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Politicians Boycott “Call of Juarez: The Cartel”

There’s a new video game in stores titled Call of Juarez: The Cartel, based on the never-ending drug war in Mexico.  Users can play as a Los Angeles cop, DEA agent or gang affiliate-turned-FBI agent to hunt down cartels from Los Angeles to Ciudad Juarez, a main drug capital in Mexico.  Mexican politicians feel the game portrays their country in a bad light and want the game banned.

Peep this excerpt from Borderland Beat:

The quest begins when a Mexican drug cartel bombs a U.S. law enforcement agency, according to the game’s website. The site urges users to “ignite an all out border war.”

“Experience the lawlessness of today’s Wild West as you hunt down the Cartel before the violence escalates north of the border,” the website brags.

Although the “Call of Duty” games have come under fire for glamorizing the brutality of war, critics say “Call of Juarez” promotes a negative view of Mexico.

The game’s maker, Ubisoft, dismissed the criticism.

“While ‘Call of Juarez: The Cartel’ touches on subjects relevant to current events in Juarez, it does so in a fictional manner that makes the gaming experience feel more like being immersed in an action movie than in a real life situation,” the company said.

But politicians like Ricardo Boone Salmon, a congressman in Mexico’s Chihuahua State, which includes Ciudad Juarez, are still calling for a ban on the game.

“It is true there is a serious crime situation, which we are not trying to hide,” Boone Salmon told The AP. “But we also should not expose children to this kind of scenarios so that they are going to grow up with this kind of image and lack of values.”

I’m on the electric fence about this issue but purely from a gaming perspective, Ubisoft missed a golden opportunity for video game of the year.  Instead of sticking us with cops, they should also let gamers play cartel members.  With the extreme carnage that goes on in Ciudad, Call of Juarez: The Cartel could’ve had iller fatalities than Mortal Kombat.

Rockstar Games, the powerhouse behind the anarchic Grand Theft Auto series, would have been better off designing this one.   GTA already covered the Italian Mafia with Liberty City, L.A. gang wars with San Andreas, Chinese Triads in Chinatown Wars and the Miami underworld in Vice City.

Imagine a game where gangsters battle on the road in customized armor-plated vehicles (a.k.a. Los Monstruous), just like in real-life Mexico.  A player could drive the truck or man the gun-turrets… that shit would be off-the-chain.  It would’ve been more fun to do dirty work for the Zetas, instead of being forced to play a cop like Ice-T.

Speaking of pigs, where are the corrupt DEA agents and sleazy Border Patrol officers in this game? I’d choose one of those characters cuz I’ve always wondered what it would be like to collect extortion money.

In all fairness I haven’t given The Cartel a whirl so it may very well be decent.  The graphics are on-point and I gotta admit, the trailer looks tight (love how they used “Beat The Devil’s Tattoo” by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club as theme music).

Still, if you’re gonna make a video game about Mexican drug cartels you might as well go in just as hard as they do.  Either way, people are gonna be angry.



If anyone plays Call of Juarez, give us a review.

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