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Call of Juarez is a Western-themed first-person shooter from the Polish developer Techland. First released for Windows in 2006, it was ported to the Xbox 360 on June 5, 2007. The North American release of the PC version is one of the first games to utilize Microsoft's DirectX 10. It was released on June 12, 2007. Its prequel Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood was released in 2009.
A narrator tells the legend of the Gold of Juarez, which was allegedly meant as a ransom for Moctezuma, held hostage by conquistadores. The treasure was lost long ago and never found again. Nevertheless, many daring souls set out to retrieve the riches of the Aztec Empire, but the treasure is rumored to be cursed.
Billy is a young man who doesn't know who his father is, and has no real last name. Due to his Mexican ancestry, he suffered racial prejudice from the local population. He especially hated his stepfather Thomas, who beat him daily. Fed up, Billy left his hometown of Hope to go after the Gold of Juarez, but after two years of fruitless searching, he found nothing.
Billy eventually returns to Hope, but when he arrives, he finds his mother and Thomas dead, lying underneath the words "Call of Juarez" written in blood. A man named Reverend Ray, a former outlaw who is Thomas' brother, sees Billy standing over his family, and presumes that Billy is the murderer. Billy flees from Ray’s attacks and escapes. Ray decides that it is his duty as God's emissary to track down and kill Billy for the crime.
Before Ray can set off in pursuit of Billy, bandits attack the town. He defeats them and goes in search of Billy. Meanwhile, Billy runs through a camp of bandits to escape Ray's pursuit. After sneaking through their camp, Ray confronts Billy, but Billy escapes by leaping onto an oncoming train. Ray follows the train, only to find the bandits raiding it. Ray saves the train from the bandits, and learns where Billy went.
Billy decides to go to the ranch of Molly Ferguson's father, where he used to work, as he believes she is the only one who will believe he is innocent. Ray tracks Billy to the ranch where he meets a group of Texas Rangers who tell him they are going to attack the farm because Mr. Ferguson is a rustler. Ray helps them, and then chases Billy into the fields. He shoots Billy, causing him to fall in a nearby river. Ray returns to the ranch to find that the Rangers were in fact bandits, under the command of a man named Juarez. He beats two of the bandits to a draw as the others escape. With his dying breath, Mr. Ferguson begs Ray to rescue Molly, who was taken by the bandits. Ray races tries to catch them, but fails. Realizing that Billy wasn’t responsible for Marisa and Thomas' murder, he breaks down in tears, believing he has failed in his duty.
Billy survives, and is nursed back to health by Calm Water, an Apache medicine man. Later, after running some errands for Calm Water, Billy returns to find him dead. The bandits who killed him then take Billy hostage. Meanwhile, Ray is pursuing the bandits in an attempt to redeem himself. He chases them on horseback, and shoots a bandit named Ty Stewart. As he dies, Stewart reveals the coach is headed for the town of Juarez on the Mexican boarder.
In Juarez, Billy meets a man named Juarez, who reveals that he is Billy's true father. He demands Billy find the Gold of Juarez otherwise he will kill Molly. Ray, who arrives and fights off the bandits, saves Billy, telling him to run. Ray fights more bandits and wounds Juarez, who manages to escape, telling Ray he will kill Molly if he doesn't bring him the gold.
Ray storms Juarez's alcázar, fighting his way to a cell, where he finds Molly. Juarez traps Ray and Molly inside the cell, and sets fire to it. Billy puts out the fire, then confronts Juarez. He shoots Juarez to a draw and leaves him for dead. Billy then rescues Ray and Molly from the cell. Suddenly, Juarez walks in and guns down Ray, revealing that he was wearing armor. Juarez and Billy fist fight and Billy defeats him. As he lays dying, Ray realizes that the whole affair was his own fault, and prays that his actions will not cause Billy and Molly to die. He recovers just long enough to see Juarez spring a knife and attack Billy from behind. Ray kills Juarez, and then dies happily.
Later, Billy and Molly are standing in the Juarez cemetery over Ray's grave. Billy says he will take Calm Water's advice and no longer run from his destiny.
