjoyment ever.  All in all, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is worth every dollar spent on it- this short downloadable game has FAR more to offer than the $15 price they charge.

     Note:  As for the story, while Silas is an "unreliable narrator" it is for good reason, and the story is quite well written- but you have to FINISH the game to see why.


  1. I love this game. Good review, and it's great that you focused on the best part of the game: the narration.

  2. Thank you for commenting. Yeah, the narration is wonderful for this game. I REALLY hope they do another game like this for Juarez, as this one is just plain-and-simple fun.