Explore the wild, wild West in 'Call of Juarez'

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The lawlessness of the wild West might seem like fertile ground for video games, yet surprisingly few titles take place there.

"Call of Juarez," new from Ubisoft for the Xbox 360 and Windows-based PCs, proves that an old-fashioned six-shooter can be just as fun and exciting as a laser blaster or some magical sword.

The M-rated, $59.99 game uses the legend of the lost gold of Juarez as an effective action premise. It's 1882 and rumor has it that anyone who pursues this hidden stash will go crazy.

You can play as two opposing characters in the ensuing story mode.

You'll begin the game as Billy Candle, a whip-toting young man who's good at slinking behind wooden crates and barrels. The far more enjoyable Reverend Ray puts the shooter in this first person shooter.

"Call of Juarez" satisfies with its selection of old-time weapons, including revolvers and shotguns.

Beyond the single-player story, there are six online multiplayer modes that should keep things interesting for a long time.

Three stars out of four.

This game seems to be off the radar of most people, however, so finding a group of random players on Xbox Live was sometimes a challenge.

But ignoring this game would be a mistake. I found "Call of Juarez" to be a refreshing break for the usual sci-fi and fantasy video game settings and one of the better summer titles so far.

Three stars out of four.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: