Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood is the 2009 prequel to the 2006 Western shooter Call of Juarez, centering on Ray (one of the protagonists of the original game) and his brother Thomas' exploits in their youth. After deserting from the Confederate Army shortly before its defeat, the McCalls find their old home burned down, their youngest brother William being the only survivor. To rebuild their home, the three travel to Mexico to find the legendary treasure of Juarez but William worries that his brothers are becoming outlaw murderers who only want the money for themselves...Bound in Blood keeps the fast pace of the original, but shifts the narrative focus towards the intense Family Drama of the McCalls. Gameplay-wise, the game adds Regenerating Health and a cover mechanic, and also does away with the stealth segments from the first game. It also revamps the old concept of playing through the same level twice: you can choose to play most levels as either Thomas or Ray, as they fight together at the same time (the other is controlled by the AI). Sadly and perplexingly, there's no cooperative mode. Additionally, BiB introduces more realistic quick-draw duels.The game was very well received, falling somewhere between a Surprisingly Improved and an Even Better Prequel, depending on your opinion of the first game, thanks to the improved graphics and gameplay mechanics and a more personal and engaging storyline.
Tropes found in the game:
The American Civil War: The first two chapters of the game take place in 1864, where Ray and Thomas fight for the South and defend the Chattahoochie River from the forces of General William Tecumseh Sherman. The two disobey direct orders to save their homestead from a Union attack, and then desert the Confederate army entirely.
Anachronism Stew: The prequel uses all the guns from the first game, including SAA revolvers, which weren't due to be invented for at least another decade after the Civil War.
What's more, Ray constantly uses dynamite, despite the game taking place in 1865/1866. Dynamite was only patented in 1867.
The Atoner: The reason Ray becomes Reverend Ray in the end. Running River too, who changes his name to Calm Water and dedicates himself to a life of peace.
Ax-Crazy: Ray has this in spades. At one point Thomas even remarks that Ray enjoys mercenary work way too much. Colonel Barnsby also gets pretty, well, excited at the thought of killing the McCall brothers.
Big Bad Duumvirate: Both Juarez/Juan Mendoza and Colonel Barnsby act as the main antagonists.
Bittersweet Ending: Ray becomes a reverend and marries Thomas and Marisa, but William is dead, Juarez is alive (possibly unknown if you haven't played the original), and then there's the fact this is a prequel...
Bling Bling Bang: The weapons have four grades of quality: old, normal, silver, and gold.
Silver and golden guns are also present in multiplayer, but only in aesthetic form. It's possible to unlock silver weapons both by earning $200 000 or by using a bonus code, while golden ones can only be earned by reaching $1 000 000.
Character Class System: The multiplayer features 13 classes, but only 5 of them are available at the start. The others can be unlocked by earning money in-game. The classes also have health/speed upgrades which can be bought in a game, but they're reset at every match.
Chekhov's Gun: Quite literally. At the beginning of the game, Ray and Thomas kill an entire Company of Union troops attacking their family estate. Later, Colonel Barnsby and his men come by and collect all the rifles off the dead troops. These rifles become a major MacGuffin later in the game's main plot.
Close Range Combatant: The Hombre in multiplayer. He's both sturdy and lethal but thankfully only at close range.
Gatling Good: Ray can pick up a Gatling gun and carry it around.
Generation Xerox: It's something of a surprise, but Thomas McCall plays quite similar to how his stepson Billy Candle did in the original game, including the inability to dual-wield and instead using a lasso and a bow as signature equipment. The reason for this is open to any amount of Wild Mass Guessing.
Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Subverted, as Col. Barnsby's appearance as the Final Boss turns out to be a plot point that underlines the absolution motif in the game, since Running River finds the inner strength to forgive him for killing his village and his son.
God Is Good: William believes that firmly and Ray comes to believe in it in the end. Eventually proven true at the end of the first game, where Ray prays to God for a chance to save Billy and is given it, shooting the Big Bad before he can kill Billy. Or it may have been a case of Heroic Resolve and Dying Moment of Awesome.
Guns Akimbo: Like in the original game, Ray is most efficient with a pair of revolvers in his hands.
The Gunslinger: Ray is still a mix of Trick Shot and The Woo, while Thomas is more of a pure Trick Shot.
One of the multiplayer classes is called Gunslinger. He uses two Schofield revolvers, plus two sticks of dynamite.
How We Got Here: The game begins with the opening scene from the final mission, and the rest of the game is William's narration of how his caring and more-or-less responsible older brothers became brazen murderers ready to kill each other.
If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: William tries to prevent Ray from killing an unarmed Devlin with this and the story of Jesus forgiving one of the murderers crucified alongside him. Ray's reaction? "The Lord forgave him... a cold-blooded murderer? Well, that's good to know." Then he shoots him dead.
Joke Item: The Ladies Pistol (Derringer) is the weakest firearm in the game, and only holds 2 shots. It takes at least 3 or 4 hits from it to kill most enemies. At gun stores it's the cheapest weapon available, and rightly so.
Level Editor: Downloadable from the modding site. It's quite user-friendly, but also advanced enough that experienced mappers can create very elaborate maps, with cutscenes and the like.
Juarez does it again, which is notable because all the previous bosses were standard one-shot-one-kill quick-draw duels.
This actually happens a few times in Bound in Blood. Both battles against Col. Barnsby are this, along with some random bosses thrown in during the sandbox segments.
Mighty Glacier: Ray has better defenses than Thomas (thanks to the breastplate he is still wearing) and can deal a shitton of damage with his Guns Akimbo, however, he is not as quick and maneuverable as his brother.
Never Found the Body: You fight Juarez as a Climax Boss in the second-to-last level. At the end, this trope is invoked so he can return to be the Big Bad in the original game, taking place twenty years later.
Non-Action Guy: William, the youngest McCall brother, is a non-violent priest.
Non-Player Companion: In most levels, Thomas and Ray fight alongside each other, with you controlling one of them while the computer steers the other. Except the first few levels and the final showdown, you get to select which brother to control in the next mission and, by extension, which one will be controlled by the AI.
Railing Kill: Can happen in singleplayer, as balcony railings are breakable.
The Remnant: Colonel Barnsby and his Confederate remnants are undaunted by the end of the American Civil War, and start up a gun-running operation in the hopes of putting together enough money to finance a second rebellion.
Sequel Difficulty Drop: Bound in Blood has Regenerating Health, and also does away with the stealth segments and platform jumping which were the primary source of Fake Difficulty in the original game. This is partly balanced out by making Bullet Time less common (you have to earn it by killing enemies, instead of it regenerating automatically every few seconds), and also by slightly Nerfing Ray.
The double-barreled shotgun doesn't work at long range.
There's also the sawed-off shotgun, which is probably the most powerful gun at extremely close range, but does no damage at all after 10 meters. The 'Hombre' multiplayer class carries two of these, and he's used mostly for indoor fighting or ambushes.
Wake-Up Call Boss: The second duel. There is zero margin for error, and you will die repeatedly until you learn the duel mechanics properly. This is a huge jump in difficulty compared to the first duel, an old man who's slow as molasses.