Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

By dcpc10, Posted 05 Jul 2009

Short Explaination of the Game


Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is the second title in the COJ series. it takes place in the old wild west and follows the story of 3 brothers (2 playable), all of which have different beliefs and opinions about things. Early in the game, the player will be playing as one of the two playable brothers during the Civil War. These two brothers had joined the Southern side simply because they wanted to defend their homeland along with their mother who was still at home at the time. You will be able to choose which brother to control at the beginning of every mission, and each of  the 2 controllable brothers fight in different ways. Ray, fights much more head-on, while Thomas is better at picking off enemies from afar or using unique tactics. As the game progresses, the Civil War eventually ends and the two brothers quickly become outlaws, and make a huge amount of enemies along the way. 


Since COJ:BIB takes place in a time period not used very much, it has a high amount of guns that most players have never used or seen before, which opens up alot of potential. You can also dual-wield certain weapons (like pistols or knives), and use a lock-on system that allows you to attack two enemies simualtaneously. As you make your way through the game, you will eventually be able to buy new weapons and ammo, before or during a mission. You will find yourself using most of the same weapons again and again in COJ: BIB, but the game will force you to choose the weapons you haven’t tried much in difficult missions (near the end of the game), due to many possible situations. Players will find themselves fighting all kinds of enemies, with all kinds of weapons, with all kinds of allies inCOJ:BIB.




COJ:BIB doesn’t seem like it would have a very good story. Even the first impression of the game makes you think the story in COJ:BIB is pushed to the side. This is not the case throughout the later parts of the game however.  The story (told using in-game cutscenes and a slideshow of comic-like pictures) is surprisingly good. Once the story starts to take off in about 1/4 into the game, you will find it intriguing to continue playing the game just to see how these brothers end up. Its very entertaining to see these brothers face eachother in certain situations. The game doesn’t have an amazing story, but it compliments the game very well. The voice-acting is also pretty good in COJ:BIB, although some characters are obviously much better than others. After finishing the game today, I felt satisfied with this game’s story, it isn’t perfect, but it’s alot better than I thought it would be.



A Civil War setting for an FPS sounds like a horrible idea, since the weapons back then weren’t very reliable and took forever to reload. COJ:BIB somehow manages to make the gunplay very fun and intense, although stays completely clear of realism in this aspect. Weapons actually don’t take too long to reload in COJ:BIB, well, not as long as you’d expect anyways. Pistols, bows and arrows, rifles, and even mounted weapons such as cannons are present in COJ:BIB. They all take time getting use to, and each weapons  requires the player to think differently, but that’s one of the elements of this wild-west FPS that make it stand out. Pistols are horrible to use in far range, but in close-combat, they can deadly since they’ve got auto-aim and reload quickly. Rifles on the other hand are great for ranged combat, and they easily cause one-hit-kills, but they are painfully slow to reload and they don’t have a quick enough firing rate such as the other weapons, so they stink in close-combat. Each and every weapon in the game has pros and cons like these, which adds variety to the gun play in COJ:BIB. On top of this, like i mentioned earlier, two playable characters are selectable at the beginning of every mission, and both of these characters are better a different strategies. Ray and Thomas are the two brothers that are playable in COJ:BIB (the third isn’t playable) and these two are fun to try out and play around with, but most players will likely stick with only one of them for most of the game.


For most of your playtime in COJ:BIB, you’ll be fighting alongside atleast one other person. This person will always be either Ray or Thomas (depending on who your playing as ofcourse). The AI for your ally isn’t very good at maneauvering, and will block your view more than just a few times within the game, but they are still very useful since they make quick use of most enemies. Speaking of enemies, they have absolutely brainless AI it seems. They most likely stand and shoot at you,and they never usually take cover unless they’re scripted to. Its kind’ve sad, but that doesn’t mean the game is completely easy. Actually, you might be dying quite a bit in COJ:BIB mainly because the enemies in the game almost never miss their shots. If your wondering what kind of enemies COJ:BIB contains, there are quite a few, so don’t worry about the lack of variety in that respect.


During missions, the player will be able to find money scattered all over the mission maps. This money can be put to good use once you get to a weapon store. Weapon stores are found in the later parts of the game, mostly in deserted areas or safe zones. You will only travel to two safe zones in COJ:BIB, but these places are quite useful as they allow the player to take a break and venture around a town or deserted area.  At these stores, you can buy new weapons, or better versions of your current weapons, since ammo is easily found during the main missions. It’s a neat idea that fits the game well to have these Weapon stores, but since users will definitely prefer some weapons more than others, they won’t be returning very much to these shops once they have the fully upgraded version of their favourite weapon. Multiple times in the game, you will be faced to battle a duel. Duels in COJ:BIB are exactly how you would expect them to be in the wild-west days, the first person to take out the gun and pull the trigger (when t he bell rings) wins. These duels are probably the best examples of some of the most intense moments in COJ:BIB, since the player has to be quick and precise to win. You could easily consider them like the boss battles of COJ:BIB.


Overall, COJ: BIB has very enjoyable gameplay even in the unique time period, but it still doesn’t stray far from the standard FPS formula possibly due to it’s lack of realism. It’s still a very fun game to play, but since the gameplay has so much unused potential, it’s still a little disappointing. The lack of co-op and the short game length also hurts the gameplay in COJ:BIB. Its a shame that the developers were originally going to implement co-op in this game, but decided not to, since co-op would be a perfect match for COJ:BIB. Multiplayer is also in COJ: BIB, but its too early to tell whether or not if it’s gonna beworth getting into.



Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood’s visuals are stunning. The variety of environments you will see in the game are all completely unique from one another and they all have a fitting atmosphere. Many technologies are also put into play, depth of field and motion blur are all effects that add immersion to the expierence, and truly make the game seem beautiful. These two effects are the things that helped make COJ:BIB seem so nice to look at, but the game still doesn’t look artificial at all. You will notice that these effects are put to so much use in the game though, that AA turned off won’t make the game seem much different. The jaggies are almost impossible to see at times with this graphical option off, so that helps slower machines run the game better. The performance of COJ:BIB is  perfect to say the least, and the game is easy to run even on 3-4 year old video cards, as long as you don’t mind the uglier graphics.


In-game cutscenes are handled very well in COJ:BIB, since character models look brilliant and facial animation is superb. On top of the great visual presentation, COJ:BIB sounds just as great, and the sound of weaponry, voices, animals, etc. are all crystal clear and truly represent quality. The production values in COJ:BIB (especially in the overall presentation) are extremely well done. The only tiny problem is the lack of DX10 support (which is really weird considering it was in the original COJ).

Final Words


Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is a huge improvement over the original Call of Juarez, and fans of the original will without-a-doubt like this one too. Newcomers to the series will appreciate the action-oriented gameplay over the original’s mix of stealth and action. This sounds like the game would have less variety, but because the original got hated for it’s annoying stealth elements that didn’t fit in, COJ:BIB is better than the original in almost every single way. Action gameplay fits much more than stealth gameplay in the wild west anyways. Overall, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood may be a short game, but it’s still worth checking out once it gets cheaper or if you plan on renting one of the console versions.


3/5 Stars (For more info on reviews check out our review guide here.)

-Anthony (Dcpc10)

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