Last night was of course the Harry Potter premiere in Trafalgar Square, London but also inside a Mexican bar off Covent Garden, Ubisoft were holding a little event to show off the multiplayer and co-op modes of Call of Juarez: The Cartel. This sequel is set in the present day instead of the Wild West so it’s less about riding horses and drinking your milk or whatever and more about busting caps in bad guys’ asses as one of three law enforcers trying to take down a drug cartel.
I got to try out a couple of sections of the game actually towards the end in three player co-op and found it a lot of fun to play. At first it looks like the standard FPS affair but it does benefit from a couple of things that are quite cool. One of them is covert missions that you must try to complete without your team-mates knowing. You get a message on your cell, then have to complete your task within a set time or level limit. The other thing which we have seen before is a slow-mo mode called concentration mode where you can slow down the action for a limited time and try to get head shots or clear a room before they all start taking pot shots back at you.
As well as stacking up behind doors, busting through and shooting all around (civilians you can clear out by shooting your guns into the air to make them flee or cower) you’ll be driving too. What’s good about these missions is they’re not strictly on rails. One of you drives and the other two hang out of the windows. It’s good fun and really feels like a chase scene from an action movie.
I was playing the game near the end but still, this is one tough mutha of a game. There’s no auto-aim as you zoom in down your sights which makes things more tricky but that’s not a bad thing and actually makes the stakes higher. It certainly means you won’t just go running into the open because if you do, you’ll get downed and have to wait for a mate to pick you up.
It’s not the best looking game I’ve ever played but the action seems to more than makes up for it. Call of Juarez: The Cartel is out on the 22nd July for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
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