Game Review: Start the New Year with Just Cause 3
Rico is on a mission to save Medici from its dictator. Should you help him though?
They don’t make action heroes (not superheroes) like they used to 10 years ago. Nowadays all the heroes need to be dark, brooding and have to have an inescapable past. There are action sequences, but they are still rooted firmly in realism. Thankfully, Just Cause 3 has stayed well off this trail, going for an action hero that’s Bruce Willis from Die Hard, meets Sylvester Stallone from Rambo with a touch of Arnold Schwarzenegger from Terminator. Rico Rodrigues as an action hero is fantastic. He’s all you ever want in a hero and more.
So, the story, which is mostly inconsequential, is that Rico is trying to save a Mediterranean country called Medici from the government of Di Ravello (aka DRM). You do this by liberating one base or town at a time. By liberating, we mean blowing up. There is a story that unfolds along the way, but you won’t care about it because of so many pretty explosions.
The country of Medici itself is a stunning beauty, pristine beaches, small quaint towns, blue skies, some decent looking vehicles and surprisingly good roads and bridges. It’s more than enough for you to question if Rico is actually helping the people or disrupting their lives, but that’s contemplation for another time. The game follows an open world model where you can just about go anywhere you like and do anything you like.
So, what’s good about this game you ask? Let’s reiterate, the explosions are beautiful and your way of “liberating” the town is to thankfully blow-up their fuel and power supply, take down the dictator’s statues, blow up propaganda spewing loudspeakers and billboards and to cause loads of general havoc by, again, blowing up army vehicles and other stuff. So, when in doubt blow it up.
Rico has some fancy equipment at his disposal. First, he has a grappling hook that he uses to zip across roofs and pretty much anywhere you don’t want to walk to... the game doesn’t let Rico run around or crouch for some reason. So, it’s best to just grapple around the place, even over short distances. The grappling hook can also attach to two objects and pull them closer together. It can be used to take down stuff, or for sadistic pleasures like attaching militia to a running vehicles.
Then you have a parachute that, somehow, auto folds itself when you are done using it and a wingsuit for when you want to fly around the place. He carries three weapons — one dual handed usually a pair of pistols, the second is a one-handed weapon usually an automatic rifle and third is a special weapon (this can vary from a mortar gun, to a bazooka to a sniper rifle). This is more than enough to take down anything you encounter in Medici.
While this sounds good, there are some problems with the game. For one, the towns have copy paste elements, meaning everything looks the same as the last town you liberated, the roads maybe a little different, but the church looks the same, the base looks the same and the town centre looks the same. The liberation of the towns are also formulaic, destroy a set number of object, raise the flag you are done. It gets a bit tiring after a while, but like GTA V and other open world games you can go and do side missions and challenges to cut the monotony. The challenges help you upgrade/modify your equipment, which also means you can’t completely avoid them.
Just Cause 3 also lags sometimes on the PC during critical times, when there are several elements involved and lots of bullets firing at you, the fortunate part is Rico doesn’t die easy. So, we usually try to grapple ourselves out of the situation as soon as possible, though sometimes one can end up dead.
Another annoying part is the online integration. Despite having a fairly decent connection, the game sometimes refuses to connect online. This is annoying because if you go to the menu the game essentially gets stuck while it tries to re-establish the connection, eventually failing and offering an option to play offline.
These flaws, however, are not enough to keep you away from Just Cause 3, the game is addictive and if the online modding community are as active as they were with the previous games, we will have a whole lot of replayability with this title too. Making it well worth the money spent.
Just Cause 3
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Price: PC: RS ,499;
Consoles: RS 3,499