Where have all the cowboys gone?" sang Paula Cole in a mid-nineties song your Mum quite likes. Well, according to Techland they haven't gone anywhere - they've just learned how to wash.
Call of Juarez: The Cartel merges the spirit and locations of the Wild West with a modern police drama. We spoke to the game's project co-ordinator to make sure everyone will still wear cool hats.
So why the modern setting for The Cartel?
Well, we strongly believe that the Western is timeless. It's something that's always relevant. We want to show that we can pull it off in a new setting - which is essentially the same one, just with a twist.
We've had this idea for a while, because violence and lawlessness in that area are still issues that people have to deal with. On top of that, things like the modern weapons and vehicles just add a ton of variety and enrich the experience.
The three characters you can play, solo or co-op, are mismatched cops from different departments. Are you trying to riff on modern cop dramas like The Shield?
That's the attitude that we want to capture. Think about it - when Clint Eastwood's character comes to a town where a sheriff is doing nothing about the gangsters terrorising the area, his character isn't some rider on a white horse.
He takes justice into his own hands, and is brutal. I think that Vic from The Shield is a very good modern example of this.
You mentioned that once you've chosen your single-player character, you're controlling them till the end of the game, correct?
Yes. This time you're not switching between characters before each mission. Each hero has their own story - they all take part in the same main events, but they see them from different perspectives.
It's only when you've played all three characters that you'll get to know the full picture of what happened.
And they'll occasionally be on the same level, but doing different things, right? In the demo you just showed, for example, Kim and Eddie were protecting McCall with sniper fire while he was seemingly miles away...
Yes, definitely - that's how it works. While they're sniping to help him, at the same time the McCall player is down by the trailer doing something else entirely. The three then try to meet over the course of the level.
And sometimes they all jump into a car, which looks great fun. How does the vehicle combat work?
All the characters use the same vehicle - we want to keep them together. One is the driver, the others shoot. They can hang out of the windows, shoot from the inside... or just tag along for the ride.
And it's clear that Ben McCall is the great-something grandson of Ray from the first two games. Right?
Yes. Ben is a spiritual successor to Ray McCall. This is a standalone story though.
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