Completing a chapter in co-op saves for everyone, regardless of their single player progression. To add some replayability, the game keeps track of which character you used. 100% completion is not attainable until you finish all of the chapters which each of the three characters. While they all have their individual perks, ultimately the gameplay is the same flat experience with each, so I had no qualms sticking with one character for the majority of my play time.
The Cartel’s plot is actually pretty impressive, and vaguely ties into the Call of Juarez universe via Los Angeles Detective Ben McCall, apparent descendant of the first two games’ Reverend Ray McCall. Story details are interesting and not too convoluted. The campaign would be a pretty good attention-grabber...if only the voice acting and animations weren’t so horrid. The Cartel is not very shy about using as much profanity as possible in a cutscene, nor about nudity - female and male alike. For me, these turn-offs made cutscenes altogether skip-worthy.
My final verdict - Call of Juarez: The Cartel suffers from a severe lack of polish and bug squashing. I’ve played great games and bad games, but it’s rare that a game with a fair amount of potential gets left in the gutter the way that The Cartel did. If you see it in the $5 bin, prepare to switch off your scruples and enjoy the little glimpses of genius with a co-op friend. Otherwise, leave this one to its own shame.
The Co-Op Experience: 3-Player Co-Op: Play the 15-mission campaign mode solo or with up to 2 friends.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.