User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 105 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 105
  2. Negative: 70 out of 105

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  1. Sep 19, 2011
    This game is so bad, I don't know where to begin. Terrible controls, graphics, AI, gun-feeling. It's on-rails, has gray pixellated dots for you to follow (as if you can get lost in the first place, it is completely linear). Stereotypical, boring characters. Just stay away... what a waste of a great franchise.
  2. Sep 20, 2011
    Let's start with the truth, this game took me just one night to finish. I can't nail the exact time down, but it's not longer than 5 hours in total. Whilst you can play 3 different characters there are essentially 2 very unsatisfying endings, a bad and an even worse one which I won't spoil. Most of the time you will gun down generic cartel thugs which look all the same and act the same. The AI in the game is ridiculously stupid and your partners can't keep up speed with you. Worst about it, sometimes they will spawn right in front of you, this happened to at least once in every single mission. There is no real free-roam, this shooter plays like on rails and is completely linear, the HUD and GUI look terribly pixelated. Whilst Techland can make godlike games as Dead Island, they completely messed up this one. Save your money and get something else. Zero stars to equal out the anonymous votes of users who left no review. Expand
  3. Dec 4, 2011
    oh wow.....just wow.....i never seen such a crappy AAA games and a game with passion turn out to be a horrible shooting game.The story feels awkward,the gameplay is like i playing another shooting game,graphics was dated,swear-fest game and of course,$49.99 was totally burn out your money to waste this piece of crap.The worst Call of Juarez Series ever played,seriously,if you wanna buy this game,i totally not recommended,just go buy a game named Dead Island who make by a same company and a lot more fun. Expand
  4. Oct 16, 2013
    This game ain't that bad. If you can feel the atmosphere in it then it's a beautiful game and you will have a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it. I've been playing almost all first person shooters since Quake 1 (1996) and this is just another one with a great atmosphere. South of U.S. and Mexico in a hot sun and a lot of criminals.
  5. Oct 22, 2011
    Call of Juarez: The Cartel actually does the gaming community a great service. See, those of us who view games as having the potential to be just as artistic a medium as movie or books have gotten a bit lazy when dealing with Jack Thompson-like characters: It's always kneejerk reactions about freedom of speech combined with Whack-A-Mole-esque dismissals of insane, completely fabricated claims like we saw with Mass Effect. Anything else, such as acknowledging shortcomings in a game, start to feel like a show of weakness. This does not push the medium forward. Well thankfully we can put those days behind us (As well as laugh at the true blindness of Game-haters who have overlooked this piece of garbage), because fellow gamers here is a game that is genuinely racist, sexist, and de-humanizing, worthy of all the Fox News reports we have seen dragging comparatively responsible games through the muck.

    Most other games that deal with excessive violence fall into 3 categories. First is the justified violence camp, where violence is at least arguably the only solution. You are killing things that need killing. Second, you have the over the top, ironic violence that frames itself as parody. You don't take your Serious Sams, Duke Nukems or Postals seriously, because how can you? Then you have your games where evil acts are there to provide a larger, philosophical context. You kill little sisters because that is consistent with the objectivist philosophy underpinning Rapture. You shoot Russian civilians because you believe it is for the greater good, and the player must question if this is right. CoJ manages none of these. By simply plastering the mechanics of a shooter over a topic they may have heard of by reading the title of an article somewhere, they completely neglect to ask themselves what this all means. What you end up with is a game about the evils of Mexicans and other minorities overblown to the point where it deserves a place next to "Birth of a Nation" as racist propaganda. Except it lacks even the historical significance of such propaganda, since it will neither have the emotional impact of such trash, the fun fundementals of even the trashier mindless shooters, nor does it manage to contain even a cursory connection with facts.

    If Techland understood even the most rudimentary concepts of design, then frankly, that is terrifying. It means they knowingly have endorsed the viewpoint of a misogynistic Klansman. Frankly I hope that the truth is the more likely scenario, where the creative minds behind this game have no business making games. At least then, we can perhaps hope for an apology. This game degrades the Drug War, the travesties within, minorities, women, the players themselves, and the very idea of games.
  6. MB_
    Oct 3, 2011
    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
  7. Oct 25, 2011
    Game is poor in comparison with the other two games in the series. The plot wasn't too bad and the choice of endings was kind of neat. In my view, the downside were as follows: (1) repetitive scenery--how many times do you go through the same building? (2) repetitve comments by the AI characters in the single player mode--how many times can you remind your partner that you are saving his a__? (3) too many chase scenes. These are ok for some, but I found them annoying. Overall, I suggest you save your money for another game. Expand
  8. Sep 24, 2011
    Absolutely bad game. Especially story, and gameplay...and setting...
    Shooting in that game is terrible. Paintball rifle have bigger recoil than guns in that game. It's have not got normal story. It's not interesting to play.
    I am big fan of the first two parts of "Call of Juarez", but "The Cartel" is VERY BIG UPSET. Where is incredible landscapes of wild west? Where is prairies and two
    cowboys? Where is Sheriff shooting ElBanditos? Spurs, whisky?
    The game I loved died July 22.
  9. Oct 6, 2011
    Worst CoJ ever... This game is sooo bad.
  10. Dec 11, 2011
    i dont understand what the F happen just play the older 2 games and never ever play this
    u are gonna wish u never know this game
    the ppl who rate it this good need to go to the doctor NOW
  11. Nov 12, 2011
    It has no 7.1 sound support so when I put on my headphones most of the time I don't hear anything or I get static. I searched this on google for a patch and there is none. Also it has bad 3D stereoscopic support; it at least runs in 3D but the shaders are in 2D. I thought well no problem, I'll just turn off the shaders like in MW2/black ops. In this game it isn't an option, and there are very few video controls in it either. I couldn't get into this game because of VERY POOR PROGRAMING. Check out CALL OF JUAREZ: BOUND IN BLOOD IT'S A GREAT GAME!!!!! Expand
  12. Feb 10, 2012
    This game is not just horribly designed, it is also blatantly racist. Seriously, it is incredible how moronic the contents of this game are. Don't even consider buying it..
  13. May 6, 2012
    I pre ordered this game mainly because I could coop it with a friend of mine.

