Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
As an accomplished and habitual liar, I take pride in my art and follow a simple rule: if you’re going to lie to someone, at least make it entertaining for them. So, dear video games, I’m not impressed when you set up an unreliable narrator to reveal gasp I’m dead or gasp I’m the killer or gasp something something metaphysics. Call of Juarez Gunslinger‘s turns me into a gunfighter blowing away a dozen outlaws in the blink of an eye with my twin revolvers. Ayup, that’ll do nicely.
A grizzled old gunslinger walks into a saloon, pulls up a chair, and starts spinning a tale about how he’s Silas Greaves, one of the west’s greatest bounty hunters. He brushes paths with Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy, and half the other big names of the old west. We play through the tale as it’s told, jumping around in time, rewriting events as he remembers things or corrects himself, and even seeing events from several perspectives as different people round the table tell their version. There is once a fine pause while Silas goes to the toilet.
His big legend also means he shoots an awful lot of men. Skill trees nicely build us up into this mythical gunslinger as his career progresses. Towards the end, I was able to clear areas entirely in slow-motion without being touched, feeling like the legend he wants people to believe he is. Sure, he’s exaggerating, but I’m happy to play out this tall tale. It’s a highly entertaining lie.