A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this Western-themed shooter is meant to be played only by mature players. It is laden with very strong profanity and crude sexual references, and the gunslinging violence, while perhaps not as graphic as that of some other shooters (there is blood, but no gore), is nearly non-stop. What’s more, the two playable characters are shady at best. Their solution to most every problem is to kill the person who happens to be at the root of it, and they have no qualms shooting law enforcement officers when they feel threatened by them. Online play with open voice chat is a further concern.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
A Western-themed first-person shooter in the vein of HBO’s Deadwood television series, CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD is violent, profane, and features a heaping helping of crude sexual references, clearly making it a game for players 18 years of age and older. The story follows a trio of brothers -- two of whom are playable -- from the trenches of the Civil War all the way to Mexican back country as they search for a fabled stash of gold. The siblings under the player’s control are extremely hard men who live by their own moral code, which doesn’t seem to prohibit, say, the slaughtering of any lawmen unfortunate enough to get in their way. The older one is a strong, brutish, ambidextrous pistol shooter, while the younger is handy with ropes and rifles. Robust online functionality lets folks who cue to the game’s gritty Western vibe keep playing after they finish the 10-hour campaign.
Is it any good?
Though it’s definitely not for kids, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is excellent entertainment for adults who enjoy a good Western. Though our protagonists are the sort of men who’d just as soon shoot you as look at you, they’re also strangely engaging. The expertly penned dialogue and terrific voice acting gives them real character, and, given the tribulations they suffer in the war at the game’s outset, it’s not hard to understand why they’ve become the men they are. An added bonus is the game’s art direction, which is wonderfully authentic despite not having the sort of visual polish given blockbuster titles. From the creaking, wooden towns through to the characters’ dusty coats and well-worn hats, everything in the game feels 150 years old despite being rendered with cutting edge modern technology. Simply put, it’s good fun for cowboy-loving grown-ups.
Online interaction: There are several competitive online multiplayer modes that support voice chat. Depending on the players, these modes can either create a sense of cooperation and teamwork among players or result in bullying and name-calling.Players may hear profanity depending on who they are playing with.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the continuing niche appeal of Western-themed stories. What is it about the Wild West that captures the imaginations of both storytellers and audiences? Do you think that our fascination with this era will slowly peter out? Do video games, which have an inherently modern look and feel, typically do a good job of capturing the Western vibe?
Would this game have been as much fun without the violence?
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