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
    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
    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
    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
    Quotation forthcoming.
  6. Jul 22, 2011
    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
    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
    Compared to the previous Call of Juarez titles, The Cartel is a colossal disappointment.
  9. Aug 7, 2011
    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
    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
    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
    A rental at best, but better we just sweep The Cartel under a sombrero and forget about it.
  14. Jul 29, 2011
    Far from polished enough. We miss the Old West.
  15. Jul 28, 2011
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Limited promise is buried under an avalanche of technical failings in this derivative FPS. [Oct 2011, p.86]
  22. Aug 5, 2011
    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
    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
    The game is generic at best, broken at worst, and falls short in its attempts to innovate cooperative play.
  26. Jul 19, 2011
    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
    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
    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
    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.
User Score

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
    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
    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
    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 »