New Call of Juarez: The Cartel tries to escape carmageddon

With the upcoming Carmageddon in Los Angeles this weekend, most local gamers might have more on their mind than next week’s Ubisoft release.  Call of Juarez: The Cartel will be available Tuesday, July 19th at your local game stores.  While many consider the Call of Juarez series a B-line, L.A. area gamers might be interested in the game’s initial setting of Los Angeles.  The Cartel is not the first game to use L.A. as a setting, the recent L.A. Noire and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas are two notable games to use our city as a backdrop.  The latest Call of Juarez does offer multiplayer, co-op and versus, something either of those games do not.

While the plot and characters are possibly best described as ridiculous and stereotypical, local gamers may find enjoyment exploring and shooting up, old west style, areas like the Port of Los Angeles.  The home of one of your counterparts and origin point of your roadtrip is East Los Angeles is home to over three dozen active street gangs in this game.  What happens here is it what will send you on your way out east on the 10 freeway.  The Cartel promises this broiling desert highway as the perfect route for smuggling just about anything or anyone.

Since the premise of the single player seems something like playing the story of the Stranger from the Big Lebowski, the multiplayer may very well be the most appealing feature of the game.  Ubisoft calls it coopetition, a three player cooperative mode with a competitive twist.  This mode requires you and your buddies to take down a powerful cartel.  With this new mode, as you work together, you’ll have opportunities to prove that you’re the best. Combat challenges, such as “the first to get 5 headshots,” destruction challenges, such as “the first to blow up 4 cars,” will give you plenty of chances to prove your dominance. In addition to challenges, each character has their own agenda, which may mean undermining the team’s common mission.

The more standard multiplayer has you team up with friends and choose which side of the law you’re on, police or criminals. You will be able to customize your character with a collection of unlockable weapons and skins and then battle up to 12 players through eight different levels.  A partner system enhances your survival by equipping you with an ally who can revive you when you are wounded, identify the enemy, or help you earn experience points.

Call of Juarez: The Cartel is still available for preorder at your local Gamestop or Best Buy.  Preorders at Gamestop will give you a leg up with an in game TMP and body armor.  Best Buy customers will receive the “ZAP” pistol a zooming automatic 9x19mm Parabellum caliber semi-automatic weapon with an extra-zoom scope. It’s promised as more accurate on short- to medium-range shots than any other pistol in the game.

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