E3 06: Call of Juarez Preshow Report

You're a cowboy--actually, make that two cowboys--wanted dead or alive in Techland's new western FPS.

LOS ANGELES--One of the big, new games on display at Polish developer Techland's Electronic Entertainment Expo 2006 set-up is Call of Juarez, a western-themed PC first-person shooter. If you haven't been keeping up on our previous coverage of the game, the basic premise is that in 1882, a young punk by the name of Billy Candle is on the hunt for lost treasure but is dealing with accusations of murder against him, as well. Billy is being pursued by Reverend Ray McCall, an infamous gunfighter who is convinced that the Lord Himself has sent him on a mission to be Billy's judge, jury, and executioner. Throughout the game, you'll get to play as both of them. Each character will have their own specific styles and techniques--Ray is a rough-and-tumble gunfighter, whereas Billy is sneakier and more elusive.

Call of Juarez proclaims itself to be the first truly serious Wild West-themed first-person shooter. The game aims to create a fully authentic Wild West experience, from subtle environmental details to authentic voice acting from Mexican and Native American actors. You can expect era-specific weapons, plenty of gunslinger duels, saloon brawls, and horse riding--that is, just about anything you'd find in a classic John Wayne movie. Heck, you even get a whip, both for combat and to use for swinging, pulling yourself upward, and the like.

Call of Juarez aims to include complex and competitive enemy artificial intelligence, with individual skills like accuracy, courage, speed, cunning, agility, and group intelligence. AI characters will be smart enough to seek good firing positions, use different weapons for different situations, and even grab environmental objects to use as weapons.

Multiplayer will also be included, with modes ranging from arcade deathmatch to co-op-oriented team modes with specific player classes. We'll be sure to bring you more on Call of Juarez soon, but be sure to check out our previous coverage, too.

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