Just when you thought the Germans were having all the fun. Evil Avatar has the goods for us English peeps.

Editing with a “review”

So the demo lets you play through a mission for each character. First off, the game loads so, amazingly, snail
emulating, nap enducingly slow. I really hope this is fixed. Each mission has the character preface it with a
paragraph of “storyline” but they’re long done talking before the game finishes loading. So you sit there and wait. And wait. But once the game does load it’s sure as hell pretty. The graphics are really high standard, atleast for the shrubs and bush. I definitely think next gen when I play. The grass and dust effects are wonderful. I actually stood there and just watched the dust blow across the terrain for a minute or two.

The gameplay, however seems a little iffy to me. The mechanics for the dual pistols are a little off, especially in concentration mode. Which is basically a slow-mo effect that lets you “aim” both pistols while the bad guys are still reaching for theirs. Sadly it doesn’t come off as quite as easy as that. Once enabled you get two crosshairs on your screen, one for each pistol, and they move across the screen until they meet in the center and concentration mode is over. During this time you can fire and sort of “aim” the crosshairs. But since you only have one mouse, both crosshairs are linked and you use up a lot of time swinging them back and forth aiming at each person.

This mode is for Ray as he’s our preacher turned back to gunfighter in the story and his mission has you in his local town fighting off some baddies. While I mentioned the graphics were pretty, I meant the scenery. The towns and buildings and what not don’t look so good. Or rather, they look extremely simple. And I’m not sure if they’re just trying to give it an extra un-modern feel or if they’re just not good at building design. But whatever. It still all looks pretty good. Back to Ray. He’s got a couple of pistols and much to my disappointment the fights don’t feel solid. Reloading is a chore as you have to hit “r” twice. Once to reload one pistol and then again to reload the other. While a good concept it gets to be a bit of a pain as you just hit reload and think you’re good on ammo when the other pistol runs out.

Billy on the other hand isn’t exactly mister gunsmith. He’s got a whip and his bag of tricks is stealth. Which is what you do for his mission. Sneak around. And ride a horse. Billy’s mission actually really lets you get into the spirit of things with the trees and shrubbery and bushes, as that’s what you use to hide in. The game makes specific use of this and gives you a hint to make sure you know it too.

While crouched in bushes and shrubs the enemy can’t see you

Sadly, you can’t see them either. So it involves a lot of trying to remember where enemies are and studying their “patrols”. The horse riding is a little loose feeling and taking some of the jumps can be a little frustrating as a horse doesn’t exactly turn on a dime, but that’s just a horse being a horse.

In general, I think CoJ will be a fun game. Load times are slow and a few other things don’t feel quite so polished, which kinda knocks the game down from an immediate buy to maybe a pickup when it’s like 20 bucks. I wouldn’t feel cheated for paying $50 dollars for it, but I don’t think it’d be worth it.


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