Metascore
45

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 42
  2. Negative: 23 out of 42
  1. Jul 22, 2011
    65
    It's not what it used to be. The new setting doesn't any good, and to top it all off, you just end up chasing checkpoints like in Operation Flashpoint: Red River. That's no fun at all.
  2. Jul 20, 2011
    62
    It's depressing to think that Techland took a popular franchise, came up with some brilliant ideas for a new entry, and then botched the execution-but that's exactly what happened.
  3. 60
    Perhaps with more development time, The Cartel would have been a more compelling experience but, with a game engine that's showing its age, a confused new identity and a fair few technical issues, it falls sadly short of most FPS fans' high expectations.
  4. Jul 25, 2011
    60
    This might be a horrible back-handed comment on The Cartel, but playing it sparked me to go back and play some Bound in Blood, which has a far better single-player experience and I'd rather ride a horse in first-person than drive an SUV in first-person.
  5. Jul 21, 2011
    58
    Quotation forthcoming.
  6. Jul 22, 2011
    55
    Some distinguishing features give this shooter a touch of class, but bugs and execution flaws cast a long shadow over Call of Juarez: The Cartel.
  7. Jul 20, 2011
    55
    Call of Juarez: The Cartel, isn't a very good game when you get to the basics. Its low production values and simple gameplay drag the experience down, while an erratic pace to the storyline makes it worse.
  8. Jul 22, 2011
    54
    Compared to the previous Call of Juarez titles, The Cartel is a colossal disappointment.
  9. Aug 7, 2011
    53
    The two previous Call of Juarez games were good games, but this third game is a bit of a disaster on different aspects. The audio will stop sometimes, visually it's looking pretty bad, the game is full of bugs and stupid mistakes. This game needed just one more year of development time to be a lot better. A shame.
  10. Jul 26, 2011
    53
    The Cartel is a mediocre game. Something disappointing because we know the Call of Juarez saga, with much better games and far superior action.
  11. Aug 5, 2011
    51
    What I played this last week was one of the least enjoyable video game experiences I've ever had, and I would be extremely surprised if there were to be a fourth game in this franchise. Not only is the game full of miserable characters, it's also lacking the polish consumers should expect of a finished game.
  12. Chasing a Mexican drug cartel through the streets of Los Angeles is boring at best, with outdated graphics and gameplay that feel a generation old. [Oct 2011, p.81]
  13. Aug 1, 2011
    50
    A rental at best, but better we just sweep The Cartel under a sombrero and forget about it.
  14. Jul 29, 2011
    50
    Far from polished enough. We miss the Old West.
  15. Jul 28, 2011
    50
    Call of Juarez: The Cartel moves into dangerous territory by dropping the Western-setting. It loses that special something and what's left is nothing more than a unimpressive modern shooting gallery. The story mode, however, though filled with clich├ęs, is high on content and has some great ideas. Unfortunately, it won't pull you through its rough bits.
  16. Jul 24, 2011
    50
    I was interested in this next step for the Call of Juarez series, and I really think it could have worked; but good ideas can only do so much, solid execution must also prevail, and that just didn't happen with The Cartel.
  17. Jul 21, 2011
    50
    The style, attitude, and ideas are all good, and the graphics aren't too bad. But the game is way too slow for a shooter, the faceless enemies never miss a shot, the AI is terrible, collision detectiion is iffy, and the extra features designed to let the game shine fall flat.
  18. Jul 20, 2011
    50
    It's shallower than the shallow end of a kiddie pool during a drought, and dammit, it's such a disappointment, because the series has delivered compelling storylines and settings, if nothing else, up to this point.
  19. Jul 19, 2011
    50
    One of the most generic, bland and uninspired shooters I've played in a long time, and in turn has potentially sullied the work done on the series in the past.
  20. Sep 1, 2011
    46
    Let down by enormous technical failings and a plot that's riddled with lazy, confusing cliches and poorly translated dialogue. [Oct 2011, p.104]
  21. Sep 9, 2011
    45
    Limited promise is buried under an avalanche of technical failings in this derivative FPS. [Oct 2011, p.86]
  22. Aug 5, 2011
    45
    Although Techland brings some nice ideas into the Call of Juarez universe, the game ultimately fails to deliver because of a way too typical story, dated graphics, loads of bugs and a total misunderstanding of the concept 'Wild West'. The Cartel is a major step back for the franchise and we would have been better off without it.
  23. Jul 28, 2011
    45
    It feels like a budget title, not a Call of Juarez game. If you're a fan of the series I suggest forgetting this game ever happened and start hoping this doesn't become the series' swan song. That'd be a shameful way for a franchise like this to go out.
  24. 45
    Interesting co-op concepts are lost in a title riddled with copious amounts of gameplay and audio/visual glitches.
  25. Jul 21, 2011
    45
    The game is generic at best, broken at worst, and falls short in its attempts to innovate cooperative play.
  26. Jul 19, 2011
    45
    A poor change of pace for the franchise. Taking the story into modern times seems to have robbed it of its passion and charm, replacing it with asinine characters and more cuss words than an Al Pacino flick.