    First problem was a sound problem. Turns out it has something to do with the microphone/headset. After a good while figuring that out, we both plugged in old earmuffs and an old microphone - thank god we still had them around.

    So finally he joins me and we start playing. First things that comes to mind are
    the ugly graphics. The pixelated symbols leading to the next waypoints. Then comes the horrible AI.. its just laughable for a game of 2011. The shooting itself feels.. well.. its just not fun and precise. And then there is a constant vertical sync happening, something that bothers me alot (screen tearing). No option to turn it off, and forced vsync through the graphic card is ignored.

    Despite all those shortcomings, despite the fact that this is the only game we've ever cooped where we DIDN'T HAVE FUN, we still kept at it. After all, we bought it.

    Then after playing a while we both start feeling somewhat dizzy from all the screen tearing and decide to leave it be and accept that its probably the worst game we've ever bought.

    I can look over a cheesy story. I don't mind colorful words, and I don't think that killing guys from a (Mexican?) cartel qualifies as racism, if its just the setting. It wouldn't make much sense to have mostly caucasians in such a cartel.

    What matters to me primarily is the quality of gameplay. And that quality is horrible. Don't buy this game, ever. If you want to coop something with a buddy, there are many older coop games out there which are actually enjoyable.
  14. Oct 19, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I find it disappointing no one has pointed how utterly inaccurately the story paints the drug war that it comes off cartoonish and racist. The boring wave after wave of black and latino badguys, the achievement for killing 40+ black people in one level, this all has a damaging psychological impact that actually does decensitize it's player to the gory racial, and gender violence that is being committed, and without any honest context.

    This is the worst part. When you are chasing down the missing stripper, after strangling TWO OTHER STRIPPERS TO GET INFORMATION (this is so offensive, but it doesn't even matter because of what comes next), they paint the picture that human sex trafficking, one of the most heinous crimes in the world, has the cartel kidnapping American women and selling them in Mexico? Whoah. Whoah. Whoah. That has no basis in reality and is an INSULT to the women and children sold as slaves in the United States. It's Mexican women who are kidnaped and sold in the U.S. and other countries. To even entertain the opposite without recognizing the actual truth of it is so... brainless and I will say it. Misogynistic and Racist. I don't know if the game designers actually are stupid, bigoted and hate women, but they definitely think their audience is. Glad I didn't buy it and just watched some play through. No money should go toward this game. Ever.
  15. Nov 23, 2012
    The third part in the Call of juarez saga has absolutely nothing to do with cowboys and is in no way a gunslinger game set in modern time. The games share some locations and resembling characters but that is that. Now that we have sorted that out is Call of Juarez :The Cartel good or bad? The game is sadly a technical mess. Expect constant framerate problems that really screw up your experience. Expect annoying blur, extremely limited graphical options, nonsense enemy and ally spawning, glitches, stupid one liners, bad car chases, annoying checkpoints and a overall unfinished feel to the game. The sad part is that the game could have been alright. Not great, but an alright shooter. You fight in a ton of different environments and some of them are actually quite cool. There is a decent amount of weapons in the game, the selection of hand-guns is especially nice. The story though cheesy is actually quite decent when you get into it. Who know, some more months in development could have made this into an alright police shooter. But that is not the case today and considering the all the problems, especially the problems with the framerate makes it impossible for the to recommend this game. Expand
  16. May 31, 2013
    This game fails at everything, it fails to represent whats really going on in the drug cartels, the casualties, the sex trafficking, (mexican's kidnapping American women? No, thats stupid, really risky and not nearly as profitable.. they are bringing Mexican women into American to sell as sex slaves), the blatant racist violence, level where you kill nothing but black men because... they live in a slum neighborhood and you're trying to start a turf war to destabilize the gangs? Yeah I suppose that could work
    A achievement to kill as many black guys as possible in that level.
    It gets facts wrong like the phrase "Gold or lead".. thats not the real phrase, it's actually Silver or Lead and was coined by Escobar.
    The games about 3-4 hours and even that felt painfully long. Terrible controls, AI are stupid, they don't even know how to drive cars and the guns feel flimsy pee-shooters. The games design is for coop so all the good guns are now allowed for us singleplayers, not that I care enough to be angry.
    It's linearity wouldn't be an issue if it could back it up with a stellar narrative, but it's got a paper thin storyline with very weak justification for every new intel you find. Characters are stereotypical that you really care nothing for.

    Its probably one of the worst designed, short, boring, and misinformed games I've ever played.
    Why in the 7 hells does it have Call of Juarez in the title, I'll never figure out.
  17. Dec 25, 2013
    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.
  18. Jan 5, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What a load of rubbish. Not worth spending your money on. The first words you hear is "Jesus Christ", And "Fu*k" this and that ect. What a let down after playing the previous games of this series. Spend your money on something else worth playing. Expand

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
    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. Sep 19, 2011
    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]