Hey you! Yes, you. Want to blow some stuff up? Well here is a copy of Just Cause 2, go satisfy yourself for 50 hours. The thing I love about Just Cause 2 is how the title pretty much sums up the game. “Hey Rico, why did you blow up that satellite dish?” “Just ‘Cause”. This is the game where you can do what you want, just because you feel like it.
Just Cause 2 is the ultimate “B-movie” of video games; it’s as cheesy as a block of Stilton and constantly mocks itself for it. Set on the picturesque South-Asian island of Panau, we join the Puerto Rican ‘James Bond’ Rico Rodriguez, a man so wooden you could get a splinter just from touching him. Rodriguez is a special operative for the imaginatively named government agency, The Agency. He has been assigned the mission of tracking down his former mentor and rogue Agency member, Tom Sheldon. Any of this sounding familiar so far? Well, it should seeing as it’s been the plot of so many films, games and books it’s not even funny. Chuck in an evil dictator, some rival gangs and fast cars and you might start to wonder whether Avalanche Studios came up with any of the plot themselves or just like to watch James Bond movies. Alot. The story and writing is laughably bad, but then again it doesn’t really matter.
There has never been a more literal use of the classification ‘sand-box game’ than Just Cause 2. Right from the word go the player has the entirety of possibly the biggest map ever featured in a video game. If you want to get an idea of how big the game is, it takes approximately 20 minutes to travel across it in the fastest possible plane, this game is truly massive. The basic aim of the game to cause as much chaos, this can be done in multiple ways such a blowing up military facilities, completing missions for the three rebel gangs or finding the thousands of collectibles in the game. Once achieving certain levels of chaos new story missions, black market items and stronghold takeovers can be will become available.
So far you may be thinking “What’s the difference between this and say, Grand Theft Auto?”. The difference? Two words. Grappling hook. With an ability to grapple onto almost anything you lay your eyes on the possibilities of exploration are limitless. Imagine a high speed pursuit, you standing on top of the car, no ammo, military men shooting at you, simply whip out your grappling hook and tie the military cars to the side of the bridge you’re crossing, watch as they go flying into the oblivion. Now combine that grappling hook with the ability to open your parachute anytime you’re in the air and you’ve got an ingenious mode of transport. ‘Slingshoting’ your way across the deserts and forest of Panua is easily the best way to travel. Messing around with the grappling hook can provide hours of entertainment.
One of Just Cause 2′s weak points is the combat. Specifically the gunplay. When aiming the sight it is rare that your bullets will actually hit the site in which you has trained in on, you’ll often find that when going for a headshot you’ll end up shooting way above the enemies head, this is very frustrating. Now I say how frustrating this is, which it is, but it’s not game breaking. The combat definitely takes second fiddle to the destruction. Being able to stroll into a military facility with a gattling gun and destroying everything in sight is what this game is about. Truth be told though, if your the kind of gamer you enjoys games based on gunplay this game might not be for you.
The best way to look at this game is from plane high above the mountain tops, from up here the environment looks beautiful, the sea glistens, the snow covers the towering mountains like icing sugar and vivid green forests stand out against the desolate deserts. Alot of work has clearly gone into making this game look as gorgeous as possible, the environment, the character models and the vehicles all look great. So visually the game is stunning but how does it sound? To tell the truth there isn’t much to listen to. Background music is barely noticeable and easily forgettable. Sound effect and speech often glitch up which is very annoying especially when you have to listen to a man with a very unconvincing Asain accent repeat “He is in the permi…”. Some times you start to wonder how much polishing the sound design actually went through.
Just Cause 2 is a kleptomaniac’s worst nightmare with over 1500 collectables and 350+ locations all needed for 100% completion. Add 104 different vehicles to drive into the mix and this game is going to be one of the hardest games to 100%. The game should keep you going for a very long time though taking between 15 and 20 hours to complete the story, if your looking for a game that’s going to keep you satisfied for up to a year then this is the game for you.
Even with it’s flaws Just Cause 2 is still a fantastic game, the great sense of satisfaction you get after completing a settlement can’t be beaten. Please, if you do play this game, don’t take it seriously, it’s not that type of game. The best way to describe it is pick up and play, it’s just pure honest fun. It doesn’t require skill, just the ability to use the controller. I’m sure you’ll be able to pick up the game cheap, so if you do see it sitting on a shelf for a tenner, please buy, I guarantee you’ll love it.
+ So much fun
+ Alot to see and do
+Grappling hook is pure enjoyment
– Poor gunplay