Call of Juarez: The Cartel is a modern-day excursion through the seedy drug cartel business, the setting of which includes the Mexcian city of Ciudad Juárez, a town situated steps away from El Paso, Texas. It's unsurprising that the area's residents aren't entirely enthralled about what they consider a glorification of the drug-related violence they've experienced.
Juárez is regarded as one of the most violent cities in North America. More than 3,000 people were murdered within its borders last year as the result of drug trading - that's more than eight murders every day, on average. On the other side of the border is El Paso, one of the biggest 20 metropolitan areas in the US and, in contrast, a city that's rated as one of the safest in the country.
The border between the two cities is one of the most intense and storied areas throughout the entire continent. That makes for good fiction, which is why the game exists. Nevertheless, El Paso County Sheriff's Office Commander Gomecindo Lopez believes it's inappropriate.
"In games you get hurt, you die and you get another life. In real life, you only die once. This goes along the lines of narco-songs that portray cartel leaders as heroes, but both are a gross misrepresentation of who they are. They are criminals," said Lopez in a Reuters interview.
Laurencio Barraza, who works with children in Juárez, commented, "Lots of kids say they want to be a hitman, because they are the ones that get away with everything." Ubisoft's new game, he says, will only make things worse. "This glorifies violence, as if victims were just another number or another bonus."
In response to the criticisms, an Ubisoft spokesperson said, "Call of Juarez: The Cartel is purely fictional and developed by the team at Techland for entertainment purposes only."
"While Call of Juarez: The Cartel touches on subjects relevant to current events in Juárez, it does so in a fictional manner that makes the gaming experience feel more like being immersed in an action-movie than in a real-life situation."
Ubisoft has no plans to tweak the game, which is slated for launch this summer. Little has been released about the game, but you can check out its official site for a few bites of info.
Feb 18, 2011