Western theme has always been very popular. Long before PCs appeared kids were playing “cowboys and Indians” and grown-ups enjoyed Western movies. But no matter how strange it may seem, computer games in this genre are pretty rare. Game developers seem to be much fonder of the World War II theme, for instance. As for the names that are more or less known these days, I could probably only come up with the interactive shooting range called Mad Dog McCree off the top of my head. Moreover, the list of games like that is pretty short, and sometimes they even erroneously consider some jRPG games like Wild Arms to be ones of those Western themed titles. Overall, we can’t say that this market segment is oversaturated. Quite on the contrary.
Therefore back in 2006 Call of Juarez made a truly great entrance into the gaming world. While the great number of Western movies by Italian producers gave birth to a term “spaghetti-Western”, one of the best computer games of the same theme comes from the Polish Techland studio. The developers not just maintained all the matrices of genre, but also implemented really advanced graphics in their new game. This technological perfection came at a price: Call of Juarez set very serious requirements for the graphics accelerators, which got even worse in 2007 when they released a game version with DirectX 10 support. Our regular readers should know very well by now that this game could bring down the best graphics cards of those days like GeForce 8800 GTX and Radeon HD 2900 XT.
The Call of Juarez story was not very sophisticated, because it was built according to the basic matrices of genre. However, the adventures of Billy Candle and Reverend Ray McCall were presented so skillfully that the game quickly became a best seller. Unfortunately, it was not free from certain drawbacks, the main one, as I have already said, being extremely high graphics subsystem requirements, as well as obviously linear storyline masked just a little bit by the great prairies. We are not going to retell the story in detail today: if you are not familiar with it, the game is totally worth playing even despite the release year. I have to say that after finishing Call of Juarez, I had the feeling that there were some obvious omissions in the main characters’ stories, which gave me the impression that the developers had saved quite a bit “for later”.
And this “later” has finally come. On June 30, 2009 they launched Call of Juarez sequel that rapidly became one of the 10 best selling games in the USA and Canada. It was, in fact, not surprising at all, considering how popular the original game was. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is a tale of two McCall brothers, Thomas and Ray. One of them has already been introduced to you in the first part of the game first as an enemy and then as an ally. It is in fact about Reverend Ray McCall, so, Bound in Blood, is actually a prequel to the first Call of Juarez rather than sequel.