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Old 09-05-08, 01:54 AM   #1
CaptNKILL
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Thumbs up My (late) review of Call of Juarez.

I got this game dirt cheap on ebay a couple weeks ago. I got the DVD version of CoJ and Jade Empire Special Edition for $13 shipped, brand new and sealed.

I played the CoJ demo and it seemed ok, but I just beat the full game and I'm very impressed! There were a few frustrating areas (especially early on) but overall this is one of the most enjoyable first person shooters I've ever played. The plot, and script were very solid and the voice acting was surprisingly good, especially the Reverend. These are things that are very rarely done so well in a first person shooter.

The graphics were fantastic as well. The DX10 mode was way too slow for me to play, so I settled for DX9 at 1600x1200 with everything maxed and no AA. I'll definitely play through this again some day in DX10 with a better system. Sound was overall very good, though there were some odd ambient sounds that seemed totally out of place. The gun sounds were realistic yet interesting too, which is also rare.

The combat is where the game really shines though. I played the game for several hours two days in a row, start to finish and never once got tired of head-shotting enemies with arrows in slow motion, blasting people up close with shotguns, quick firing guns with both mouse buttons or peaking out from a corner in slow motion and taking out 4 people with carefully timed shots. Completely satisfying and a HELL of a lot of fun. Great hit detection and realistic rag dolls just made it even better.

It isn't perfect by any means. There are some frustrating parts that require a lot of repetition and quick saving and there are some strange quirks with physics and controls that make things feel a little sloppy. I also disliked the lack of continuity between levels (weapons I'm carrying, placement of enemies etc.) and the unexpected level changes.

I was extremely impressed with how original the gameplay is though. Its really hard to predict exactly what is going to happen in this game. Some times you can tell when a guy is going to pop out at you, but from one scene to the next you never really know what is in store in the next area. You might be chasing a stage coach on horse back, roaming a massive wilderness area to hunt rabbits, sneaking through houses, mowing people down with a Gatling gun, having a one-on-one fist fight or a western style duel...

There is a LOT to this game. I highly recommend it if you haven't played it yet. Toward the end I got this feeling that I used to get when playing a really fresh and well rounded game and I just got a big grin on my face. Its probably been more than 5 years since I got that feeling from a game.

I'd give it a solid 8.5. It felt like a 6 for the first couple levels, but that all changed as I got more interested in the story and the quality of the levels actually IMPROVED toward the end. That is almost unheard of these days with games being rushed out the door to meet deadlines.
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Old 09-05-08, 02:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: My (late) review of Call of Juarez.

I played it recently, but I played through in Dx10 mode (lower res ftw) and I also enjoyed it. I heard they changed some of the gameplay in dx10, removed some stealthy bits etc. The gun play was pretty good for the reverend, and the bow/arrow was good for tommy.

Graphically it did really well for how it ran I thought.
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Old 09-05-08, 02:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: My (late) review of Call of Juarez.

Word. This for me is pretty much the only good game that's come out of this part of Europe in a loooooong time. STALKER and WITCHER devs should learn from Techland.

I wish there was a sequel.
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Old 09-05-08, 02:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: My (late) review of Call of Juarez.

There are sections of CoJ I would put up against almost any FPS... awesome stuff. Then there are sections that are almost flat-out bad.

I think it's a great shooter for the most part, though.
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Old 09-05-08, 02:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: My (late) review of Call of Juarez.

One thing I found to be a little odd was the part where you have to get the eagle feather.

Climbing that enormous mountain was pretty annoying and time consuming, but once you got to the top you could literally just JUMP off and land in 6 inches of water without getting hurt, bypassing the entire trip back down and skipping a few scripted events. I didn't try it to see if it broke the game, but it was rather strange considering how easily the characters die from short falls at any other point in the game. That mountain was probably 200 feet tall.

I did jump down to the water from about 50 feet though because I was sick of rope swinging and quick saving.
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Old 09-05-08, 02:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: My (late) review of Call of Juarez.

Has anyone played Techland's earlier game Chrome? I see that Gamespot gave CoJ a 7.0 and gave Chrome a 7.2. Its from 2003 so it doesn't look like much, but the gameplay sounds cool and the high points they described in the review sound a lot like the ones that made CoJ so good.
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Old 09-05-08, 02:22 AM   #7
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Default Re: My (late) review of Call of Juarez.

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Originally Posted by CaptNKILL View Post
Has anyone played Techland's earlier game Chrome? I see that Gamespot gave CoJ a 7.0 and gave Chrome a 7.2. Its from 2003 so it doesn't look like much, but the gameplay sounds cool and the high points they described in the review sound a lot like the ones that made CoJ so good.
Chrome is Okay for what it is... but CoJ is a lot better IMO.
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Old 09-05-08, 02:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: My (late) review of Call of Juarez.

pics?
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Old 09-05-08, 03:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: My (late) review of Call of Juarez.

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pics?
I'm sure there are hundreds of them floating around these forums. The game has been out for quite a while.

EDIT: Should be plenty in this thread: http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=93005
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Old 09-05-08, 03:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: My (late) review of Call of Juarez.

CoJ was awesome. Can't wait to play Dead Island.
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Old 09-05-08, 04:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: My (late) review of Call of Juarez.

Great review there CaptNKILL id have to pretty much agree with everything you posted!

I havent gotten around to replaying it in DX10 mode since going vista a while back(i ran the benchmark a few times and the DX10 gfx update looked a lot cooler) but reading about the changes in gameplay and GFX updates i think i'll give it another spin & see how the 4870 does

Cheers
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Old 09-05-08, 04:27 AM   #12
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Default Re: My (late) review of Call of Juarez.

I'm not sure about any changes in gameplay honestly. I think the US version of the game probably made changes (it was released almost a year after the European version), but enabling DirectX 10 itself shouldn't have any effect on the gameplay.
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