First, it was Call of Duty. Last year, it was Medal of Honor. And in 2011, it’s Call of Juarez.
The Ubisoft franchise is the latest FPS to ditch its historical setting for something a little more contemporary. Call of Juarez: The Cartel takes place across present-day Los Angeles, Arizona, New Mexico and Juarez, Mexico – a far cry from the series’ Wild West origins.
But Ubi has reassured fans that the action will be just as thrilling as a traditional Western. Players join a special task force set up to take down a fictional drug cartel that has been bombing US law enforcement facilities. Each character – including one descended from the original Call of Juarez protagonist – has their own storyline, adding plenty of depth to this intense shooter.
“We have been extremely pleased with both the critical and commercial reception of the previous Call of Juarez releases with respect to their place in the UK portfolio,” says Ubisoft’s brand manager Matt Benson.
“The team has taken a new direction with The Cartel and moved it into modern day, but it still retained a sense of the Wild West: lawlessness, ‘real men’ and a casual disregard for human life.”
The Cartel places a strong emphasis on multiplayer that reaches beyond the obligatory deathmatches and into the main campaign itself.
The story mode allows three players to jump in for some co-op play, with missions and challenges available for each character.
Other multiplayer modes pit teams of cops and robbers against each other. Scenarios range from bank heists and witness protection to gang warfare, and Ubisoft claims each mode draws inspiration from gritty Hollywood blockbusters such as Heat and Reservoir Dogs.
TV and video-on-demand will form the major pillars of Ubisoft’s Call of Juarez marketing campaign. Spots will run on multiple channels around release, supported by ads on specialist gaming and men’s lifestyle websites.
The series began with the original Call of Juarez on PC in 2006, followed by an Xbox 360 port the year after. The 2009 sequel, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, brought the franchise to PS3 for the first time, as well as Xbox 360 and PC.