Pole dancing, cop-drama, lots of swearing and quite a few car chases. That certainly doesn’t sound anything like a Call of Juarez game, but that’s exactly what was intended by Techland. The Cartel, upcoming third installment in the Call of Juarez series, may be in a similar setting, but the era is completely different.
This time we’re heading to Los Angeles and Mexico as up to three players take the role of law enforcement agents. While the idea of dudes wearing cowboy hats and shin-high leather boots in the modern times may be a little strange, Techland says it’s bringing the ‘best elements of the Wild West’ to the modern days.
But the heart of the genre doesn’t lie in which time it is set; it lies in the location of the game. Lawlessness, boundary-crossing liberty, drug crime, gang violence, and guys who think they are ‘real men’ is definitely a hunting ground for cops, and that is where Ben McCole, the protagonist, makes the entrance.
Ben McCole, a seasoned LAPD detective and descendant of Ray McCole from the previous CoJ games, is ready to bust bad-boys the way his roughly great-great-great granddaddy did. Developers say they really want Ben McCole to be a spiritual successor to Ray McCole. If by spirit they mean the gun-slinging capabilities of Ray McCole, then Ben is spiritual indeed.
The Cartel will also feature two other detectives accompanying Ben. One will be a certain male character called Eddie Guerra, a crooked Drug Enforcement Agency operative who is addicted to gambling, while the other will be Kim Evans, a female detective who has a certain insurrection with the FBI, thanks to a troubled past that ties her with certain not-so-friendly gangs.
Co-op mode with up to three players can be played with these characters. Multiplayer has also been hinted, though no details are known regarding this feature.
According to the writers, the main difference is the story’s perspective, how each of the character individually carries with them a totally different experience. That means no switching between characters in the missions, as you will have to live the story of each character separately.
The game’s gameplay is cited as being dark and mature, with reference to TV shows such as 24, Sons of Anarchy with a bit of Bad Boys tossed into it. We’ll have Bound in Blood’s time-slowing concentration mode which, in collaboration with your Co-op players if any, can be fairly useful for breach-and-clear strategies. Melee attacks will also play a role in the game, as shooting combatants isn’t always the modern cop’s way.
But when the usage of guns calls, then instead of relying on old, slow firearms you get to use some of the modern killing tools such as sniper rifles and the daily-used (in games at least) assault rifles. Similarly, instead of rough carriages, you’ll be riding in fast cars; and with fast cars come car chases, something you’ll be doing more than once in the game, while constantly dodging heavy machine gun bursts from the other unfriendly end. That also means we’ll be spending our time both on the desert roads and streets of typical, small towns.
Bringing the vintage-styled Wild West to the current days can be a bold move, and we’ll have to wait to see if it’s a wise one. So far, things seem to be going along steadily for Techland. Call of Juarez: The Cartel is due out by the end of this summer for Microsoft Windows, Xbox360 and Playstation 3.