User Score
3.4

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 133 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 133
  2. Negative: 89 out of 133
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  1. MB_
    Oct 3, 2011
    6
    Maddeningly frustrating. Fundamentally flawed. Idiotic. However for a co-op game its well worth buying if it's on the cheapo. The concept of a co-op game where people are working against each other is the idiotic. The frustrating is the simple things like picking up your fallen team mates animates you from cover into the line of fire, putting you on the same dirt your friend was just on.Maddeningly frustrating. Fundamentally flawed. Idiotic. However for a co-op game its well worth buying if it's on the cheapo. The concept of a co-op game where people are working against each other is the idiotic. The frustrating is the simple things like picking up your fallen team mates animates you from cover into the line of fire, putting you on the same dirt your friend was just on. As for the fundamentally flawed. Well a game where you have to search around looking for items but on rails so narrow the game resets if you explore too far.... a child could explain the problem with that. That all said, it looks pretty cool. Driving is fun. It all works [had to grenade my team mates a couple of times to reset a stuck room entry] and functionally is almost up to a Valve game. But things like constant in game phone calls, texts and slow cross hair switching, the depth of field focusing far too slowly and usually onto something invisible right in front of you. Oooh it's so infuriating, there's a good game here. Under the stupid. Dig deep tho! Expand
  2. Dec 25, 2013
    7
    I don't get all the hate and bad reputation this poor game has earned.
    Sure, it isn't a Call of Juarez like the two before, or.. a Call of Juarez at all, as the only things in common are a guy called McCall, a trip to Juarez in a couple of stages, and the bullet-time which isn't as good as in the previous titles.
    It wasn't ported perfectly on PC, that's true. You almost can't set up the
    I don't get all the hate and bad reputation this poor game has earned.
    Sure, it isn't a Call of Juarez like the two before, or.. a Call of Juarez at all, as the only things in common are a guy called McCall, a trip to Juarez in a couple of stages, and the bullet-time which isn't as good as in the previous titles.
    It wasn't ported perfectly on PC, that's true. You almost can't set up the graphics at all, there's a motion blur and a depth blur that can be annoying, but you'll get used to them pretty soon.
    But for the rest? It's a simple action fps like tons of others, with badass characters "maxpayneing" their way against an army of bad dudes, a lot of gunfightings, explosions, car pursuits, a story that's maybe a bit confusing but overall good, great voice acting, the same easy controls as every fps... It may not be the most original fps of all times, it's very linear and doesn't allow you to explore anything, but.. who cares? It's fast paced, funny and entertaining for all its length, and never bored me.
    Give it a chance.
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  3. Dec 4, 2017
    6
    The Cartel isnt that bad, in fact it could've been a good game actually, but Techland either just have got no talent to achieve something better or their hand was rushed by Ubisoft to release the game in such problematic state.

    First thing that frustrated me was just how badly it runs on PC, frame rate was fine, but all the time i was playing there was this annoying stuttering, it wasnt
    The Cartel isnt that bad, in fact it could've been a good game actually, but Techland either just have got no talent to achieve something better or their hand was rushed by Ubisoft to release the game in such problematic state.

    First thing that frustrated me was just how badly it runs on PC, frame rate was fine, but all the time i was playing there was this annoying stuttering, it wasnt game breaking, i did finish the game, but it severly impacted overall impressions in a bad way. Then there's the disappointing gameplay. Gunplay is pretty floaty, has little weight, not much impact, iron sights are quite terrible on all guns, sounds effects are very generic and severly lack punch, it still does the job, howevert its really not up to standards set by even much older FPS games. Character movement feels clunky, you cant jump too high leading to you not being able to scale small objects like boxes and small fences during gun battles, all the time when you aim down sights and try to adjust your aim camera moves further than neccessery. There are quite a few driving sections in game, which would be fine by me, but sadly cars have terrible and numb handling model and horrible turning circles making driving tiresome in the game. Also i got so sick of the constant few lines your 2 partners spit out all the time as banter. Also the visual style Techland uses in their game engine with overuse of such annoying effects like chormatic abberation to create illsuion of photo realism and hide not so impressive textures can really get on your nerves.

    On the more positive side, its kinda cool to have choice between 3 different characters to play as, they dont offer that much variety, but atleast they have distinct enough personalities and sub plotlines and objectives while playing adding some replay value if you enjoyed the game enough. Story was on the generic but at the same time somewhat enjoyable, playing as 3 different law agency taskforce who tend get their hand dirty was reasonably good fun. I personaly like the LA based street gang crime scene themes and Mexico drug cartel stuff going on. Theres plenty of interesting locations where shootouts take place in, like old mining ghost town, Mexican cemetery, LA gang lands, smuggler tunnels and others. I even was sad when certain non player story character died. One more positive thing, the weapon selection, there arent many heavy weapons, but good choice of pistols, i really liked to play with Makarov and various revolvers that many shooter games somehow nearly always skip over.
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Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 12
  2. Negative: 6 out of 12
  1. Nov 9, 2011
    35
    The Cartel's finest feature is a mess. Everything else is merely bland, repetitive, and dull. [Holiday 2011, p.80]
  2. 50
    Unfortunately, The Cartel was rushed to the market with at least 6 months in production. If it stayed in development for at least a while longer, it could've used to the maximum potential the cooperative campaign offered and all the interesting competitive elements. But the way it is now, it only misses the mark on all the design elements that could have ensured it a good place in the genre.
  3. PC Games (Russia)
    Sep 19, 2011
    50
    Everything that was good in Call of Juarez is gone. Everything that wasn't – well, it's still here. And it's only gotten worse. [October 2011, p.78]