Call of Juarez Jumps To Modern Day

I'm huntin' me some drugs!
Ubisoft have just confirmed another Call Of Juarez (the cowboy FPS series from Techland) game, this time called The Cartel. Here’s what they say about it: “Call of Juarez The Cartel is set in present-day and brings the best elements of the Wild West to a new and modern setting. As a first person shooter with an immersive and mature story, players can expect to embark on a journey like no other – one that will take them from the heart of modern day Los Angeles, California to Juarez, Mexico.”

It will also have a “gritty and relevant plot”, and it will be out this summer. I also hear Ubi preview events a-callin’, so proper details shouldn’t be too far away.


  1. Gundato says:

    Uhm. Wow.

    Well, this could still be fun, so long as there are no whip-based platforming levels or stealth levels.

  2. WMain00 says:

    Uh. Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

    Well…we can only wait and see, but i’m not sure if going modern day is such a fantastic idea.

  3. HeavyStorm says:

    Do we really need another shooter? I liked the CoJ series because they differed from other shooters.

  4. The Army of None says:

    Oh man, just what we needed, another modern day shooter! I mean… er… Yea.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      Actually, “Wild West Cowboy Accidentally Gets Beamed Into L.A.” has possibilities, but I dunno if that’s the angle here.

    • The Army of None says:

      I’d settle for “LA gets accidentally beamed into the Wild West.”

    • Jonathan says:

      And in the game.

  5. coldvvvave says:

    Straight up beastin’

    Straight up SPAS-tin’

  6. Teddy Leach says:

    “gritty and relevant plot”

    I’ll take it this is code for: “It will be grey and brown and feature terrorists to shoot.”

    • thessalian_pine says:

      Nah, this one will swap the terrorists for a bunch of those infamous drug dealers from south of the border. because they’re the next best thing. Instant relevancy!
      Bad guys probably done kidnapped present-day cowboy’s daughter and he’s really mad about it.

    • Kadayi says:

      Yeah, they’ll be tapping into the whole Breaking Bad/Southland/No Country for old Men/Justified vibe by the sounds of it. Not necessarily a bad Idea, as the old west has been played to death tbh. if they can introduce the crazy madness like this into a game: –

      I’m all for it.

  7. Nova says:

    We’ll see sure, but that seems like another step down for Call of Juarez.
    I liked the first game very much pity they didn’t build up on it.

  8. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Bound in Blood was pretty meh IMO, the only thing that kept me going was the mildly interesting relationship between the two older brothers and the fact that it was a western…

  9. Zenicetus says:

    What a spectacularly stupid idea. The only reason to get excited about a rail-shooter like the previous game, was the vintage atmosphere, and the guns you don’t see that often outside of a Fallout game…. big revolvers, Winchesters, knives, gatling guns on horse-drawn carts. So, now we’re going to run around a modern urban and desert landscape with AK-47’s. How exciting. I’ll pass on this, just based on the concept.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Yeah, I agree. I mean I will still get it if somehow it is amazing, but as of now it sounds stupid.

      I really liked the first two Juarez games, mostly for the atmosphere as you say. Take that away and they were pretty bland games.

  10. Flameberge says:

    Bleh. CoJ was interesting simply because it was different from all other FPS out there (aside GUN from several years back, but that wasn’t as good). Maybe they’re changing because of a perception that modern day is where the money is, and, perhaps, that they’ve been eclipsed by Red Dead Redemption?

  11. heretic says:

    there aren’t many shooters set in mexico featuring some gritty gang storylines afaik, I think this would be a good thing, the other CoJ covered enough of the wild west for me.

    now some man-on-fire style storylines and huge shoot outs would be awesome.

  12. mkultra says:

    A journey like no other… perhaps one involving the dismembered body parts of thousands of kidnapped women and countless communities dissolved to shit by regional violence.

    I bet the tactful bunch who thought this one up sleep well at night.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Yeah, that’s the other side of this. There’s a fine line between using a setting that’s “gritty and torn from the headlines,” and crude exploitation for profit. If there is even a hint of romanticizing the drug war scene, they’re going to be in for a real P.R. shit storm. Of course, maybe that’s the idea — any publicity is good publicity, etc.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      It is at least an interesting idea for a setting and it does have the potential to say something interesting as a game for a change. Whether they’ll succeed in that respect is a different question, of course.

      And why they’d have to tack this on to the Call of Juarez franchise…

  13. JFS says:

    “with an immersive and mature story”

    … so that means it’ll have sex and will use the words “ass”, “bastard” and the mighty f-word? Or won’t it be as mature as Dragon Age II?

    • Teddy Leach says:

      That’s exactly what I was going to say.

