Call of Juarez: The Cartel is set in present day and brings the best elements of the Wild West to a new and modern setting. As a first person shooter with an immersive and mature story, players can expect to embark on a journey like none other – one that will take them from the heart of modern day Los Angeles, California to Juarez, Mexico.

Such was the promise of the latest installment of the western styled first person shooter series developed by Polish outfit Techland.

The game starts off 4 days in the future with you leaning out of a car window firing on full auto at some vans chasing you down on a busy freeway, and watching them explode in Hollywood style fireballs when you’ve filled them with the right amount of lead.

Then you jump back to the present and you’re part of a taskforce being put together after the bombing of some government building.  Then you get to choose which character you want to be, and it’s off the kill the bad guys.

And that pretty much sums up the game: kill the bad guys.

What I had imagined to be an immersive semi open world drug cartel busting FPS, turned out to be a very linear and unimaginative wander through a variety of locations. The Cartel is in fact a game that makes Homefront look like game of the year material.

It’s not that The Cartel is a bad FPS, the mechanics of the game are fine, it’s just that it doesn’t feel finished.  At times the environments are lush and beautiful, but then you notice something that looks like it was made out of coloured paper, or you’ll start to see some serious pop up going on.  But it gets worse, the framerate will often freeze or stutter during gameplay rendering any immersive experience null and void.

And then there’s the missions.  It just feels like you are doing the same thing over and over again.  It gets boring real quick, and you have absolutely no connecting with the game, leading you to give up and play something else instead.

It’s  a shame really, as I had been hoping for something a little different, but something that was solid and enjoyable.  I was hoping for a game that could challenge the dominance of the COD franchise, but I guess I was hoping for too much.

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