Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
|Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood|
|Series||Call of Juarez|
|Engine||Chrome Engine 4|
|Release date(s)||NA June 30, 2009
|Distribution||Optical disc, download|
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is a Western-themed first-person shooter video game set in the years of 1864-1866 at the beginning of the American West. Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood was announced on January 14, 2009. Developed by the Polish developer Techland and published by Ubisoft, it is a prequel to Call of Juarez. The game was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on June 30, 2009.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (May 2013)|
The story begins with the brothers Ray and Thomas pointing their guns at each other. William, their younger brother, laments that his brothers have become mortal enemies, saying that they were family. A gunshot is heard.
Two years prior, in 1864, Ray and Thomas are fighting in the American Civil War on the side of the Confederacy. After they defeat the enemy, they are ordered to retreat to Jonesboro. They refuse, deserting their posts to save their home from Union troops. When they arrive, they find their mother dead. Ray promises to rebuild their house, and knowing their superior Colonel Barnsby will not let them off, they flee, taking their young brother, William, with them. Colonel Barnsby arrives few hours later, telling O'Donell, their superior, that he will track them and hang them personally.
In present time, 1866, the McCalls decide to head to Mexico to find the Lost Treasure of Cortez, with the intent of using it to rebuild their home. Later, while in a Mexican saloon over in San Lorenzo, a woman named Marisa catches Ray's attention. After coming to her aid when she is harassed by some of the saloon’s patrons who tried to take her away, the McCalls are invited to dinner at her home, which they accept. There, it is revealed that she is the mistress of Juan "Juarez" Mendoza, the most notorious criminal in Mexico. She flirts with Ray and leads him on when he says he would kill Juarez just to be with her. After the meal, Juarez lets them in on his plan to find the treasure, promising them a share of it if they help him. He first asks the McCalls to take out a man named Devlin, who is also going after the treasure, and who killed and tortured hundreds of residents, claiming their lands.
Elsewhere, an Apache tribe plans to make war on "the white people". Their leader, Running River, orders his son, Seeing Farther, to obtain over 300 rifles for the tribe. They say that they will get the guns from the people that hate the whites, like them. Running River explains that he will give the medallion to them to get the rifles.
Meanwhile, the McCalls return to Juarez after killing Devlin. Juarez orders the brothers to meet up with the Apaches to exchange the rifles for a medallion they possess, which he states is the key to finding the treasure. Before the McCalls set off, Thomas confronts Marisa, and she reveals her love for him, and he kisses her.
At the meeting place, they find that Juarez’s gun runner has been imprisoned after being captured by the Pinkertons. The McCalls arrive in town to break him out of jail and deliver him to Juarez. There, the gun runner reveals himself to be Colonel Barnsby, having worn bandages covering his whole head. He confronts Juarez and tells him if he wants the rifles, he will hand over the McCall brothers, to which we don't hear Juarez respond. In what was supposed to be a meeting with Juarez at an abandoned mine, Barnsby and his men ambush the brothers and tie them up. William manages to free himself, Ray, and Thomas. They escape the mine and manage to catch up with Juarez and Marisa in Comanche Territory, who claims that he is innocent and that he doesn't know anything about Barnsby's plans. The Apaches eventually confront Juarez, revealing that William told Seeing Farther about the rifles being useless. The McCalls and Marisa are taken back to the village, and Seeing Farther agrees to help them find the medallion. They then infiltrate Navajo territory and recover the medallion, destroying the dam.
Upon their return, Seeing Farther formulates a plan to get Marisa and William out of the camp by asking Ray and Thomas to distract the Apache tribe while he teaches William and Marisa how to use the medallion, saying that "they should fight over something precious". When Ray confronts Thomas about this, asking what is precious for both of them he reveals his relationship with Marisa, sparking a fight between the two, effectively distracting the tribe and tearing the brothers apart. The plan backfires, however, when Barnsby's army locates the brothers and destroys the Indian village leaving only the chief and Seeing Farther alive. Seeing Farther, William and Marisa are taken hostage and will only be returned upon trade of the medallion. Ray and Thomas decide to rescue them, and they arrive with Running River at an old ghost town. In there, Ray says that once they're finished, he never wants to see Thomas again. The brothers defeat Barnsby's men but by the time they reach Seeing Farther, he is already mortally wounded. Dying, he states that William and Marisa are still alive, captured by Juarez, and when he dies, he prepares to kill Juarez, and explains Seeing Farther's origins to the brothers.
