Some games are way too over-hyped, and never live up to the expectations placed on them. After months and months of promotional marketing and self-perpetuated excitement, by the time the game comes out, it falls short of ever being what it was thought it would be.
This is something that happens in the industry far too often, unfortunately. It's hard to ever fully put the blame on someone for these issues, as many times the letdown is unavoidable. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger is the complete opposite of this problem.
Gunslinger flew under the radar almost undetected, silent and without any hype pretty much up until it was released. But the day it was released, it was clear to everyone who took a chance on it that this game was awesome. There was no hype to live up to, no expectations to meet. And oddly enough, even if there were, I have a feeling it would have by all accounts.
The game looks extraordinary, as the cell-shading combined with the realistic style looks amazing. It reminded me how much I enjoyed the visual style of XIII on the original Xbox. The environments are as engaging as you would hope they would be, even yielding points for object being shot (like pumpkins, cans and other things laying around).
The game play is pretty straight forward. It's a straight forward FPS, with XP to be earned and skill trees to be tackled. In this aspect, the game plays eerily similar to the Borderlands games, which by all accords, isn't a bad thing in the least. Going after headshots, long shots, running shots and combos when shooting people is extremely fun, and the thrill of racking up points left and right is enough to keep you engaged when the seemingly endless parade of enemies is feeling repetitive.
Above and beyond all else as far as the endearing qualities of the game is the narration of the game. The old cowboy telling the stories that you are reenacting does a phenomenal job, and I immediately thought about the game Bastion. Just like in that game, the game plays out as the narrator is talking, but also the narrator will comment on your game play. This a very easy way to keep the story engaging and entertaining without loosing the focus of the gamer.
Overall, this is an amazing game, especially for a $15 title. But I guess when there is no hype or pressure to live up to, it becomes easier to live up to those standards.
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