Call of Juarez: The Cartel carries the next level of bringing a storyline that brings the Old West to a modern day setting that hopes to fulfill the satiating bounds of both traditional and veteran players of Western titles alike. In the hopes to create something unique, Call of Juarez: The Cartel brings a single-player element with cooperative multiplayer and competitive action for a relatively standard package that ends up delivering just short of what it takes to make it in the New Wild West.
Call of Juarez: The Cartel begins the story in concurrent America, where a Mexican drug cartel ends up bombing a US law enforcement agency, causing a panic in the domestic bounds of security and causing uproar for a task of revenge. In an effort to keep the storyline fresh and entertaining, the title provides three aspects to the story that converge: Ben McCall as the LAPD cop and descendant of Ray McCall, Eddie Guerra DEA tough-guy agent, and gang-affiliated Kim Evans turned FBI. These 3 stories intertwine at each part of their journey and do create something memorable in the product of Call of Juarez: The Cartel as a whole piece. Throughout the storyline, there are pieces of a puzzle through other storylines, and when you find out one character is responsible for one part of someone else’s troubles, it makes a lot of sense from a design perspective.
Call of Juarez: The Cartel gameplay mechanics are straightforward and nothing less than uninventive. Simple point and cover shoot mechanics are simplistic. The gameplay design is linear and point A to point B, yet again bringing an unoriginal turn to the Call of Juarez series which featured previous mechanics such as Red Dead Redemption’s dead-eye features in first-person but this time rather in third person. In terms of weaponry, players have a decent option set of revolvers and pistols to accommodate mission structures which include shooting in chases, interrogations, and raids. While it seems to have the illusion of varied options, the actual gameplay mechanic feels uneven and choppy in comparison to the overall package of linear missions and maps.
Call of Juarez: The Cartel’s multiplayer modes utilize a coopetition mode, a mode which is for up to 3 players and plays to each character’s greed/need of lust and money in the title. This does relatively get sluggish as players will get accustomed to the unchanging greed of the type of people playing the different types of characters as it gets more and more specific. The competitive multiplayer modes such as Team Death Match and the unlocking skill tree with relatively weak gear for the amount of time spent make Call of Juarez: The Cartel’s multiplayer a dull experience that is better to be missed out.
Call of Juarez: The Cartel tells a great storyline that merges to create a level of Wild West in chronology, but the weak mission structure, poor multiplayer, and simplistic gameplay mechanics prevent this shooter from being the Sheriff in the town and just being a nobody in a town too small for itself.