Meanwhile, in his fort, Juarez interrogates William about using the Medallion. He refuses to speak, which only aggravates Juarez further. Later on, Marisa arrives, distracting Juarez's men, and while William is angry at her for destroying her family, Marisa admits him that she was raped by her stepfather when she was 11, and she let him so she could have something to eat, and that Juarez is not different. She also admits that she loves Thomas, when she realized that being with Ray won't change anything. She gives him a gun and leaves, not knowing that Juarez was watching them. Juarez arrives later, saying that he wants to see if "his God will protect him". He has one of his men attack him with a knife, which forces William to shoot him, shocking him to tears. Juarez leaves and orders his men to kill him. After that, Marisa cries over him, and he tells her that he will put her in slavery for her actions. She admits to him that she is pregnant with his child. He leaves, but she knocks him down and takes the medallion.
Meanwhile, Ray and Thomas are outside the fort. Thomas goes over the wall and waits for Ray's signal, which is blowing up the main gates. After that, he infiltrates the grounds and gathers horses in the barn so they can escape. After gathering the horses, he draws on one of Juarez's lieutenants, killing him. While waiting for Ray and William, Marisa shows up with the medallion. She tells him that Juarez has killed William and that they should leave the camp, considering she has the medallion in her possession and knows how to use it. After some convincing, he accepts to leave without Ray.
While Thomas was jumping over the wall, Ray signaled Thomas by blowing up the doors, knocking down some of Juarez's men, as he arrives and saves William just before he is shot. He guns down several men, but finds himself unable to reach the barn due to there being to many of Juarez's men shooting at him. He goes to the caves, guns down more men and meets with Juarez face-to-face. In a duel, he shoots him, but he is unable to find his body, which fell deep in the water. Afterward, Ray and William escape the caves.
Ray tracks Thomas and Marisa to the treasure vault. The brothers face each other as they did at the start of the story. We hear William's words from the beginning and his eyes. He moves between them and declares he won't allow Ray to shoot Thomas. William reaches into his pocket and Ray shoots William, realizing later he was only reaching for his Bible. William collapses and dies, his Bible landing at Barnsby's feet who remarks that it seems the treasure really is cursed. A trap is triggered, causing the chamber to fill with sand, forcing the McCalls to move to higher ground, fending off Barnsby's men as they proceed. Eventually, the McCalls confront Barnsby and one of the brothers faces him in a showdown, shooting Barnsby, whose body falls and is buried by the sand.
The McCalls, together with Marisa, decide to abandon the treasure, saying that from the beginning it was their fault to be so foolish about the treasure. William's sacrifice compels Ray to retire from being a gunslinger and outlaw and become a priest, and he carries William's Bible with him ever since. Later, Thomas weds Marisa, with Ray as the priest. Marisa spends her time with Thomas on their old family farm, and she carries the medallion as an amulet. Few months later, she gives birth to Juarez's baby and names him Billy.
According to its creators Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood was aimed to make the player's experience as the "best West ever created". The game derives from spaghetti-western genre: gunslingers, outlaws, duels, prison breaks, bank robberies, stagecoach chases and conflicts with Native Americans. It features two characters, brothers Ray and Thomas. The game plot is set in the American Civil War period and presents the adventures of two brothers across different parts of North America.
Before most missions, the player can choose between one of the two brothers, but sometimes only one is available. Though the game's Story Mode is fairly short, each brother has a different effect on the missions: often the player will run into split paths for either brother to take, or certain key points where one brother needs to do particular things while the other does something else. For example, Thomas can lasso on top buildings for a vantage point to cover Ray while he attacks/dynamites certain areas. One brother's story mode will be quite different from the other's. At first the game just moves from mission to mission but once the game opens, between certain missions there will be an open Free World where the player can take side-missions as a bounty hunter or hired gun, respectively for either attack or defence, and other kinds of side-missions. In each mission and each Free World there will be a trader who will sell the player certain weapons available at different qualities.
In each Free World area there is a small town, a trader and out in the wilderness the player can find ruined buildings, farms, camps and bandits that can be occupying these. Bandits will also hide at certain road points to ambush people, attacking people on the roads and robbing caravans. It is up to the player whether or not to save the people getting attacked. Throughout the game there are "Secrets" most commonly found in chests that will unlock artwork or conversations between the brothers, called memories, that can be viewed from the menu. Chests may also contain money, dynamite or ammo.
