Article

6 Top Tips for working in Photoshop

Photoshop is one of these programs that you just use for everything, so much so that you start assuming everyone else uses it then you get frustrated when they try to do something in any other program…

Article

After Hours returns in 2012 for Series 5

NetGameRadio is proud to present After Hours series 5 Saturday Nights from March 3rd. Join Bench, Josh, and the netGameRadio staff as they play some games and talk the latest goss in the gaming world…

Article

6 backing tracks to my life

If you’re like me though, there’s certain songs that stand out above the rest. You remember the moments you first heard them…

Article

The new Office Look

So it’s been a while since I actually took the time to take some decent photos of my office…

Article

Call of Duty Experience $1mil Comp

Monash’s Computer Games Boot Camp 2011 will be the setting for the Australian qualifiers for Activision’s Call of Duty Experience Tournament, bragging a $1,000,000 prize for the winners…

Article

Portal 2 Soundtrack : Volume 2 is out

Game soundtrack lovers or just Portal fans (I should just say gamers) should get up and get in on the action of the latest Portal 2 Soundtrack Volume release…

Article

Computer Games Boot Camp is on again for 2011

Monash University is set to kick of its Computer Games Boot Camp (CGBC), the biggest event on any high-school gamer’s calendar…

Article

Ubercharged Team Fortress 2 now Free 2 Play

Valve’s Team Fortress 2 is on Day 4 of it’s Uber Update has finally introduced us to the Medic, oh and is also now totally free 2 play forever and ever.

Article

After Effects : The Must have Plugins

The weapon of choice for Motion Graphic Designers and Visual Effects artists, After Effects has been my “home away from home”. Countless hours spent and long nights rendering out in the best quality I can fathom. It’s a great piece of software on its own, however where it really comes into the realm of professional post-production is with the array of plugins available for it…

Article

Bookmark Rundown

Looking at what’s worth bookmarking, for this the first… the top places for any Motion Graphics Designer…

Article

After Hours Series 3

After Hours Series 3 explodes onto the airwaves Saturday Nights from 10pm. Join myself, Josh, and the nGR boys (and girls) for a night on the town…

Article

Pure Pwnage finds its way to ABC2

I remember going through the latter half of school watching Pure Pwnage, the antics of Jeremy (teh_pwnerer), Kyle and FPS Doug filling the computer screen…

Article

Black Ops PC looks grim

After gamers got all up-in-arms about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, being shipped without the possibility of dedicated servers…

Article

Call of Duty : Black Ops Multiplayer Teaser

As an avid Call Of Duty Fan from way back when you could count the titles on one hand…

Article

Rest in Peace Toni ‘cyx’ Daniloski (Mousesports)

Toni (cyx) Daniloski, one of the world’s best cyberathletes playing for mousesports, has tragically died after complications from a car accident yesterday in Frankfurt, Germany…

Article

X|Media|Lab: Film X-tended

Media Heavyweights flocked into the Australian Center for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne today for X|Media|Lab’s Pro-Day Conference, Film X-tended…

Article

Monash Computer Games Boot Camp kicks off

Monash’s Computer Games Boot Camp has kicked off for 2010, seeing over 700 high-school students flock onto the campus at Clayton, Victoria…

Article

Strap up for 2010′s Boot Camp

Monash University is at it once again with what is fast becoming the biggest Video Game related Conference in Australia…

Article

Status Report on R18+

98.2%. That’s how many of the 59,678 submissions to the Discussion Paper were Pro 18+…

Article

SMH gives choice: pro-filter or pro-rape

Sydney Morning Herald appears to of only just gotten its head out of the sand, with a story released yesterday using the Japanese game…

Article

After Hours Returns for Series 2

ZOMG Can it be possible? Yes it is. After Hours is returning for Series 2 here in 2010…

Article

After Hours FINAL EPISODE

This Saturday November 7th kick back to to Bench, Josh, and the nGR crew on the final episode of netGameRadio’s After Hours for the season, an unscripted, unrehearsed and totally chaotic show where anything goes…