    • Shih Tzu says:

      Yes, if you want, you have the option to sex up the other cowboys. This actually makes the game easier, as each one you establish an intimate relationship with is one fewer you have to kill. It’s possible to sleep your way through the entire game without drawing your pistol. Well, your OTHER pistol.

  14. Pijama says:

    man, the only way you can fuck up a western is by putting it in a modern setting.

    Seriously, look at some possibilites:

    – Western with magic, werewolves n’ shit = awesome
    – Western with aliens = awesome
    – 2nd Mexican-American war, WESTERN = awesome
    – Western in a plague-ridden world = awesome
    – Western in a quest to save your love through the power of badassery and spiritual indian powers = awesome
    – Any combination of the above = MAX awesome


    – Western in a modern setting = FAIL

    That is all.

    • Kryopsis says:

      Are you familiar with Sons of Anarchy
      ( link to )?

      Berzee: Nice song!

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      This reminds me a bit too much of the ‘ninjas plus pirates plus zombies plus dinosaurs equals brilliant’ kind of mindset. It does not lead to awesome, it leads to B movies at best.

    • Bret says:

      I dunno.

      Space Westerns I’ve seen? Pretty damn good.

      Same with westerns with alien artifacts from the future.

      Western is a solid genre, what I’m saying.

    • Shadram says:

      No Country for Old Men?

      EDIT: I managed to totally not see omicron1’s post directly below before posting this… need more eyes.

    • Kryopsis says:

      Dances to Podcasts:
      Is this what you had in mind? link to

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I’d so play a banjo turtle jetpack ferret pizza lawyer game.

  15. omicron1 says:

    So, best-case scenario it’s No Country for Old Men.
    Worst-case scenario it’s Modern Warfare: Texas.

  16. bhlaab says:

    Wow, I loved Bound in Blood, and this looks nothing like it

  17. Om says:

    At least, an insightful and nuanced take on the endemic violence that plagues much of north Mexico.

    Oh wait…

  18. Navagon says:

    Why are so many people commenting on the content? Surely the fact that it’s a Ubisoft game is deterrent enough?

    • spelvin spugg says:

      “Why are so many people commenting on the content? Surely the fact that it’s a Ubisoft game is deterrent enough?”

      Jesus, no FUCKING kidding. Never going to give money to them again after the Ass Creed ripoff.

  19. Soon says:

    So, horses, brothels and hats?

  20. SirKicksalot says:

    I’m in if it’s like Desperado or Machete.

  21. ScubaMonster says:

    So, let me get this straight… take everything that made the original unique, and throw it in the trash. Great business strategy.

  22. MikoSquiz says:

    Oh, great. They couldn’t set it in 1955 or something?

  23. ScubaMonster says:

    This might have been mildly interesting if it was set in Columbia or something. Los Angeles? Lol.

    • timmyvos says:

      Actually, it’s set in Juarez, Mexico, you know the most drug-ridden city in the whole of Northern America.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      It did say Los Angeles as well. How much actually takes place in LA or not, I don’t know.

  24. Oak says:


    I’ll keep my eye on it, simply because I enjoyed Bound in Blood so much, but can’t help echoing the sentiment that moving the series into the present was a disappointing choice.

    • Wilson says:

      Same here. If they manage a distinctive feel to the game despite moving to a modern setting, it could be good. As someone said above, if they turn it into Call of Juarez: Modern Warfare it will be terrible.

  25. Ricc says:

    Oh wow, I just played through Bound in Blood last week. It has these two open world sections with optional missions that were very much like a better looking GUN. I wish the whole game were like that. :(

    • DrGonzo says:

      A million times this.

      They should have made it more of an open game. Not necessarily a Gta style open world, possibly just like Deus Ex with Cowboys.

    • Wilson says:

      Deus Ex with cowboys would be the coolest thing. I wish people made more western games…

  26. ScubaMonster says:

    Also, “gritty and relevant plot”. You mean, like every gazillion other games/movies/you name it out there already? While not a negative really, I don’t really see that as something worth touting.

  27. Teronfel says:



  28. rocketman71 says:

    So original!

    And probably UbiShitDRM. No, thanks.

  29. kibayasu says:

    God damn it, I loved the first two games, even with all their flaws. But a modern western? Colour me concerned. Maybe at least Marc Alaimo will voice the main character? Please?

    • Oak says:

      I should hope so. The screenshot guy looks like an obvious nod to Reverend Ray anyhow.

  30. mbp says:

    Best bit of the whole series was chasing bunny rabbits with a bow and arrow. I wonder if that will carry forward to the modern version?

  31. Pantsman says:

    Relevant? To what, I wonder.

