Co-Optimus - Review - Call of Juarez: The Cartel Co-Op Review

Call of Juarez: The Cartel

  • Online Co-Op: 3 Players
  • + Co-Op Campaign

Call of Juarez: The Cartel Co-Op Review - Page 2

These are just two examples of how gameplay is decent but the lack of polish really hurts the overall experience. I could go on about seeing characters’ own arms clipping into their bodies during cutscenes...or about how enemies can sometimes shoot through objects, and with 100% accuracy...but at this point you’ve probably come to terms with the game being a rental title at best.

Anyone still on the fence is probably waiting for co-op and multiplayer impressions. In a nutshell, multiplayer works well. Maps are very, very detailed. If you’re not joining a game from your friends list, you can go into a public lobby by choosing your side: outlaws or police. Each team’s lobby allows the players to interact via voice chat before the game, customize their characters (there are an impressive amount of skins to unlock), adjust their custom classes, and even try out the different guns at the shooting range (using the shooting range actually adds a small amount of XP to your progression, so it’s worth playing with). Once in the game, each side takes turn defending or attacking themed objectives. The Cartel’s multiplayer borrows from quite a few of the currently popular games, with nothing really new to add. It feels like a well-made total modification of your generic Call of Duty-style shooter. The few games I played were solid and fun, but with very little motivation to continue playing.

Co-op works very similarly to the Halo series, in that players can join the game while the host is in the staging area - before the mission actually starts. Once all three players load out and “ready up”, the mission begins (if there are less than three players, AI takes over any leftover characters).

To add some variety to the gameplay, Techland included two very cool mechanics that carry over into co-op: secret agendas, and challenges. Activating certain checkpoints will initiate a challenge, and the first player to meet it will get extra XP; these are generally combat-oriented, such as getting three headshots first or knocking out two guards with melee attacks first. Secret agendas are a bit more random, consisting of interactive items that will appear only to each respective player and are worth extra XP. If a player tries to interact while another is facing them, they are “caught” and the item is lost. Screwing your co-op partners out of XP or even an Achievement or Trophy becomes a game in itself, and sows a little bit of distrust during the exploratory segments in between firefights.

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