Call of Juarez: The Cartel

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Call of Juarez: The Cartel
CoJ Cartel.jpg
The game that nearly killed the Call of Juarez series.
Genre: First-person Shooter
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release Date: July 19, 2011
Developer: Techland
Publisher: Ubisoft
Franchise: Call of Juarez
Previous Game: Call of Juarez: GunslingerAGW

Call of Juarez: The Cartel is a 2011 first-person shooter game developed by Techland and published by Ubisoft. It is the third installment in the series and the only one not to take place in a Wild West setting. It was released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Plot

A DEA office is bombed by a Mexican cartel, killing many agents, including officer Patrick Stone. The DEA then contacts FBI agent Kimberly Evans, DEA officer Eddie Guerra, and detective Ben McCall to investigate the cartel and protect Stone's daughter, Jessica.

Why It Sucks

  1. Takes place in a modern setting, eliminating the series' signature feature.
  2. Has nothing to do with the previous games, aside from Ben McCall being the descendant of Billy (one of the first game's protagonists) and the titular gold making a brief appearance.
  3. Lame plot. Filled with cliches and stereotypes.
  4. Terrible main characters, especially Eddie Guerra: he is extremely prejudiced and cocky.
  5. Cliched dialogue.
  6. Repetitive environments.
  7. Terrible sound effects.
  8. Dreadful AI.
  9. Many bugs and glitches.
  10. Unrealistic physics.
  11. Graphics are much worse comparing to previous games, being really blurry. You can't turn off motion blur, which may be distracting for some people, unless you use the Nvidia control panel.
  12. All of the endings are disappointing.
  13. Its awful reputation harmed sales of its vastly superior follow-up Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, with quite a few people thinking that was the bad game they'd heard about.
  14. Multiplayer servers on all platforms got shut down, leaving players only with single-player, which of course ain't a good thing, especially considering the game's quality.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The soundtrack is decent.
  2. While the graphics are much worse, the weapon and vehicle models look nice.

Reception

Call of Juarez: The Cartel received generally mixed to negative reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PC version 50.33% and 51/100, the Xbox 360 version 47.52% and 47/100 and the PlayStation 3 version 45.94% and 45/100.

The game has also been accused of racism and insensitivity towards real-life events, addressing issues such as human trafficking and the current drug wars in Mexico with flippant inaccuracy, particularly having swapped the victims of such trafficking from being Mexican women shipped to the US to US citizens being abducted to Mexico (though to be fair, such and other cases of human trafficking do happen). James Portnow of Extra Credits has criticized a level in which you are awarded an achievement for killing 40 or more enemies, on the only level where there are African-Americans, and no race other than African-Americans, adding "This might be the most racist game I've ever played by a major publisher". Though of course this complaint can be considered ridiculous nitpicking.

The fans of the series, for the most part, had been negative about the game. One of the biggest complaints was the change of the theme from Wild West to the Drug War in Mexico and how poorly it was executed.

Edge scored the game 4/10 and criticized many aspects of the game, saying "FPS games, like action movies, can be sublime or ridiculous. This is aiming for the former, and often proves to be the latter."

Responding to the mixed reviews received by the game, CEO of Techland, Pawel Marchewka, said that the game was a "mistake" and he added that while the game is not "bad", but it was not ready when it was launched. In fact Techland wanted to gain the rights to the Call of Juarez series, while they did they never took back this one, making it the only game in the series not to be released on digital stores again.

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