Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood PS3 / Xbox 360

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood PS3 / Xbox 360
The original pull of the Wild West was the promise of (mostly) empty lands. Nowadays, Wild West videogames inhabit a similarly under-populated genre. So ditch the space marines and allied soldiers and settle into a less familiar first-person shooter, Call of Juarez. This Polish-made prequel beautifully captures the dusty frontier atmosphere and gritty moral relativism of the best cowboy flicks. Set at the end of the classic western era, it begins with the Civil War in full swing as the McCall boys (you can alternate between them) desert the Confederate army to futilely protect their Georgia plantation from Sherman's scorched earth March to the Sea. From there the brothers leave a blood-soaked trail across the war-torn South and down Mexico way, battling bandits and geenrals, marshals, outlaws, cowboys and Indians. With all the greed, gold, vulgarity and, of course, gunslinging, westerns are such a neat fit for gaming that one wonders why more developers haven't hopped a wagon train towards the setting sun. (Techland/Ubisoft)