Review: Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
The smoke in this saloon hung high around our heads like thick clouds, giving us the illusion that we were all giants. In a way, we are. I see it in the eyes of every so called god fearing citizen I pass in each dust choked town I rumble through. They romanticize what I do, every bloody, bullet riddled second of it. It could be worse, I suppose, at least I’m a lawman, bringing some justice to these tumbleweed infected jungles. I could be one of those awful, no good, evil sons of bitches who prowl the untamed deserts trying to strip it of everything good and decent, everything this country stands for. Those glorified criminals, worshipped by every poor farmers son from the ocean to the Mississippi.
I could tell the barkeep was uncomfortable with me. They hadn’t trusted me from the minute I set my boots in this criminally inclined town. They rarely do. So I sit and drink the swill they pass for a bourbon and think long and hard on why I do the things I do. My reflection stared up at me disapprovingly from the amber colored liquid, my breathing sending small ripples through it, distorting my face and making it seem like a bizarre dream.
Lately I’ve been plagued with strange dreams. The doc says that its nothing, and that if it really bothers me that much I should see one of those witch doctors from the orient with their strange powders and potions. I don’t believe him. There is something more to these dreams, something real. It isn’t guilt or my conscience, I’m a good man. Or as good a man as this barren hell can allow. They aren’t about the men I killed though, no. Instead it almost seems that they are about how the future will view these days.
In these dreams it is like a perfect recreation of this lawless time. From the noises my boots make against the loose floorboards of the saloon to the sound of the wildlife in the outskirts of the forest. I can almost feel the grit against my face when the wind whips through the center of town and blows the dirt into the air. Everything from the heat of the sun on my face to the banter between townspeople that capture the feel just right. These aren’t my experiences though, I’m on the outside, observing them. Altering the events but being removed from them, as if it was some sort of interactive entertainment. It must be. Like a burlesque show you get to be the star of, without having to wear all those frilly undergarments of course.
I may be in this town to help the sheriff find his daughter, but if I can get to the bottom of these dreams I’ll consider it a personal victory even if we never find her, all signs point to the harlot running off with a nefarious bank robber anyway. These stories are strange, I didn’t even fight in the Civil War, yet I suddenly have knowledge of it from a first person perspective. Knowledge of two brothers fighting side by side on their own mission, living by their own code. A code that I reckon quite easily. I always fear that people will look back on this time like those godless heathens I pass on my travels, thinking we are all some noble heroes fighting for God and our country. There is no black and white, no good or bad, we all live in shadows where the colors mend together. If my dream is of how the things we’ve done will be viewed by a future that barely has anything in common with ours, and it seems like it will be a more than loyal adaptation.
This could just be because I, like these phantom protagonists, am a man of action. I don’t see a reason for covertness in an overt world like this. Why hide in the shadows when we are already living in them? This isn’t to say the entire bizarre dream is just shootouts in ghost towns. There is a lot of depth between these spectres, obviously their blood runs deep; as all brothers should. This lends to the fact that like all good dreams, it is too short, but when I wake up I just want to go to the doc and have him give me some of those knock out pills he seems to love so much. From the duels to the camaraderie, from the vultures circling over head to the crumbling wanted posters nailed into walls. It is all so flawlessly done, a perfect mental recreation of what I have seen every day for as long as I can remember walking these wastes.
Except I don’t have to worry about eating a bullet or dying of syphillis.
“I don’t know why you keep drinking that Wild Turkey stuff, we’ve got better whiskey back here.”
I glanced up at the barkeep, he was only trying to make conversation but he interrupted my thoughts, “The only thing I’m choosy about is the women I bed, the horse I ride, and the gun I fire. In that order.” I took a deep gulp from the dirty glass in front of me and slammed it back down onto the liquor soaked bar, “I’ve got to be moving on anyway. The lawless west waits for no man.”
“What the hell are you talking about,” the bartender said to me. “This is a TGI Fridays.” He paused for a second, drying the glass in his hand with a towel from his apron, “In New Jersey.”
The colorful yardsale vomit on the walls all seemed to be looking at me at once. Ok, obviously not a saloon. Well, I guess Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood really was awesome.
Oh, and the multiplayer is cool too.