At the end of most missions the player will have a "Showdown" with the leader of the group the player is fighting. In Bounty Hunter missions the player needs to first defeat the leader in a gunfight before he will challenge the player to a final Showdown. During the Showdown the player character will circle the opponent with his hand hovering over his gun waiting for the "bell" to ring before he draws. The player needs to try to keep his character's hand as close to the gun as possible by moving the analog/mouse in towards the gun, without touching it, as this will reset the distance between his hand and the gun. The player also need to keep the opponent lined up with the shot by moving in the opposite direction as he moves. The center of the shot will be just off the center of the screen on the right hand side. As soon as the bell rings, the player has a very short period of time to move the hand towards the gun to draw it, then take the shot when the cross hair lines up with his opponent. If the first shot is missed, or the gun is drawn too late, the opponent will shoot the player character. As the player progresses in the game Showdowns get harder, opponents will circle more to throw off the player's aim and draw faster.
- Ray McCall: The older of the two playable brothers, prefers a close combat style and tasks which require the use of brute force. Of the two, he is also more deadly with dual guns and dynamite. Ray is more resistant to damage and has significantly greater strength. Ray's 'bullet time' ability allows the player to shoot up to 24 targets with perfect accuracy (Using so called "Volcano" guns, which are Smith and Wesson volcanic repeaters). Ray McCall is voiced by Marc Alaimo.
- Thomas McCall: A sharpshooter with a long-range combat style, using rifles, throwing knives, and a hunting bow. He is also capable of stealth, using 'silent' weapons like the knives and bow. Additionally he can use a lasso to access otherwise unreachable places. Thomas' bullet time only allows the player to shoot 6 enemies at a time, but has a wider range of targets. The player must simulate Thomas' from-the-hip shooting by holding down the fire button and moving the analog stick or mouse forward and back.
- William McCall: The youngest and unplayable brother is a priest who follows his brothers everywhere, believing it is his duty to turn them "towards the light". He will follow the brothers into firefights and must be protected. He is always trying to convince his brothers to stay out of trouble, but ultimately ends up becoming a "sinner," as Juarez said he would, when he is forced to kill in self-defense. William's last act is to stop his two brothers from killing each other. Standing between them he claims he will "draw on three". Ray shoots him, but realizes William was only reaching for his Bible. William's self-sacrifice inspires Ray to become a priest. In Call of Juarez, Reverend Ray McCall carries William's Bible with him, and the protagonist of Call of Juarez, Billy Candle is presumably named in memory of the youngest McCall brother.
- Juarez: His real name is Juan Mendoza. A powerful Mexican bandit leader, nicknamed Juarez after the town he was born in, is one of the main antagonists but is at first an ally. The McCall brothers meet Juarez when they save Marisa from a group of bandits that take her for a common whore. The McCall brothers' reason for being in Mexico is to find the lost treasure of Cortez; Juarez is also looking for it and he employs the McCall brothers to help him find it for a cut. At the time Marisa is his mistress; this is what generates most of the conflict between him and Ray because Ray secretly loves her. Juarez is also the biological father of William "Billy Candle", the protagonist of Call of Juarez.
Guns in the game are recreated from their historical 19th century counterparts, but there are no muskets, the guns mostly used during the Civil War. The player can choose between different types of pistols, rifles, shotguns and heavy weapons (Gatling gun). During gameplay, cannons are also available. Apart from conventional firearms, characters can use other weapons such as throwing knives or bows.
The game's multiplayer modes are mostly team-based, with a variety of objectives and character classes available. One team plays "Lawmen", with another playing as "Outlaws" - in some game styles, players swap teams after each match to play on the other side of the encounter. The game uses a bounty system for scoring, with players who have killed a large number of enemies being worth more to their opponents. Some multiplayer maps are directly inspired by famous scenes from Western movies, including one set at the OK Corral.
The PC release originally did not have dedicated server support or anti-cheat software, but on December 2, Ubisoft released files that allow dedicated server support for Bound in Blood.
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood received mostly positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PC version 79.00% and 78/100, the Xbox 360 version 78.52% and 77/100 and the PlayStation 3 version 78.33% and 78/100.
A third game in the series called Call of Juarez: The Cartel was released on July 19, 2011. This third game is set in a present day setting. Locations will take place from Los Angeles, California to Juarez, Mexico.
A fourth game called Call of Juarez: Gunslinger was released on May 22, 2013.
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