Title: Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger
Genre: Action, First-Person Shooter, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 10/12/19
Price: £17.99 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
The Nintendo Switch finally gets the release of the 2013 Xbox 360 smash COJ: Gunslinger. This was arguably one of the best in the COJ franchise and when the Developer decided to move the game from full release to the then Xbox Arcade it was a welcome move and a return to form.
COJ: Gunslinger is a game about a Bounty Hunter by the name of Silas Greaves who while in a saloon in the Wild Wild West in 1910 tells his stories and adventures to the other patrons in the saloon. Be it Billy the Kidd or Butch Cassidy, the names of legendary outlaws come thick and fast as you tell stories of your adventures, and of course, you the player get to live out these adventures in first-person shooter mode. I mean if you like stories and you like cowboys, you’re onto a winner here.
The game is played from an FPS view as you take our storyteller along his journey finding and catching (well killing) various outlaws and collecting the bounty after the level ends. Now here is the twist, you’re in a saloon telling stories of your great adventures. I might add, these adventures may get muddled up or exaggerated and that all plays out in the game. Sometimes you play a section and hear the voice of our storyteller say something like “no no no, actually it went like this”. The game will stop, rewind, objects will fall from the sky, and we start again, but this time how it actually played out or maybe not, who knows? It may just be the alcohol making your adventures bigger and better than they were.
The game has a varied amount of gameplay mechanics to get a grip of but fortunately, the first level shows you exactly how to master them all. Remember that good old time in-game and film history when slow down bullet dodge was a thing? Well, this game has it. You also want to focus on slowing down time to shoot people, and if you like an RPG, this game has three varied strings of upgrade paths for you to enjoy from close quarters to long-range fighting. They each upgrade uniquely, meaning you can play this game how you like to play FPS games.
If you want to get in close with shotguns and your fists, upgrade the trapper tree to get things like dual-wield shotguns and the amazing Ornate sawed-off gun which gives you a +30% damage boost. On the opposite side of the coin, we have a ranger tree which upgrades as you would guess, giving you long-range rifle shooting skills with additional zoom, longer slow down for headshots and my favourite weapon the golden rifle. We also, of course, have the gunslinger tree which again offers various six-shooter boosts.
Each tree has 12 upgrades and a weapon. After doing 6 in one category, of course, you can split your points and make a well-rounded bounty hunter or go all-in on one. I did the Ranger and Trapper upgrades on my playthrough of the 14 chapters of the campaign which took around 6/7hrs, with relatively forgiving save points and a decent challenge on the default normal level. Furthermore, there are collectables too!
On top of the campaign, we also have arcade and duals mode. The first is a mode which encourages you to run past a level as quickly as possible, linking headshots and kills or explosive barrels to keep the multiplier ticking to aim for the highest score you can get. When you look at the leaderboards, it shows that those people who like to get good, and I mean really good you have got no issues with getting bored here.
The second mode is the duel mode. Now, this is not a multiplayer mode, but, the good old ten pace who can draw and shoot first wins, the thing you see in films and on the TV. You can pick various bosses you have faced in the game (incidentally this is how most of the boss fights are played in the campaign) you then have to keep the target on the boss using your left stick and move your hand to just the right place with the right stick to increase accuracy and speed before pressing the trigger and aiming for that crucial shot before the relatively tough AI do it first and leave you looking at the game over screen.
Overall, the game performs very well on the Switch in both handheld and docked mode. I also felt the game looked great on the new Switch Lite, but then it is six years old so wouldn’t have expected anything less. The Switch needs some good FPS games, and I would stick this in that category. It has tons of replay value in both the campaign and the other modes. The story is charming and funny with some solid mechanics under the skin.
The game has it all, collectables, RPG elements, high scoreboards and quick 2 minute duels when you have some spare moments between the Christmas dinner.
The sounds and the feel of shooting work in this game and I can’t fault it when you compare to the other games the switch has to offer in this genre. Compared to games on the other consoles, it might seem dated or not as stable when pressing the trigger, but you do feel like the headshots reward skill and the sound overall was great.
I owned this game in 2013 and never finished it. This game suits the Nintendo Switch with the pickup and play feel of the 14 chapters which are about 30 minutes each. It was really useful for me being a dad and having to manage my time between the children. I played about 80% in handheld on the Switch and Switch Lite (yes it supports cloud save) and had a blast doing it. Arguably, for me, it is the best FPS I’ve played on the Switch, but we have to remember this is a sub £20 game. The story is short, and the game is a remastering of something out six years ago. If you want a fast-paced and quick FPS on the Switch, pick it up. If you want something more like the other consoles, maybe look at other options.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Call-Of-Juarez-Gunslinger-1685153.html