Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood Game Poster Image
A violent and profane Western game with sexual allusions.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The story is about a trio of brothers, two of whom are extremely hard, self-interested men who live by an unusual moral code that places value on loyalty and family (to a degree) but few other things. The third brother, who fears for his siblings souls and is prone to quoting biblical passages, tries to keep the other two in check, but without much success. There is lots of killing, and not all of it warranted, including law enforcement officials. Players cannot, however, shoot non-combatants.

Positive Role Models & Representations

It’s safe to say most parents probably wouldn’t want their babies to grow up to be either of the game’s two playable cowboys. These are selfish men with few redeeming qualities, save their loyalty to one another, which teeters on the brink of failing throughout the game.

Ease of Play

Standard first-person shooter controls. Multiple difficulties facilitate players of varying skill.

Violence

Violence is constant and intense. All missions involve loud, lengthy battles featuring rifles, pistols, dynamite, cannons, Gatling guns, and knives. A small amount of blood sprays from characters when they are hit, and the screen turns crimson red when player characters take damage.

Sex

There is no nudity, nor are there scenes in which sex takes place, but much of the game’s plot revolves around sex and sexual attraction. A shootout early on in the game is spurred after the local sheriff finds out one of the game’s protagonists impregnated his daughter. The two main characters talk about sex, using words and phrases such as "whore," “screwing,” and “diddling her daughter.”

Language

Frequent profanity in both narrative sequences and during play. The cuss words heard run the bad language gamut, from "hell," "ass," and "damn" to "p-ss," "sh-t," and "f-ck."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Several scenes take place in saloons with liquor bottles scattered around tables. One of the lead character admits to being well on his way to becoming drunk.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bygears of war July 7, 2009
can you turn content (language sexual ext.) off for xbox 360 if not how bad is the content
Adult Written bymooseman September 12, 2009

fine for 15 and up.

I know the positive messages part looks a little odd, but it will make sense if you play the game to the end, where character A becomes a priest after character... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 February 27, 2012

Great game with mature themes,lots of violence and language.

I got this game for my Xbox a few months before and I've completed all the missions so far.This is a great game with plenty of opportunity and action,as we... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old December 5, 2009

the game and the multi-player

call of juarez is a western gunslinger game that has a lot of shooting and a little bit of language, and some sexual dialogue. the game is about three brothers,... Continue reading

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?

Game details

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