Call of Juarez The Cartel

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Techland insists Hellraid isn't cancelled

Techland insists Hellraid isn't cancelled

Dying Light passes 4.5m players, and Call of Juarez could return.

Dying Light developer Techland has assured me dark fantasy action game Hellraid has not been cancelled. Development has been "frozen" but may be thawed as soon as third quarter this calendar year.

CEO Pawel Marchewka also told me Dying Light has 4.5 million unique users, the last count being 3.2 million mid-March. That doesn't strictly equal sales, but more on that and Dying Light - and the future Call of Juarez - later.

Hellraid first. "No no no," Marchewka responded at Polish games conference Digital Dragons when I asked if the game had been cancelled - it had been ominously announced as "on hold" only hours before.

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Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Dealer piñata.

Call of Juarez is one of those peculiar mid-range series that have somehow survived an industry climate that is supposed to have finished off everything between tiny indies and blockbuster juggernauts. The first two games, set in the Old West, received favourable reviews and decent sales, yet you'd struggle to find anyone who calls themselves a fan of the series, or can name the characters. This is not a franchise that inspires devotion or passion.

Perhaps sensing this, Ubisoft and developer Techland have shaken things up for this third entry. Out goes the Wild West and in comes modern-day Los Angeles, where federal agents battle Mexican drug cartels for control of the US border and the street narcotics trade.

It's a curious swap, and one that never really sells the notion that this is "the new Wild West". In fact, out of the game's 15 levels, only a couple are set in the badlands of Mexico rather than urban slums, nightclubs and docks. One stage, at least, takes us back to the familiar streets of Juarez, now a dilapidated ghost town, and provides a tangible link to the previous games.

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Out This Week - 22/07/11

Juarez! Insect Armageddon! PS3 Double Packs!

This week sees gaming's first Western since last year's epic Red Dead Redemption. Can Call of Juarez: The Cartel compete? The third entry in Techland's cowboy series is taking a very bold tack - uprooting the shooting from the genre's classic timeframe and dumping gamers in the modern day.

Child of Eden PS3 release date

Child of Eden PS3 release date

Plus: WRC11, Juarez PC, Rabbids Kinect.

Tetsuya Mizuguchi's acclaimed Child of Eden finally hits PlayStation 3 on 23rd September, following its Xbox 360 launch last month, Ubisoft has announced.

Elsewhere on the publisher's revised release schedule, the PC version of FPS sequel Call of Juarez: The Cartel launches on 16th September, World Rally Championship 2011 gets under starter's orders from 7th October and Kinect party game Rabbids: Alive & Kicking arrives on Xbox 360 some time in November.

Far Cry 3 and Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 are both listed as "calendar 2012".

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Cheap This Week - 06/07/11

Juarez! 3DS! DiRT 3! LBP2!

Strap yourselves in folks, there are bargains galore this week. We've two nicely discounted consoles available, a stellar pre-order offer, a couple of fairly recent releases getting their first proper discount, and a bite-sized game for just a quid. If Cheap This Week every Wednesday isn't enough for you, you can always find more cheap games over at SavyGamer.co.uk.

Splinter Cell Trilogy HD release date

Splinter Cell Trilogy HD release date

Rayman Origins nailed down, too.

The Splinter Cell Trilogy HD will be released exclusively for PS3 on 23rd September, Ubisoft has announced.

Rayman Origins will be released in November on PS3, Wii and Xbox 360.

Ubisoft's new schedule also provides a "calendar 2011" date for Wii and Kinect game The Black Eyed Peas Experience.

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Call Of Juarez: The Cartel

Mexicans are the new Indians.

With the runaway success of Red Dead Redemption, and, at the cinema, the Oscar-nominated True Grit, Westerns would be appear to be very much on the agenda in recent times. So what has Polish outfit Techland done with their slightly popular Wild West franchise? Turned it into an 80's action movie, of course. The Cartel is, to put it mildly, something a departure from the first two instalments. Whereas the original game had you hiding in the bushes with a whip, the second had you wandering round frontier towns; number three will see you careering down four lanes of traffic toting a machinegun.

Call of Juarez: The Cartel announced

Call of Juarez: The Cartel announced

Ditches Wild West for modern day.

Call of Juarez: The Cartel has been announced for PC and "next-gen consoles" - presumably PS3 and Xbox 360.

It's coming out this summer.

Published by Ubisoft, this third instalment transports the series from the Wild West to present day America with "a new and modern setting".

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