Call of Juarez: Gunslinger review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Switch
Also on: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Publisher: Techland
Developer: Techland
Medium: Digital/Cartridge
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: M

It’s kind of odd that Call of Juarez: Gunslinger exists as a game on the Nintendo Switch. I mean, it had decent enough reviews back when it came out nearly seven years ago — including from this very site — but it’s hardly aged into being a fondly-remembered classic.

That said, I’m not complaining too much. I never played it the first time around, and I’ll always welcome the chance to play games I missed out on — particularly when they’re as fun as this one is.

Call of Juarez: Gunslinger does so many things right, it’s hard to know where to begin. There’s the setting and the story, for starters: it’s set in the old Wild West, as you hear (and play as) a bounty hunter named Silas Greaves, who recounts his encounters with the myths and legends of the era. What makes it all so compelling aren’t just the stories of Greaves hunting down Billy the Kid and the Clanton Gang, but how unreliable a narrator he is. Throughout the game, he’ll give you the story one way, only for him to change everything when one of his listeners calls him on errors or untruths. It gives the game a touch of humour and adds to the tallness of the tales, and it makes it easy to get sucked in.

It doesn’t hurt, either, that the gameplay itself is so enjoyable. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger lives up to its name, and, as Greaves, throws you into a series of scenarios where you have to gun down wave after wave of bad guys. It’s an arcade shooter that rarely wastes time with complicated mechanics or stealth: you enter a town or a canyon (or whatever other Wild West trope you can think of), and you go out in a blaze of glory with your trusty shotgun/rifle/six-shooter.

If there’s any criticism to be made of Call of Juarez: Gunslinger on the Switch, it’s that this is the exact same game that came out back in 2013. There’s no “remaster” here, there’s no extra content — it’s identical, just on a Nintendo platform for the first time.

Of course, that’s only a criticism if you don’t like seeing older, overlooked games get a new lease on life. And I don’t — particularly when they’re as worthwhile as this one. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger may not be a forgotten classic, but it is pretty darn fun, and that’s more than enough to make it worth checking out.

Techland provided us with a Call of Juarez: Gunslinger Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A-