Article

Digital Distribution Summit Wrap-up

BMW Edge at Federation Square, Melbourne, was the setting for the Digital Distribution Summit held on September 22nd 2009. Presented by Film Victoria, and featuring a lineup that included some of the leading names in the games industry, the DDS was a one-day conference that aimed to present invaluable market insight, networking, and discussion in regards to Digital Distribution and it’s effects on not only developers, but publishers and retailers as well…

Article

GameDamage releases a new Trailer

Australian produced videogame television show “GameDamage” have released a new trailer for their upcoming series…

Article

DICE VIP CounterStrike 1.6 National Cup

This weekend has seen Melbourne’s CounterStrike 1.6 LAN scene erupt with the DICE VIP National Cup, just weeks after the Plan B1G CounterStrike Source Nationals…

Article

Midway sold to Warner Bros. for $33 Mil.

For a long time Midway Games Inc. has been circling the bankruptcy drainpipe as it filed for Chapter 11 earlier in the year…

Article

Plan B1G National Cup

The Australian Counter-Strike scene saw the Plan B1G National Cup take place this weekend. In the wake of the collapse of Anything Interactive, B1G League stepped in with little time to arrange the new competition as flights were booked, dates were set, and the community was prepared for an epic showdown…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Amsterdam’s Power Supply was under threat because of the development of Killzone 2…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Nintendo will be releasing their MotinPlus snap-on attachment for Wii remotes on June 8th…

Article

2009 Wacom Expo featuring Intuos 4

Over 4 years in production, finally Wacom has released their next Graphics Tablet, and already I want to have its babies. It’s just that awesome…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

County Police Departments are angered by Grand Theft Auto mods providing authentic depictions of real police vehicles within their county…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Microsoft’s UK head of Xbox Neil Thompson has stated that they see downloadble content and Xbox Live as a ‘complementary’ addition to boxed product…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena is complete, and ready to be released worldwide on April 24th according to Atari…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

It seems like my favourite topic has continued to crop up into the spotlight once again…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Now i know i try to avoid being opinionated when presenting the news each week, but this next story i can’t help myself…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

The Economic Crisis has dealt all lines of the economy a serious blow, including the Royal Air Force who…

Article

Australian Gamer

Every week at least 20,000 listeners will hear the voices of what some have called “comic genius” and “the Roy and H.G of Australian gaming”…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

In America the U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that the anti-video game legislation, passed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, is unconstitutional…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Activision is threatening to sue Electronic Arts over the publishing rights to Double Fine’s action game, Brutal Legend…

Article

News Around the Watercooler

Epic Games, known for the Unreal series, has found itself in an awkward position….

Review

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood [PS3]

July 17, 2009


July saw the release of Ubisoft’s Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, a “spaghetti Western styled” First Person Shooter that takes players on a wild ride revolving around gold, Outlaws, Apache, Mexicans, and much more. A prequel to the original “Call of Juarez” by Polish developer Techland, Bound in Blood provides a deep riveting story of three brothers and their lives.
Those who can remember “Gun” might have been dubious at the sound of another Spaghetti Western FPS, however you will be pleasantly surprised that Bound in Blood holds up to a high standard. You’re thrown into the Civil War as Ray McCall, the older more brutish brother sporting the standard clichéd scar on his face and his two pistols. You fight through the enemy lines in an effort to save your brother Thomas, who once saved you can also then play as. Thomas is the younger of the two, though handles the rifles (and heights) much better than Ray. From then on you’re given the option of playing either Ray (who’s good at close range and explosions) or Thomas (who’s good at long range and stealth).

Bound in Blood is broken up into chapters, giving you the option of playing either Ray or Thomas at the start of each. The chapters are separated with a Fable-style image montage and narration of what happens in between the chapters story-wise. This included with the in-game cinematics gives much scope for the story to be carried out.
Thomas and Ray abandon the army to save their homestead, and evidently their younger brother William, a reverend and the one who’s point-of-view the story is told by. The game introduces many more characters along the road as Thomas and Ray quest for Gold, and a women’s love. Betrayal, deception, and sacrifice all weave their ways throughout the storyline.

Bound in Blood offers quite an open-world environment, and quite a variety of different locations to play in from the front lines of the Civil War, to the cliffs of Arizona, the desert plains of Mexico, to secret ruins sporting seas of sand circa the last Indiana Jones film.
From the get-go the gameplay is surprising. It teaches you what you need to know regularly enough that you learn it all within the first 5-10 minutes of playing, but not in too big packages as you need to pause the screen to read. The controls are intuitive enough to be able to aim and quite successfully kill enemies with little issues. However the biggest thing about the game is the mechanics it features.

