Feeds
45%
Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Drugs, thugs and automobiles

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Making the connection

The game improves slightly in its latter half. Locations are more polished and visuals noticeably improved, especially in the gunfights at a LA rooftop club and later through the cartel's Mexican hacienda stronghold. Here, confined spaces and improved cover and verticality mask the underwhelming AI to good effect, but the myriad technical cracks aren't so easily disguised.

Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Mosey into suburbia

Subtitles rarely match the dialogue and are often misspelled. Conversations fall out of sync, with NPCs answering questions before you've posed them, or looping one-line responses each time you pass by. Your AI team-mates continually disappear in front of you only to reappear magically one-hundred yards ahead. And clipping is a constant issue, with dead enemies melding into table tops or car bonnets. Then there's enemy animations themselves, which aren't so much ragdoll physics but ragcloth, as single bullets kill outright and dead bodies flop weightlessly to the floor.

The Cartel's on-line offering proves equally weightless when compared to the dominant FPS games. Despite introducing competitive objectives – such as racking up headshots the fastest – the three-player on-line campaign co-op is best avoided altogether, as company serves only to magnify the already mindless gameplay and overwhelming repetition. Multiplayer, on the other hand, is passable. But with just four small maps and two modes, it's an extremely lightweight affair.

Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Cock and load

In addition to straight-up Team Deathmatch, there's a Missions mode, in which the criminal team has to, for example, plant Semtex to blow up a safe or steal drugs from a crack house, while the cops work to foil them. It's shallow and limited, but it's not entirely brainless. The mode takes a novel approach to promoting team play, which would benefit many Triple-A shooters. Team-mates receive a bonus of extra health and damage when sticking close together. And you can choose to partner with someone else, which not only allows you to tag enemies to reveal their location to your partner, but also earns you additional xp for faster weapon and perk upgrading.

Verdict

The glimpses of innovation in multiplayer in no way compensate for what is a unremarkable, derivative and poorly executed game. In high-tailing it out of the Wild West, The Cartel might have cleverly avoided a showdown with Red Dead Redemption, but in shifting to modern times, it's walked blindly into a quickdraw against the very best FPS gunslingers. ®

Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Scenic shots

More Games Reviews

Transformers:
Dark of the Moon
Shadows of
the Damned
FEAR 3 Dungeon
Siege 3
Child of Eden

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

45%
Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Call of Juarez: The Cartel

A poor, uninspired shooter that only just manages to out-gun The Duke. Available on Xbox 360 (tested), PS3 and PC (out September).
Price: £40 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.