Call Of Juarez: Bound In Blood was released just over a month ago, but finally a demo has appeared. Declaring itself to be a truncated version of a full level, it gives a taste of the game’s core mechanics: the Concentration mode bullet time, the cover system, and a duel to test your quickdraw hand.
This is one of those cases where a demo does a wealth of explaining about the game. At first the game feels like trying to drag a fifteen foot oar through a lake of soup, the controls seemingly berserk. And then it all slots into place and begins to make sense. Combat is a combination of traditional FPS shooting (and when holding pistols in both hands, forcing your brain to remember to fire the right hand weapon), until you’ve killed enough baddies to trigger Concentration. This is a form of bullet time where you target simply by waving the reticule over any enemies visible from your standing position to cover them in targets, and then pressing go. It auto fires for all the targets you laid out, and you get to watch in pleasure. There’s also a more confusing (and interesting) version where you have two reticules, one for each weapon, and aim with both at the same time, which is surprisingly taxing and fun.
The shootout at the end is interesting too. Your mouse controls your arm, letting you waggle it about as you cautiously sidestep, keeping your opponent in view. When the bell tolls, grab your gun and fire. It’s tricky and pleasingly tactile.