Game: Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (PC)

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

It’s no secret that I love westerns. When the first Call of Juarez came out on the 360 I was so very excited, and then after playing it I was oh so very disappointed. The story was clunky, the controls were clunkier, and the graphics left much to be desired.

Well after two years and a newly revamped PC, I find myself really enjoying the prequel Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood. While the controls are still a bit clunky at times, this game improves on just about everything that frustrated the hell out of me in the first game.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

This time we start off during the American Civil War, something I, being a big fan of first-person shooters, have secretly wanted to do since I started playing Call of Duty a few years ago. The first chapter follows a younger Ray (Reverend Ray from the first game) as he makes his way through a battle to find his brother, Thomas,  and ultimately desert the Confederate army so they can return home and protect their family. I immediately noticed 1) how much the graphics have improved, and 2) how much more detail they have put in to the appearance and mechanics of the guns. Awesome.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

Cut to a few years later, Ray and Thomas are outlaws and along with their younger brother, Billy, they flee to Mexico in search of the Lost Treasure of Cortez. They eventually hook up with Juarez, the most notorious criminal in Mexico, and decide to help one another find the treasure with the Pinkertons and their old Colonel hot on their trail — and that’s about where I am in the game.

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

Now it’s by no means perfect, but so many aspects have been improved upon that it makes the overall experience so much more enjoyable than the first. I can actually see what the heck I’m shooting at now, so that’s pretty nice. Again, the guns look and behave more realistically and there’s a better selection — in fact, there’s even stores where you can upgrade your weapons now. Swanky.

I also like that you can choose to play either Thomas or Ray instead of being forced to play different people. Ray sucks. I didn’t like playing him in the first game and I’m not a fan here either. Thomas is more agile and better with ranged weapons, which is more my thing. The showdowns no longer make me want to smash things and I thank them for that.

Better graphics. Better gameplay. Better story. Yeehaw.

My husband on Westerns

I’m noticing a trend in these westerns, they’re about half awesome, with lots of shooting and killing, then half dull as hell, with lots of talking and romance. Then they wrap up the last 10 minutes when they shoot the dude they’ve been talking about for the last half of the movie.

Hah! Well he isn’t wrong…

Western #7: Tribute to a Bad Man (1956)

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As great as James Cagney is, there’s something very odd about seeing him in a Western. There’s nothing wrong with his performance here as the hard-edged horse rancher who’s quick to lynch the people that cross him, he’s really quite good, he’s just…distracting. It makes the heartfelt story difficult to take seriously in spots, but overall it’s a compelling western that’s good but not great.

Grade: C+

December is Westerns month!

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I can’t really explain why, but during the month of December I am compelled to watch as many westerns as I can. Watching westerns this time of year, especially on Christmas day, just feels right.

So there you have it, this month I’ll be visiting the old west and watching some of my favorites along with a whole bunch of films I’ve been meaning to watch. And maybe, just maybe, I can finally convince my husband to sit through the 3 hours of awesomeness that is Once Upon a Time in the West.