Game: Just Cause 3
Platform on which it was played: Just Cause 3
Score: 4/10 – Just Cause 3 is an extremely ambitious project from a well-known publisher-developer team who, in the past, have delivered absolute greatness and games that, even today, we play with full hearts.
Just Cause 3 continues the trend of making fun games for casual gamers and seems to ignore the technical prowess which we have come to allocate with great importance, this results in a technical ‘check-list’ experience which will be forgotten long before it’s predecessors.
Price Paid: £44.99
Explosions and NPC screams fill my Television screen, Rico flings himself across a vast expanse of water as an anti-air gun is fired from a heavily-armed Corvette boat, he falls from the sky as his wingsuit is clipped by small-arms fire and he smashes face-first into the ocean, this is the result of a two-hour plan which failed due to lack of health, welcome to Medici…
Just Cause 3 is the latest instalment of Avalanche‘s open-world Just Cause series.
Each Just Cause game sees the protagonist, Rico Rodriguez being inserted into a conflict-ridden territory by the mysterious ‘Agency’ in order to remove a despot from power and regain peace – if the new state of affairs makes it easier for ‘The Agency’ to exploit the remaining people then so be it.
Rico Rodriguez has just finished polishing Panuan blood from his clothes when he is informed by his mentor, Tom Sheldon, that his home country , the fictional island nation of Medici has been taken over by the tyrannical dictator, General Di’Ravello and needs to be restored to it’s former glory.
Rico accepts the challenge and inserts into Medici.
Rico arrives and bears witness to people being arrested for minor offences, a radio station run by the government which is hosted by a kidnapped foreign celebrity and a figurative, boat-full, of friends waiting for assistance.
Di’ravello is obsessed with a miracle element known as ‘Bavarium’ and has devoted a large amount of time and government money into it’s research and eventual mining.
This is made abundantly clear by Rico encountering excavator machines and storage containers which, when destroyed, produce a much larger explosion than that of standard explosives.
Regardless of the reasons, his homeland is in peril and Rico is no mood for excuses, with a handful of explosives and head full of ideas, he will prevail and take back Medici for the good of his people.
The general gameplay of Just Cause hasn’t evolved over three games in any considerable way.
Rico must cause chaos by taking over settlements, assassinating key figures, sabotaging government operations and completing repetitive collection missions to loosen a despot’s grip on a conflicted country/region, this time around is the turn of, General Di’Ravello.
The General is the psychopathic dictator who founded his reign by killing and coercing anyone who stood in his way, in order to gain the ultimate seat of power in Medici.
In Just Cause 3, Rico’s equipment has been upgraded and you have been afforded the ability to level his gear and weapons up by completing item-specific missions which reward ‘gears’.
Each time you complete a challenge, you will be given an overview of the reward you gained and the accomplished condition to which that pertains – while playing a time-trail race you are given an achieved time, the higher the score, the higher the reward, and so on and so forth.
In addition to the above ‘gears’ system, the ‘supply drop’ system has also been given an upgrade (see what I did there?).
At one time you could request as many supply drops as your in-game wealth would allow sadly, this is no longer the case.
If you want to request a drop of supplies, first you must obtain a beacon, beacons are found in small supply boxes in owned settlements and settlements are – generally – taken over by using firepower and completing side-activities, which are often indicated onscreen.
Explosions and chaos have long been the currency in Just Cause – more bang equals more bucks – because of this, you can now carry unlimited remote explosive devices.
The explosive devices can be leveled up in a similar fashion to the other equipment and skills – grappling hook, weapons, driving ability – and you may only place a certain number according to the amount you have unlocked the ability to do so.
If you have the perk which allows you to place three C4 blocks at one time, you will be allowed to do so before reaching maximum explosives placed.
Explosive devices are very useful when upgraded and you may find yourself obliterating entire bases and strongholds with only a pistol and a handful of C4.
Bases and civilian settlements are found in ‘provinces’ – areas of play – each province is unlocked after a number of locations have been conquered which in turn, unlocks the province’s ‘central command point’.
Another unconventional way of taking down a ‘central command point’ – or indeed any other base.outpost – is to use the infamous infinite grappling hook.
In Just Cause 3, the grappling hook can be upgraded to tether many objects together at one time – and in a series first – you can now force the objects which you have tethered to ‘reel-in’ to one another which means to draw together at extreme force this, when used with a vehicle and an explosive barrel, can result in a satisfying fireworks show which spells trouble for all who surround it.
‘Central command points’ are heavily armed bases which are often armed with super-weapons which far exceed that of a smaller base and these ‘central command points’ may be locked by a campaign mission which needs to be completed to gain access and ultimately, completion of that province.
‘Central command points’ will be the location in which you confront Just Cause 3’s elite and dangerous enemies.
Just Cause 3 has many different types of enemy available to eliminate and they all have strengths and weaknesses, which you will learn to exploit as you play through.
Just Cause has long been a series which rested a great deal of importance upon ‘how a player navigates the playing area’.
Just Cause 3 re-defines this by combining the grappling hook from Just Cause, the easily maneuverable parachute from Just Cause 2 and the new wingsuit which was introduced in Just Cause 3 (this can be upgraded further with the addition of the Sky Fortress DLC pack)
The wingsuit adds a level of navigation which is yet to be matched or beaten in games today, it allows the player to move, very quickly, across Medici, without sacrificing ease and finesse.
Medici is beautiful.
Visually, the playing area is unparalleled in beauty, simplicity and detail.
Each ripple of an ocean wave, cloud that parts as you tear through it and dust which rises from the ground when an explosion takes place, owes their existence and appearance to a saturated colour pallet, detailed modelling and location design and perfect advantage taken of full-HD gameplay capability, if Just Cause does only one thing right, it looks amazing.
Everything seems to sound as it should in Just Cause 3; weapons have thudding punch-sounds, dialogue is audible within realistic distances (no more being yelled at from a base you liberated five minutes and twelve miles ago) and is affected by angle of camera in relation to the audio origin point.
The vehicles in Just Cause 3 have varied operation sounds and no two planes, helicopters or cars, sound the same.
Technically, Just Cause 3 is impressive.
The game boasts a playing area of 400 square miles (roughly the same size as Just Cause 2) and is heavily saturated with missions, activities and free-play targets, which you can decide to take on from any angle you see fit.
Just Cause 3 is full of explosions, NPC’s and a wide-range of sea, land and air vehicles, this can cause quite a strain on the frame-rate and overall playing experience.
When things start to get hectic on Just Cause 3, you could be forgiven for thinking you were playing a last-gen game at the rate of screen drag and almost unacceptable delay.
Be it, working out how to take a base using only a grappling hook or leveling an entire block of fuel tanks by flying directly into them; there is fun to be had in Just Cause 3.
This overall does not help to soften the blow of terrible frame-rate problems, audio-screen delay, log-in issues and game instability, which I believed to be, problems of the last gen.
To sum up; Just Cause 3 is an enjoyable experience if played for fun, however, if like me, you expect a current-gen product to be technologically superior, an impressive creative product and worth the ludicrous price tag; avoid Just Cause 3 and stick to playing Just Cause 2.
There are still fun times to be had in Panau…
(Sky Fortress DLC review to come) – link will be posted here: