Verfasst: 21. Februar
Though I haven't played the other Call of Juarez games, I would have to say that Gunslinger is a mighty fine game in its own right, combining effective and entertaining storytelling with a central character who doesn't take himself too seriously. Add in the phenomenal artistic design and engaging gameplay, and you've got a hell of a title, well worth your time.GAMEPLAY & STORY
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger puts you in the spurs of Silas Greaves, bounty hunter extraordinaire, as he recounts his lengthy list of deeds before an appreciative tavern audience. This sets the backdrop and also influences the gameplay quite a bit - mistakes in storytelling, inconsistencies, and even a mid-train-robbery bathroom break all result in changes in the action.
There are times when Silas suddenly remembers the existence of a staircase or ladder, causing it to literally drop out of the sky in front of you. And as if that weren't enough, the barroom audience occasionally puts in their two cents, driving the story off the rails. In the very first level, someone recounts a dime novel depiction of a duel that never happened, causing the narrative to jump from one storyteller to another. The fact that the characters don't take themselves too seriously keeps the story entertaining throughout, even as it manages to tell a heartfelt tale of revenge and what it can do to those who seek it out.
The gameplay is arcadey Old West action in three modes. Story mode leaves you with three available class progressions to choose from, each with its own skills to learn. You've got a sniper-type with a rifle and a hand-cannon of a revolver. There's the speedy dual-wielding gunslinger, whose quick-load revolvers can tag opponents in rapid succession, at the loss of a little firepower. And if you're so inclined, you can play as a trapper-type complete with sawed-off shotguns (which you can bleeping dual-wield!), whose skills are all about getting up close and personal.
All three skillsets can make use of things like dynamite and Gatling guns placed around the environment, as well as any weapons you happen to run across. There's also Concentration Mode - basically a form of bullet time - which allows you to line up your shots while enemies are practically frozen in their tracks - and a Cheat Death skill that allows you to evade the bullet that would have killed you every once in a while. And, strewn throughout this story mode, there are various Nuggets of Truth which net you authentic historical information about the people and places you visit on your travels through the American Southwest.
On top of all this, you will occasionally find yourself in duels with various characters you run across, in which you have to keep your crosshairs on the opponent while at the same time moving your hand closer to your holster for a faster draw. It's more challenging than it seems at first, especially if you want to go for the achievements associated with dueling (kill an opponent in .6 seconds? How?!).
In addition to the story mode, there's Arcade Mode (which challenges you to fly through a level and rack up the best combos you can) and Duel Mode, which pits you up against fifteen duel bosses in a row, most of whom you meet in the main story. All three modes are fairly fun, but Story Mode is probably the one you'll get most time from unless you're looking to compete with your friends' scores.VISUALS & SOUND
Visuals in Gunslinger are absolutely fantastic. Character models and animations go a long way toward recreating the gritty style of classic spaghetti westerns - Silas Greaves himself is based on the Man With No Name, a.k.a. the character that made Clint Eastwood famous. The level backdrops, too, effectively show the jawdropping beauty of the American Southwest in all its glory - from the ghost towns to the small towns to the wide and sun-baked wilderness. Cutscenes are done in animated graphic novel style, with quality illustrations and introduction panels for key characters any time they appear. Combine this with good voice acting, an energetic soundtrack, and sound effects that pack a wallop. What we have here is a game that oozes style throughout its presentation.OVERALL
While I have yet to 100% Gunslinger, I have no doubt that I'll be putting in the time to do so. I enjoy the game that much, whether due to its story or its stylish presentation or its fast-paced and occasionally frantic gameplay. If you're a fan of fun storytelling, Western movies, arcade shooters, or even just of games in general, I highly recommend you give this game a shot - no pun, of course, intended.