  32. Creeping Death says:

    “modern setting” – no

    “mature story” – no

    “gritty and relevant plot” -no

    That’s 3 for 3 on my generic hype buzzword meter! Passing on this one.

  33. Vadermath says:

    I think this will be rather shite.

  34. Michael Hoss says:

    Uhm… fuck CoJ? I mean, the first game was cool. The second one was still okay since cowboys were in it. But hell. Fuck it. GO AND CONTINUE DEAD ISLAND! I give a shit about CoJ.

    • Creeping Death says:

      This x1000!

      I’ve been wanting Dead Island for ages. I’m actually quite surprised noone else has stolen the idea and done it quicker to be honest…

    • ZIGS says:

      With Dead Island and Chrome 2 in the pipeline, they go and make this shit

    • Navagon says:

      Dead Island! Damn right that’s what they should be doing right now.

  35. Unrein says:

    I found the second game (never played the first one) to have great shooting. It just felt ballsy and fun, and trying out different weapons was cool. The story was also wonderfully low-key and even poignant, topped off with nice graphics that ran really smooth. I’m thinking they can deliver on this new setting based on that experience.

  36. Freud says:

    Getting some Kane and Lynch vibes from this.

  37. laddyman says:

    Two words: YEE-HAW.

  38. Premium User Badge

    Ridiculous Human says:

    The Cartel before the horse.

  39. HardClumping says:

    I don’t care how they shoehorn it into the story, they need to get Marc Alaimo back as a voice actor in the game. His performance as Reverend Ray was the absolute best part of the CoJ games.

  40. ManaTree says:

    Like a lot of the commenters here, I rather liked the first one (albeit it remains unfinished; that’ll have to change some time). Didn’t play the second one. Too busy.

    But really? Modern? I think what would’ve been much more interesting (and relevant to a Western setting) would be the transition to a modern age, when cowboys were starting to die out because of, well, modernization. That would make a truly mature story, I imagine (I can’t claim to be a writer, but hey, I can have good ideas sometimes). The desperation of fighting against the onslaught that is technology, the feeling of a world falling apart, etc.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Manatree, what you are describing is a game much like the Peckinpah movie masterpiece ‘The Wild Bunch’. And, yah, that would seriously rock.

    • DiamondDog says:

      That’s pretty much what Red Dead Redemption went for in terms of setting. Early 20th century, no frontiers left.

  41. Sirico says:

    It’s like an 80’s movie, Hercules in New York style!

  42. i saw dasein says:

    I anticipate this will be ‘2666’ the game. A 10 hour paean to nihilism featuring the unexplained killing of hundreds of women featuring no resolution as such, but with a clutch of polyamorous critics and a vaguely creepy German dude. Metacritic solid 90. Peace.

  43. pipman3000 says:

    call of juarez to become call of duty.

  44. frozenbyte says:

    A shame. The western setting was one of CoJ’s main selling points.

  45. Gazanator101 says:

    All I want to know is – like in Bound in Blood – can I burst into a woman’s modern château and threaten her, spouting “Don’t move bitch, don’t you fucking move.” That was the funniest part of Bound in Blood haha. In all seriousness though I did enjoy the last game, and so I have a good feeling about this one. And I want Jeff Bridges to do the voiceover.

  46. Guiscard says:

    Gah. Do not want with “Call of Juarez” attached. Why can’t they just call it “The Cartel” without infringing on “Call of Juarez”. Call of Juarez is a name that should be left in the traditional spaghetti western setting, not ported to the modern day to cash in on CoD.

    The game could be fantastic (and I hope it is), but it won’t be Call of Juarez.

  47. Adriaan says:

    Dropping the wild-west setting just made it 100% less cool. :(

  48. Walsh says:

    False, you philistine:

    link to


    link to

    err that was re: Pijama

  49. gwathdring says:

    I do like the cover mechanic. It would be nice to see a game improve on the CoJ cover mechanic. And a modern western could also work pretty well. As long as it kept the elements that make a Western work instead of just taking Just Cause, or Call of Duty, or something and stuffing it into a Western setting. Firefly, for example, works best when it keeps the tense but low-profile feeling of a good western, hangs onto the most useful western trappings, and treats space more like it’s in the background, like a feature of the landscape instead of saying “we’re in spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace” and calling it a day.

    I didn’t really care for No Country for Old Men, but it definitely nailed the “modern day western” vibe, so it’s a great proof of concept and I I could see a game working with that sort of motif …. but I really don’t think CoJ is going for the low-profile, suspense/thriller western. And it would be really easy to turn a high-octane western into any old modern day shooter. The word “gritty” is a damn bad sign.

  50. Cross says:

    I was *this* close to falling off my chair laughing at this. Bloody wannabes at Ubisoft, seriously.