- William "Billy Candle" Mendoza: A young drifter of Mexican descent, and one of the story's two protagonists. Anti-social and flighty due to his upbringing and the constant prejudice he experiences from those around him, Billy has been on the run for most of his life. After returning home after searching for the legendary Gold of Juarez, he finds his mother and stepfather dead and flees, giving his step-uncle the idea he was the one who killed them. Though he is on the run for most of the game, he eventually must face his enemies in order to protect those he cares about. It is assumed his last name is Mendoza, as his father's last name was also Mendoza.
- Reverend Ray McCall: An old gunslinger turned preacher, and Billy's step-uncle. Mistakenly believing that Billy is responsible for the murder of his brother and his brother's wife (Billy's parents), Ray takes up his guns again to hunt down Billy in the name of justice. Though he is Billy's antagonist for much of the game, he eventually realizes the truth and assists Billy in his quest.
- Juarez: The main antagonist of the story. A powerful bandit leader, known only as "Juarez" after the town he is from. He is also Billy's biological father, and responsible for the deaths of Billy's mother and stepfather. Juarez is after the legendary lost treasure of Juarez, and is after Billy's amulet which holds the key to finding the treasure. His true name is Juan Mendoza, as revealed in Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood.
- Tom Manson, Ty Stewart, and the McClyde brothers: Juarez's main henchmen, the men responsible for killing Billy's parents. Pretending to be Texas Rangers, they deceive Reverend Ray into helping them launch an assault on Ferguson's ranch in search of Billy. Before the fistfight between Juarez and Billy, Juarez claims Billy's mother "served" them.
- Molly Ferguson: The daughter of a wealthy rancher, with whom Billy fell in love. Her father is killed by Juarez's men, and Juarez holds her captive in order to force Billy to locate the treasure of Juarez for him.
- Calm Water: An old Indian medicine man who rescues Billy and nurses him back to health after he falls into water, after having been shot by Reverend Ray. Formerly known as "Running River" as is presented in Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood.
- Clyde Forrester: The owner of the local Saloon in Billy's hometown of Hope. A racist, religion-hating, violent trouble-maker, and a long-time enemy of both Billy Candle and Reverend Ray. Shot dead in a duel with Reverend Ray, who also burns his saloon.
- Suzy: A prostitute working in the Hope Saloon, and a childhood friend of Billy's. It is unknown if Suzy also died in the fire that engulfed the Hope Saloon.
In the first bonus mission titled "Farm", the player controls an unnamed deputy who is after a gang of horse thieves. The Deputy finds a farm attacked by a few members of the gang who torch the farm. After attacking the outlaws and rescuing the family, he is sent to rescue their horses. The Deputy tracks down the bandits and after three separate shootouts, he is challenged to a duel by the bandit leader, who is then shot dead.
In the next mission entitled "Ghost town", the deputy is on the trail of the Bloody Jack gang. Soon after entering the town, he witnesses an Apache Renegade murdered by a group of outlaws. The Deputy engages in fierce gun battles, and when all the bandits are killed, the deputy meets Bloody Jack, a bandit who speaks in a Russian accent. Bloody Jack offers him a deal to join his gang. The deputy refuses and guns Bloody Jack down.
In the final mission, titled "Showdown At Round Rock", the deputy finds himself at a town called Round Rock. Mayor Walter Simms, is away on business, and hires the deputy to be a substitute sheriff after the previous two sheriffs were either gunned down, or they disappeared. The deputy is also informed that a criminal named Vasquez is also in town staying in the hotel above the saloon. After several gunfights, and getting involved in Vasquez's activities, the deputy flees to Mexico a wanted man after shooting a corrupt County Commissioner.
Call of Juarez was met with positive reviews. Many game reviewers appreciated its gameplay and graphics, but criticised its character modelling and performance issues. GameSpot gave it a 7/10, appreciating its superb graphics and multiplayer, while Eurogamer gave it an 8/10, praising its impressive gameplay and dynamic story. IGN gave it a 7.5/10, praising its impressive sound score and voice cast, but criticising its graphic problems and a poor lasting appeal. Hyper's Maurice Branscombe commends the game for its "gun-slinging Western action done right". However, he criticises it for "physics fail in some sections and the loading times".
The Australian video game talk show Good Game's two reviewers gave the game a 6/10 and 8/10.
On January 13, 2009, Techland announced a prequel to Call of Juarez, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood, for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in 2009. Its story focuses on the exploits of Thomas and Ray McCall (Billy's stepfather and step-uncle) in their youth.