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This game is not as bad as everyone says it is. But it is one of the worst sequels of all time.
I love the Call of Juarez franchise: the first one was good, "Bound in Blood" was great and "Gunslinger" is a fantastic FPS. But where does "The Cartel" stand?
The story starts in a very mediocre way, following a police officer, a DEA officer and a FBI agent as they try to bring down the Mexican Cartel's operations in Los Angeles. The first levels are as dull as they can get, but as time goes on, there are multiple scenarios that are quite engaging: car chases through cities, shootouts in rainy docks...
The only link to the other CoJ games are the police officer (a relative of Ray McCall) and some levels set in Juarez.
The gameplay is really mediocre: the guns are recoil-less and they feel all the same. There isn't the dynamic cover like in "Bound In Blood", and the special ability is your typical bullet-time. The three characters are identical, if not for tiny little differences (again, unlike "Bound In Blood"): McCall has more accuracy with pistols, DEA with shotguns, FBI with rifles.
The graphics are okay, but the worst parts are the FOV that can't be changed and the Depth of Field that works like ♥♥♥ (and can't be turned off). The Graphic Options are ♥♥♥♥ poor (unlike "Bound in Blood" xD), but you will get used to these issues after a while (2 hours max).
Overall, this game is a really bad sequel, and definitely worse compared to "Bound In Blood". However, the action setpieces, great voice acting and longevity.