Title: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
Genre: First Person Shooter
Official Site: Call of Juarez.com
Release Date: May 13, 2014 (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) December 10, 2019 (Switch)
Version Tested: Switch
The Nintendo Switch, as a video game console, is only getting better with age. Oddly enough, one of the things that makes it so much better all the time are games popping up on the platform that has aged a bit. The Switch has become the console for the older games we all love that need a new home. This is where Call of Juarez: Gunslinger comes in.
The game is one of the older titles to pop up on the Switch. When Call of Juarez first popped up, it was on the Xbox 360 and the PS3.
It’s largely stayed alive on the PC, and it appears this is one of the reasons Techland decided to bring it over to the Switch. Yes, the people behind Dying Light have also decided to port this game to a company that had ignored it on the Wii and Wii U.
The decision to bring it to the Switch was a good one. While Nintendo has done a fantastic job of bringing content to the platform, one thing it doesn’t have enough of is really good, enjoyable shooters.
Getting one that’s a darn fun shooter and fun, and yes, even educational western is a bonus. Call of Juarez fills a hole in Nintendo’s lineup.
Wild Wild West
While most western video game news has been flying around Red Dead Redemption 2, Call of Juarez holds its own, especially on the Nintendo Switch. Yes, the graphics fall well short of what you see on the Xbox One and the PS4, but they aren’t bad by any stretch.
These graphics have clearly been rezzed up to at least somewhat fit into the current generation. Other than PC, there isn’t another current generation console you can play the game on.
When that’s the case, it needs to step up its game. Luckily, Call of Juarez does just that.
The story isn’t exceedingly deep. This isn’t a 30 or 40-hour campaign. It doesn’t need to be.
It’s able to give players a taste of the old west without making them spend too much time in it. At the same time, there’s enough of a story that it doesn’t feel as though its an afterthought.
Most of the main campaign has to do with you taking on the role of Silas as he weaves a tale where he ran across one outlaw or famous lawman after another.
There aren’t a ton of cutscenes, and there isn’t much in the way of dialogue. Most of it is in the middle of the action when bullets are whizzing by your head.
The game still manages to introduce you to some of the most well-known gunslingers the Old West ever saw. Some of them will be guys you fight side-by-side with. Others will be ones you have to find a way around.
That’s also the difference between Call of Juarez and Red Dead Redemption 2. While the former features cameos from “real” outlaws, RDR2 is all about the fictional characters created for the game.
Outside 0f the campaign, Call of Juarez offers some decent replayability with its arcade and duel modes. The arcade mode is exactly what you think it is. If you want even less story to deal with, you can play this mode and gun down as many people as possible.
The Duel mode is exactly what it sounds like. Stripping away the story, this mode allows you to go up against various gunslingers to see who has the fastest draw. This is the mode where one feature of the Switch stands out, though not always in a positive way.
The motion controls work, so you can take the joycons out and use them to put your gun hand close to your weapon while using the other to center in on your target. The problem is that the motion controls don’t work as well as they should.
Instead of being able to raise the joycon when you want to “draw,” you still need to hit the draw button. It’s still plenty hard to stay centered on the target, and in the long run, the motion controls make winning a duel quite a bit more complicated than if you just use the joycons as part of a regular controller.
The Verdict: Call of Juarez: Gunslinger has always been a good, but not outstanding Old West title. By coming to the Switch in 2019, it takes advantage of a video game landscape that doesn’t have as many of these kinds of games as it used to. It’s also one that stands out because it’s not on any of the other current-generation consoles. The good news is that it’s also enjoyable to play. There are some ways in which it shows its age. The graphics are decidedly last generation, but there isn’t a need for photorealism here. Blasting away at people and watching the blood fly is still plenty of fun. The small screen when you move to the handheld mode is big enough that it looks plenty good and plenty of fun. Call of Juarez is far from perfect, but it might be the best shooter on the platform.
- Gunfights are a blast
- Meeting historical outlaws is fun
- Plenty of game modes mean lots of replayability
- Graphics are a little dated
- The motion controls are clunky