Review: Just Cause 3

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Developer: Avalanche Studios
Publisher: Square-Enix
Platform: Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC (Steam)
Price: $59.99
Release Date: December 1st, 2015

The studio who brought us the other Just Cause games and Mad Max are back to bring us another heaping helping of mayhem in Just Cause 3. This game promises bigger and even more destructible world than ever before. Is this a game that you just want to latch on to or is it better just to let this one go?

Story
Everyone’s favorite badass Rico Rodriguez is back and heads home to Medici after many years of being away. While he was gone kicking ass and taking names in Just Cause 2 a dictator named General Sebastiano Di Ravello took over Medici and plans on taking over the world. Rico joins up with the rebels in order to take down Di Ravello and free Medici from his controlling grip. Lets be honest here story is not why you play Just Cause 3 the story is just giving you a reason to create chaos and carnage and even doesn’t make you feel guilty about it. There is even a line that your friend tells you that its ok to blow stuff up we will just rebuild. He blows up everything in towns and the towns people still love him. Its not very serious or very deep and you won’t find yourself caring all that much you will want to just get back to the action.

04

Gameplay
I have a real love hate with the gameplay here. The main tool of Rico is his grappling hook and he can use it to pull himself into things, latch things together and force them to pull on one another, and even help with traversal across the islands of Medici. On one hand it makes for some fun and even creative gameplay.
Want to grapple a solider to a moving vehicle? Yeah, you can do that. Want to attach a exploding barrel to a even bigger container of explosives and watch the carnage erupt from it? Oh yeah, you can do that here too. Guns are what you would expect assault rifles, pistols, and of course rocket launchers to name a few. You get an unlimited amount of mines you can plant on anything even enemy solders. The goal is of course taking down that evil tyrant and in order to do so you will need to destroy, destroy, destroy!

Go to cities occupied by Ravello and tear down propaganda such as billboards, speakers, rough up the local law enforcement. For an even bigger challenge you can take on his military bases and destroy satellites, smoke stacks, and really just about anything that looks like you can blow it up you can except for most of the buildings. I’m sure this was done to make sure that you can go back to these places and not have them just be a pile of ash. To zip around places you can use a vehicle, boat, or a chopper but if your feeling froggy why not glide and parachute your way around the islands. Its probably the best method of transport once you get the hang of it and unlock upgrades for it. You would be surprised how quickly and easily you can get to places.

E3-2015-Just-Cause-3-gets-explosive-gameplay-trailer-screenshots
Speaking of upgrades well this is one of the parts that really stinks about this game. Its not the upgrades themselves but how you get them. You unlock upgrades by completing various challenges. Blow stuff up, fly in a chooper or my least favorite go through giant rings and get a high score and try not to screw up. These aren’t the most fun parts of the game and it stinks that its the only way to unlock new abilities. It would be nice if i could just blow up stuff and from all the stuff I blew up I could gain points to unlock but sadly this isn’t it. Some of the challenges it isn’t easy to figure out how to rack up a high score and it will take lots of time and effort and probably video walk-throughs to see how to do it.

One of theĀ culprit is the timer for some missions is the timer and if you need to figure out how to blow things up without a gun in a minute and a half then if you don’t get a good enough score back to doing it all over again. Which may not be so bad if it wasn’t for the horrid loading times. To recover from death or a failed challenge or even starting up the game you maybe sitting for maybe less than a minute or up to two to three minutes just waiting to do a minute and a half challenge just to fail and wait another two to three minutes. Other than that playing the game can be fun but you will have to learn it on your own.

Graphics
Imagine a tropical island getaway on an amazing looking island complete with small towns, military bases, beautiful ocean, and lots of things that go boom. Welcome to the island of Medici world so fast and wonderful that watching it blow up is just as much of a spectical as watching things not blow up. So much detail in this world and the animation of everything going on looks great though it does tax your console as you will face some nasty slow down espcially if you make lots of things go boom.

Watching statues crumble and gas tanks explode into pieces really makes you feel your really sticking it to an evil dictator who deserves what is coming to him. If your playing it on a really good PC it may not be an issue but I was playing this on the Xbox One and while it was annoying for me it didn’t really hinder me all that much. All the vehicles and character designs look pretty good too but the winner here is the island itself and all the fireworks you will end up making. On ground or taking a breath taking view from the air Medici is muy bein.

Sound
Really don’t have much to say on this one. The music is serviceable it doesn’t really do much to really get you pumped for action but the sound effects arn’t too bad. Guns sound great when firing and explosions are just as powerful and as loud as you would want them to be. Voice acting is pretty decent with a good cast of characters, nothing to write home about. But hey just cause isn’t the best doesn’t mean its bad.

08
Downsides
As mentioned above loading times are a nightmare and really need to be tweaked. On top of that the random slowdown can hinder an experience for someone if they are trying to do something and its like your moving in slow motion. Million dollar man this is not. The challenges are something I wish the game would have gated to unlock fun collectibles or costumes but instead making it necessary in order to get upgrades for Rico and vehicles is annoying. One other thing is that the map doesn’t zoom in very well. When your in an base or a town and you got a list of objectives you need to meet it would have been nice to go look at the map from a closer view to see where everything is.

Overall
Just Cause 3 is a mixed back of explosives and plastic grenades. The technical issues and challenges do bring this game down from being one of the best games of the year. Though with that said even though there were moments of frustration there were lots of moments of genuine fun. Experimenting with what you can do with the grappling hook and seeing what kind of mess you can make is the best fun. If your a Just Cause fan you probably already picked this up. If you are not but love open world games that just let you go crazy and have fun maybe wait for a bit of a price drop or rent it at least to see if it is right for you. I will be going back to Medici here soon to put mines on the crotch of a Revello statue and watch the fun ensue.

Score 7/10

Pros:

  • – Huge open world to explore
  • – Grapple hook mechanic opens up a lot of possibility for combat and for travel
  • – Amazing graphics
  • – Doesn’t take itself too seriously. Knows its about carnage and fun
  • – Oh and you blow lots of stuff up

Cons:

  • – Random slowdowns
  • – Locking upgrades behind a frustrating challenges
  • – The load times so long you probably have made a sandwich for every load screen you been on

*A review code was provided for this review