Set to launch via digital distribution services later this month, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is looking set to offer a unique and inventive Story Mode as the player goes on the trail of Billy the Kid. Elsewhere however, Techland are packing another gameplay mode to make the best out of those thudding firearms and fast-paced action.
Immediately reminiscent of the now defunct Bizarre Creations’ The Club, players first pick their limited loadout and a level before engaging in shoot-out action on preset layouts. Enemies will always appear in the same spots, with the same weapons and will generally conduct themselves in the same manner. Players will earn points for each kill, and are tasked with linking together kills for greater bonuses. It’s a simple system that allows the player to become inventive with the shooting mechanics; once having become accustomed to the heavy feel of the firearms and likewise damage, you can start predicting your reload requirements and finding locations wherein movement is not hampered, but rather covered while you prepare for another round.
The scoring system encourages players to work on their accuracy, with quick successive headshots allowing for more significant point gains. However, the gameplay mode has clearly been designed to encourage less skilled players to persevere, with bonus points for kills near death and also a slight health recharge offered.
In the build made available for Electronic Theatre’s preview some visual issues still remain, with floating objects and glitched enemy animation the most prevalent, however the Arcade Mode remained enjoyable. These issues frequently affected a player’s scoring potential, with a stuttering death animation blocking enemies lying beyond, but the fact that this annoyance didn’t hamper the overall experience to much says more about the underlying gameplay than the need for polish. And given that this build was still weeks from the final release, Electronic Theatre is confident that these issues will be rectified and brought up to the same high standard as the rest if Call of Juarez: Gunslinger in time for launch.