If you're a veteran of the first game, I'm afraid Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
has already been spoiled for you. You already know ninety-percent of how the story plays out. The story begins as brothers Ray and Thomas McCall reunite on a Civil War battlefield in their native Georgia. With Tecumseh cutting a swath of destruction across the South, the brothers become worried about their family... and decide to desert the Confederate Army -- a crime that is not forgiven by their commanding officer. Eventually, the brothers McCall (including pious William) find themselves on the hunt for the legendary Gold of Juarez, a treasure that is said to be as cursed as it is elusive. You'll meet a few characters from Call of Juarez
, and even though players of the first game already know this story, there are some pleasant surprises. The story that chronicles Ray McCall's transformation into Reverend Ray is a good one, and it will keep you involved until the end.
Bound in Blood is as straightforward a shooter as it gets. You'll move from story point to story point as either Ray or Thomas McCall (you can usually choose at the beginning of a level). You'll slay outlaws, Indians, and Union infantrymen alike. Even though it's basically a cookie-cutter shooter, the watercooler moments and scripted sequences keep the blood flowing.
End-of-level duels are back; they are more intense and dramatic this time around. It's always a dramatic and suspenseful twenty seconds of gameplay. You've got to keep your enemy in your sights and your hand near your gun, because if you fail to respond to the tolling of the bell, your opponent will gun you down before your pistol clears its holster. You've got to time it just right -- which is kind of funny, because just about every successful duel results in your enemy getting shot in the crotch.
There's a good multiplayer component in Bound in Blood that revolves around the classic cops-and-robbers dynamic. You can earn money by killing enemies and then use it to purchase new classes and upgrades. It's fun, class-based shooting action that you'll return to well after you've completed the single player mode.