When the first Just Cause game came out in 2006 for the Xbox 360 and the previous generations platforms, I never would have thought that we would be treated to a third game in the series at this point. When the second entry of the franchise released in 2010, in spite of low expectations from consumers, Avalanche Studios created a cult classic with its open world and its ability to create a symphony of destruction.
Just Cause 3 is just as an addicting game as ever this time around, but it stems more from how you play the game.
The premise of the story is not necessarily unique this time around as you once again play as Rico Rodriquez. Returning to his Mediterranean homeland of Medici, Rico is tasked with taking down an evil dictator, Sebastiano Di Ravello. In typical fashion, Rico goes to take down his empire equipped with multiple weapons and his handy grappling hook that now have a few modifications.
One of which if the wing suit that is permanently attached to you throughout the majority of the game and will more than likely be your main use of travel between locations and the other islands, unless you just like driving. The upgrade to your grappling hook is interesting as you now grapple two items at once. For example, you can grapple an explosion barrel to a gas tank and have them collide together to cause an explosion…and there will be explosions…a lot.
While the new grappling mechanism is a great way to add to the destruction and the take down of enemies, it can be easy to forget about during a fire fight and through most of the game until the game makes you remember to use it to do tasks; like taking down statues to help liberate a town.
Just Cause 3 knows what it is at this point; an adrenaline fueled thrill ride that takes what we love about action movies and makes it possible for us to create awesome action sequences, and with that come the terrible plot and even more so the dialogue. Just Cause 3 won’t be winning any awards for writing, but that is kind of the point. The way the script is performed is like watching over the top Michael Bay characters, kind of funny in a way that you just shake your head at and move on. That is not a negative towards the voice actors in the game as they are great for what the script apparently calls for.
The scenery in Just Cause 3 is quite beautiful. I found myself driving around, gliding through the air while taking in the blue seam, colorful buildings and green landscapes the developer has created. It is certainly a nice change of pace from the darker toned games that have come out this year. I even found scaling up mountains with my grapple hook not as tedious as I originally thought it would because I just wanted to see what was on the top.
Admittedly, Just Cause 3 is only what you make of it.
On one hand, if you are adventurous and don’t go into a battle with the same techniques then the game does well at giving you multiple ways to achieve an objective. Now that there is an infinite amount of C4 in the game for Rico to use, there is no reason to create different ways of creating a crescendo of infernos. However, if you go into the game using the typical methods, like just using your machine gun or pistols, then it can be a very boring and repetitive game as it is meant for you to be creative with your objective.
The only exception to that is the liberating of the towns. Essentially, it is more about taking down monuments, billboards, and so on and does tend to become repetitive as you are just going through the motions but at least you can have fun doing it if you are imaginative enough and it’s a good way to become antiquated with aiming in Just Cause 3, as it’s not the best.
The load times.
In a single word, atrocious. You can easily assume that between missions and cut scenes, you will be waiting for close to a minute before the game comes back onto the screen. While creating open world games in of itself are difficult, I haven’t seen load times this long since Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It’s hard to believe that load times this long still exist with current consoles, but apparently they do. If you are prone to getting up for drinks and snacks on a regular basis then this may not bother you, or it could entice you to do so.
As much as we have heard about the game having framerate issues, the PS4 version wasn’t bad. There were some areas that seemed to get bogged down when there was a lot going on at once, but it wasn’t an issue that was unbearable or made me want to stop playing the game. At this time, there hasn’t been a patch to fix these issues.
Just Cause 3 is an action game that rewards you for being over the top and has no issue with taking the insanity up as many notches as possible. With its beautiful vistas, huge map, and ways to take down a facility and enemies, it is hard not to have fun with the game but only if you are willing to lose you inhibitions and take your gaming to another level. The game has its issues, but not enough to keep you from going to the next mission and then probably the next.
**PS4 copy provided by the publisher**