One of the biggest problems with FPS games is how to make use of cover properly, with Bound in Blood the transitions are seamless. Push against an object and you’re already taking cover on it, now when you move your Look control your player actually moves against the object. If you’re against a crate one movement will make you duck down so you can reload without getting hit; move the other way and you’ll slowly look over the crate and if you continue to move then you’ll lean over the crate to look over the other side. When against doors and corners you can lean around and not Call of Duty style one direction leaning, when you lean you lean out and then around the actual door to take out enemies hiding behind the other side. And then just moving away from the object or door or wall changes the controls back to the standard look movement, the change is so seamless that it makes changing from these two modes simple in the biggest firefight.

Bound in Blood aims for realism in every sense, and with the use of Depth of Field it’s merged into the gameplay superbly. The whole game features Depth of Field, select points of focus with things further or closer in your field of view becoming blurry. Standing around the blur isn’t as noticeable but looking down the barrel of a rifle makes it all the more obvious. When looking down the barrel of a gun where it’s pointing becomes in focus, and objects further or closer to the point aimed at become blurry, the long you focus on a single point the more select it becomes. It literally means you can focus on sniping with a standard rifle, or focus on a target against a eclectic cluttered forest backdrop.

Finally there’s Concentration Mode, get enough kills and you’ve charged your concentration mode for whichever character you’re playing as. Using it results in a temporary bullet-time mode where pushing the right buttons with the right movement gets enemies killed very quickly. Playing as Ray gives you a concentration mode in which he sports duel pistols and where any movement over any of the highlighted enemies counts as a target, when the timer runs out Ray fires at every target identified. You can headshot as many enemies as you can, or just fill a few targets with as many bullets as you can muster. Thomas on the other hand has one pistol, in which you must hold down the trigger and with the same control the controls your movement, you pull back the hammer of the gun making you auto-target enemies and fire for every time you pull back. There are many times when an ambush by both brother’s is the best option, and in that instance both enter concentration mode at the same time. This only occurs when breaking through double-doors and you must aim and fire at your targets. It can sometimes feel a little like Quick Time Events however with the length of the advantage and the simple button configeration it’s easily achieved and amidst a gunfight it can be a lifesaver.

Bound in Blood also sports Cannons, Bows, Knives, Gatling Guns, as well as Horses, Wagons and anything else vintage 19th Century. Each has it’s moment of use, and each brother has their specialties that makes choosing one over the other difficult. Ray has a cuirass, dynamite and is better for close combat. Thomas on the other hand has a lasso that helps him climb up high with his rifle and is good at medium to long distance combat. He also has knives and you can buy a bow for him that makes long distance stealth achievable.

There is also quick-draw stand-off moments, in which your character faces off against an enemy, generally what would constitute a boss fight in other games. One control controls your hand while the other controls your pacing, if you lose focus on your enemy by pacing in the wrong direction everything becomes fuzzy. When the bell rings grab your gun with your hand and fire. Although it’s supposed to be difficult it seemed to be one of the easiest Quick Time Events in the game.

With the abilities of modern consoles the visuals are incredible. Explosions are incredible, the open-world sequences don’t sacrifice on the quality already established, and everything down to the gun decals are meticulously decorated.
In face the only real issue with the game is the save mode. It hasn’t learnt how to do it correctly. It has no “Save Game” button, and “restarting the chapter” compared to “return to last checkpoint” are both deceivingly confusing. Also there are a few points in which you may fail a mission, and you go back to the last checkpoint to try again, and although you’re doing all it asks for it decides you just didn’t do it correctly and so you fail again.

However apart from those rare occasions Call to Juarez: Bound in Blood has performed higher than expected as a Spaghetti Western FPS. Definitely worth a buy, if you’re skeptical than go hire it but you’ll just be spending more money because once you’ve played it you’ll go out and buy it anyway.

Storyline – 3.5/5 (Although a thorough storyline it was monotonous or predictable at points)
Gameplay – 5/5
Performance – 4/5