Call of Juarez

Military shooters seem to be all the rage these days, but what better way to demonstrate the ohh-you-got-me ability of your game to flop enemiesabout like meat puppets every time youpour hotlead into themthan by making a spaghetti western shooter? Swaggering into town is Call of Juarez, a Wild West gunslinger for the PC that looks like a fine vacation away from the usual rocket launchers and laser cannons.

You'll be able to use many of the in-game objects you find in creative ways, like setting fire to places (and people) with strategically broken whiskey bottles. Your enemies will have the smarts to do the same, so keep the fire brigade handy (in this case, a bucket of water). Check out the video of this fiery action by clicking on the tab above.

Most notable is the improvement in the game's visuals from the time we saw it last at E3 in 2005. Then clunky and simply drawn, we love what they've done with the place. Rich, detailed textures coat every surface (though we hope they lose the 50-star US flag)and realistic shadowsmake showdowns at high noon feel very different frompistols at dawn. In fact, the lighting is about as natural as we've seen in a game so far, creating dark, dangerous corners just right for showdowns and shallow graves.

Call of Juarez swings open the saloon doors this summer.

April 4, 2006