Welcome to the new wild west.
So this is Call of Juarez: The Cartel. This is the first of the three games to actually be set in present day. With a gritty story that centres around the bombing of a US law enforcement agency and the chaos that ensues afterwards. The US government sets up a special task force to take down the cartel in what sounds like the most explosive manner possible.
The entire campaign can be played either in single player or in three player co-op. You can choose from three different characters each with their own unique abilities and their own stories. You can choose from Ben McCall, an LAPD cop and descendant of Ray McCall. Eddie Guerra, a DEA agent with a gambling addiction. And Kim Evans, an FBI agent brought up inside the gang culture. It’s always a nice feature for co-op games to have players with different abilities, you don’t really want to be playing as a group of generic grunts who all act the same. You want to rely on your teammate to excel in certain situations and then be the one to take action in other situations.
The gameplay elements promise to cover a wide variety of situations. One element I’m quite interested in are the undercover missions. It triggers the whole morality issue. Do you act as a complete thug, or try to take the high ground? Of course there are very few details as of yet, but will be very interesting to see how much control you get over that kind of situation. You also get to take part in raids, interrogations and car chases. With that much variety you should never get bored.
There is also a competitive multiplayer mode included, currently the only game mode that’s been announced is a straight up death match and of course a team variety. There have been promises of a levelling system, which will unlock weapons and equipment for your character. So taking a page from many popular shooters.
It’s sounding like a very exciting and modern take on the wild west genre. The change in period might upset some fans, but then again the change could work greatly in its favour and attract a new audience. It sounds like a great action game however and with the variety in gameplay and full three player co-op.
Look out for Call of Juarez: The Cartel, in summer 2011 on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. For now check out some screen shots below.