Well howdy there pardners! Let me tell you a story, one about a western game that once released digitally on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. A game about a lone gunslinger, coming into town to tell his story, much like I am right now. One filled with double barrel action, intense showdowns, and great variation. Now I know what you’re thinking “But how is the Nintendo Switch port?” Well, have no fear cowpokes as this is one western experience that does mighty justice to the genre and the system it’s on.
For those that never played Call of Juarez Gunslinger, first things first. Players take on the role of Silas Greaves, a known gunslinger that been in dime novels across the west. Now older, he comes to a local saloon and soon gain a crowd. He begins telling his stories and players get to experience various western stories that he lived through. This is not only a story dynamic, but a gameplay is affected as well. As Silas narrates the story, sometimes his memory isn’t clear, or perhaps the listeners hear him wrong and Silas corrects himself. One part features Silas getting attacked suddenly by Apaches only to correct himself “I said they attacked like Apaches” and the game then reverses and changes the enemies back to cowboys. It’s a great way of showing a narrated story and it’s a joy to re-experience moments like this in the genre.
Gunslinger is a first person shooter with a cell shaded cartoon style. The visuals work extremely well on the Switch and even playing this game in handheld mode seems very solid in both performance and controls. As players progress in the story, experience is earned and skills are unlocked. This allows various skills like further damage protection or perhaps some minor slowdown when aiming to assist with shooting. Combat feels extremely solid, especially with the ability to gain a meter that allows slowing down of time overall. There are a few moments where quick time like events play out and if players fail the gun battle continues as normal. The showdowns are also interesting and filled with both an aiming mechanic and movement of the hand that correlates together to perform the best shot. The aiming here feels a bit sluggish but on purpose as the goal is to keep the aim on the character as they move around Silas.
Visuals are as gorgeous as they were before. I’ve found that artistic and cell shaded style games seem to hold up more over the years and this is no exception. Due to the nature of the story, this also leads to a huge amount of variety in locations. From classic western desert settings, to deep forests and rivers. There really is never much of a dull moment here and for those that are fans of the genre and setting, there is so much to appreciate. This also includes the soundtrack and voice acting. What you get here is really an overall complete package.
For the price of this title and the genre, you won’t find a better game on Switch. If western or FPS games are what you enjoy, this is one players don’t want to miss. While there are some frustrations with the games design that obviously transferred over like boss battles, moments of difficulty being a bit too much, these are easily overlooked. System performance on the Nintendo Switch version is fairly solid aside from some very minor deeps in framerate during the most chaotic scenes. If this all sounds like a journey worth taking, then saddle up, grab the six shooter, and prepare for one of the best western games ever made, now portable and on the go.
A Switch eShop code was provided by the publisher for review purposes