  27. Aug 1, 2011
    42
    The single best feature in Call of Juarez: The Cartel is the ability to play through the entire game in co-op.
  28. Jul 25, 2011
    42
    Feels like that blatantly annoying contemporary relative -- a sort of unironic Ali G.
  29. Sure, there are some minor kicks in three player co-op, but they're very short-lived and fraught with frustration. Call of Juarez should have stuck to its guns and remained an Old Wild Western. Avoid this like you would the real po-lice. [October 2011 p80]
  30. Sep 3, 2011
    40
    It's a mixture of bad decisions and rush jobs. The only way it could be worse is if the disc punched you in the face every time you opened the case. At least it's not completely broken, I guess.
  31. Aug 14, 2011
    40
    Call of Juarez: The Cartel makes a lot of mistakes. Changing the setting from the wild west to the modern day was the first sign of trouble, but it was by no means the last. The game is, to put it simply, broken. I could only recommend this tedious and tiresome gaming experience to people I hate. For everyone else, give Call of Juarez: The Cartel a wide berth.
  32. Jul 29, 2011
    40
    Truly, this game is a disappointment on nearly every level.
  33. Jul 27, 2011
    40
    Quotation forthcoming.
  34. Jul 27, 2011
    40
    With The Cartel, you can see that the developers tried to ensure the atmosphere was nice... but it does not work. The characters are too predictable, and so is the story. The action sequences are too basic... playing in coop can still be nice, but it does not save a game that lacks inspiration.
  35. Sep 13, 2011
    33
    Call of Juarez: The Cartel is a hodgepodge of bad ideas and performance issues. Even if you can get past the technical problems, this heavy-handed action game never quite lives up to its potential. If you have a couple friends to play with you might get some fun out of it, everybody else might want to look elsewhere for their first-person fix!
  36. Sep 16, 2011
    30
    What's most disappointing about The Cartel is that it feels like a point of no return for what was once a promising franchise. It has really dropped the ball on the whole Western motif in favor of mostly grim urban environments and an almost actively disengaging plot.
  37. Aug 18, 2011
    30
    Techland's move from the Wild West into the modern era didn't pay off. The Cartel is an uninspired, boring and sometimes broken game that should not have been published in this state.
  38. Aug 9, 2011
    30
    Technically horrific, poorly written and outrageously dull, The Cartel literally has nothing going for it. [Issue#208, p.87]
  39. Jul 24, 2011
    30
    It's a contemptible step back for a series which always had the fun factor on its side and it might just be enough to kill the entire franchise. This is a perfect example of why it's not always a bad thing when games get cancelled.
  40. Jul 25, 2011
    25
    The Cartel could have gotten away with being an unremarkable yet playable shooter, but the galling lack of presentation and legitimately uncomfortable audio/visual problems make it an unpleasant experience overall. Unfinished, buggy, and barely fun to play, Call of Juarez: The Cartel is a sloppy serving from people who should know better, and ought to be ashamed of themselves.
  41. Pretty amusing until you realise what a shameful rip-off it is. [Sept 2011, p.108]
  42. 10
    The game feels like the developers assembled it at the last minute and they didn't even bother to play test it. The bad writing, disappointing gameplay, and annoying dialogue is enough to give this game a bad rating, but the technical faults make this truly one of the worst games of this generation. This isn't a game, it's a joke and nobody is laughing.
User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 70 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 17
  2. Negative: 7 out of 17
  1. Jul 31, 2011
    8
    I was really surprised when I read some of the reviews AFTER I finished the game. It has some flaws but it's a really fun game, one of reallyI was really surprised when I read some of the reviews AFTER I finished the game. It has some flaws but it's a really fun game, one of really few that let you play in co-op. The ONLY ONE that features a good story to be played with 3 characters and what's more it differs for each character. I really had fun playing it with my friends. So the press reviews don't give this game justice imo.
    Good choice for me for this summer.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 19, 2011
    6
    This isn't a bad game but its far from great. For you fans of the series the wisecracking banter, shifty anti hero characters, and interestingThis isn't a bad game but its far from great. For you fans of the series the wisecracking banter, shifty anti hero characters, and interesting story are back. But the guns are just plain generic and the combat comes in a bit short. While shooting in general is up to par the new bullet time lacks the character or features of the old game. I'm sorry but a quick one liner and slomo does not ad up to auto targeting while snapping the view stick or unloading bullets at all the enemies you managed to get in your cross hairs. CO-OP is unclear and the fact that online play is not the default mode means you won't be seeing allot of team play on your first play through (though i have heard the XBOX settings may be different). Also some of the side characters just feel hollow and not well thought out with most of the effort falling on the 3 main characters. If your a fan you will enjoy this and maybe if your new to the series, but i would not blame you for waiting until you can rent or buy this game at a discounted price, 60$ just seems a bit high Full Review »
  3. Jul 31, 2011
    7
    its not bad. nice amount of weapons,nudity,foul language and blood. Good game for getting some easy trophies. when its all over you willits not bad. nice amount of weapons,nudity,foul language and blood. Good game for getting some easy trophies. when its all over you will probably have enjoyed the experience Full Review »