Before the Gunslinger, a very difficult task - to reclaim the Call of Juarez fans after the very poorly received The Cartel, which - instead of correcting the shortcomings of Bound in Blood - completely ruined the reputation of the series. So it is no wonder that developers from Polish studios have reached the proven convention and returned to the Wild West to prove they can still do a good and engaging game. This time we will learn the story of Silas Greaves, a burgeoning bounty hunter's revenge. During an unforgettable trip across the United States, we will meet many legendary figures, including the train robbery, the salon robberies, and finally, we'll leave for the setting sun.
What immediately comes to mind is the complete change of graphic style over the previous series. For the Gunslinger, the Chrome Engine 5 engine has gone through a shading lifting goal. This gave the game a great, comic look. It can be said that Borderlands met with the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and together they rode by train at 3:10 to Yuma. Completely illustrated drawings that resemble the spin-off style of Stephen King's Dark Tower.
All this creates a fascinating and explosive mix that immediately lets you forget that we are dealing with a title developed by the people responsible for the exceptionally weak The Cartel. This proves that Techland drew conclusions from the critique of the previous work of study, and decided to rehabilitate in the eyes of players from the first contact with the game.
Gunslinger story is a completely new story, which with its predecessors in the series does not have much in common. The only tangent is the short biography of Ray McCall, the protagonist of the first two parts of Call of Juarez, which can be found as one of the so- "Secrets", called Truth Shrouds. The latest instalment of the game presents the fate of Silas Greaves, a bounty hunter who wants revenge on his brother's murderers.
At first glance, the story seems to be a staple, but the way it is presented makes it pull from the very beginning and does not allow you to tear yourself away from the monitor. Imagine a saloon and a few people gathered around a story that was snuffed through an old faith that came out victorious from countless skirmishes. This is a veteran of the Wild West, Silas Greaves himself, who fell into a glass of whiskey and decided to present a true version of the events described in the penny novels. And what is the story, because, for almost forty years, Silas has come face to face with true legends - John Ringo, John Wesley Harding, the Dalton brothers and Butchem Cassidy, that I mention only a few names. Imagine now that fixing with the listeners a common version of these stories affects the course of the game and often the action is reversed and supplemented with new facts until Greaves thinks everything is true.
And how does it look in practice? During a raid on the robbers of the Dalton brothers' bank, I ran in and shot a few quick shots and sent everyone to the sand. What was my surprise when Silas suddenly stated that it looked very different and I was pulled back in front of the building and the action rolled in quite a different way (chase and murderous exchange of fire at the top of the hill). Even if the Gunslingers were a big applause, they all revived the shooting and gave it a unique atmosphere.
Well - shooting. The most anticipated and obvious element of the game maintained in the Wild West. Gunslinger and here does not disappoint, offering huge expanses with revolvers, rifles, rifles, rats and dynamite sand. In addition, it does so much better than Bound in Blood. In the new Call of Juarez, the battle is dynamic and aiming with simple and pleasant weapons. The shield system and artificial intelligence of the opponents have also been improved. Thanks to that, they move in the middle of a fight from place to place and try not to get too easy to kill.
The game uses a system based on achieving the best score for killing. This solution is similar to Bulletstorm, although it is not so extensive. However, every subsequent shooter delivers huge emotions. During the game, I often caught myself trying to send bullets between enemies only, the best thing to do was to cover the cover behind which they hid because it provided a lot of points. By the way, it loaded the focus bar quicker and renewed the bullet time, and this allowed for even better results. It was so addictive that I did not even pay attention to the fact that most campaign clashes are cryptic. Besides, it goes out to the Gunslinger only for good, because it allows maintaining a high dynamics of the game.
The points we get for murdering are used to raise Silas' experience and buy more skills. They were divided into three development paths: desperado (revolver), hunter (rifle) and tracer (shotgun). It is this ability that makes our hero a true killer expert and unlocks the legendary types of weapons that are much more powerful than their basic counterparts. For example, a desperado can command two hexes at once and be divinely effective in concentration mode. Trapper is an exceptionally hard guy from whom some bullets just bounce off. It is a very cool idea to help each other in different paths of development. For example, more damage in the mode of concentration from the Desperado path will also work and when we decide to shoot our enemies with a rifle or shotgun.
With a careful collection of collectable Truth Shrapes that provide high scores and quirky killer combinations, we are able to achieve a high level of character experience. During the game, we buy out at least two paths of development. This, in turn, allows us to become like Clint Eastwood, a guy who can twist the twelve charges to sand in just a few seconds and not even sweat. Fortunately, the game does not become so banal, because with the development of Silas opponents also turn out to be much tougher. Fitted in iron gringo with guns or extremely durable and custom guns with rifles is a certain moment of everyday bread. Fortunately, it does not give the players the feeling that they are controlling a real tough guy, but that every successive fight is a challenge.
After the first campaign transition, the plus mode is unlocked and re-entered, but retains the previous development. This is a great way to deal with really demanding opponents and see the other end of the story. Gunslinger has two plot options and, fortunately, they can not be viewed by simply loading the game state (which is quite enough, for example, in the new Deus Ex).
Next, to the Gunslinger campaign mode, there is also an action mode in which the gameplay rules change a bit. This is basically a fun shooting range where we try to achieve the highest score possible. There are no skill points, but we have the ability to choose one of three packages. Each one focuses on another kind of weapon. This is an interesting procedure that allows you to try different ways of fighting and compare their final effectiveness.
Maps used in action mode come from the campaign, so only the rules governing the game, not the environment, are changed. I have to admit that after the game is over, it is a nice variation that allows us to try other types of weapons than those we decided to follow Silas Greaves's fate.
So far I have written about Gunslinger in the superlatives, so it's time to look at what Techland did not come out. The disadvantages of this production undoubtedly include the poorly conceived way of receiving Silas injuries and a weak system of revolver duels.
Every FPS fan knows that the standard in this type of game (which has been developed over the past decade) is the dimming of the picture when our lead hero adopts too much lead. You have to hide now, wait until the image is brightened again and return to full strength. Unfortunately, in Gunslinger it is extremely annoying. At the moment when we get too much damage, the screen dims so much that we can not see the enemies. This often leads to the start of fun from the last automatic record, because it is difficult to hide, almost blindfolded. It is also often the case when we are seriously wounded, and we are left to kill the last opponent and it is enough to give one shot to win the fight. Unfortunately, it's a bad shot at someone who is completely blurred with the environment.
In Gunslinger, this changed to something that did not work well. First of all, we need to pay attention to two things - holding your hand as close to the holster (keys A and D) and tracking the opponent with the mouse. It loads two strips: the speed of the acquisition and the concentration. If we neglect the first, we will not be able to take the weapon in time, if the other, we will get it faster than the opponent, but we will not hit it. Over time, you can learn to do it properly, but at the beginning, we are thrown into the too deep water. We are still upset, constantly repeating the same lost duel, because we can not yet properly manage both strips at once. After all, it is not much better, because there are duels with two opponents, between which you have to switch, pressing the space. Something so annoying I have not seen in any computer game lately.
The new Call of Juarez is a good game that did not make any mistakes, but after the fatal, The Cartel pushed the series back to the good track. Great comic graphics, interesting and well-told story and exciting shootings are definitely Gunslinger's strengths. The most serious disadvantages are poor duel system and badly resolved way of receiving injuries. Fortunately, the good guys outweigh the bad guys, and Silas Greaves's pursuit of the thrill of pulling the rest of the way leaves even the computer. Techland has returned this title on a long journey and has proven that he can continue to do good in the wild west convention.