(www.justcause.com/) Rated Mature by ESRB. Several games have “name titles” easily turned into puns. However, Just Cause 2 takes the cake. It’s the perfect explanation for pretty much everything you do in the game. Why am I driving a truck into a gas station? Why am I base jumping from a hot air balloon? Why is there a strip club in the sky? All of these can be answered with the title, “Just Cause”. The variety of insane stunts and tricks that you can perform in the latest game by developers Avalanche Studios and Eidos Interactive is truly impressive and takes the idea of an open world environment to a new level.

(www.justcause.com/) Rated Mature by ESRB. Several games have “name titles” easily turned into puns. However, Just Cause 2 takes the cake. It’s the perfect explanation for pretty much everything you do in the game. Why am I driving a truck into a gas station? Why am I base jumping from a hot air balloon? Why is there a strip club in the sky? All of these can be answered with the title, “Just Cause”. The variety of insane stunts and tricks that you can perform in the latest game by developers Avalanche Studios and Eidos Interactive is truly impressive and takes the idea of an open world environment to a new level.

 

Presentation:

The world of Just Cause is vivid and alive. Not to mention extraordinarily vast. Your character, Rico Rodriguez, is dropped into the fictional island of Panau with a simple mission to find a possibly rogue agent. Eventually you join with some unusual allies to cause island-wide chaos and free the nation from their tyrannical dictator, “Baby” Panay. The landscape boasts 400 square kilometers of random mischief. Even though certain buildings may give you a strong sense of déjà vu, the world is still large enough to strike an immense feeling of awe. The characters are a bit stereotypical (particularly the Texan character) and they overact a bit, but it serves as humor to the game rather than detract from it. Just Cause 2 does not take itself very seriously and feels a lot like a corny spy movie. This makes the game a lighthearted and fun experience that will have you playing for hours.

 

Graphics:

Like most shooters of this day and age, Just Cause 2 brings good realistic graphics to the table. However, the most impressive visuals are the scenic vistas. Hijacking an airplane to take to the skies will reward you with an absolute stunning view of Panau spread out below you. Not to mention that the enormous explosions you make in the quest for chaos are made all the more satisfying by the detail of their mayhem. The camera is very easy to control and is perfect for viewing every last pixel of this beautiful game.

          

Sounds:

The sounds of Just Cause go very well with the sights. Every vehicle sounds just like it should.  The guns and explosions have very enjoyable pops and booms. The music is filled with emotion and is responsive to the situation at hand. You’ll find different music not just for combat and cinematics, but also for travelling by parachute or car. Sounds also help you predict enemy actions. For example, you can overhear an enemy yelling to his friends that he’s going to flank you, or better yet, a radio transmission ordering air support. Still, the best part is the endless stream of corny one-liners that even David Caruso would be jealous of.

 

Gameplay:

Other than the typical third person shooter aspects, gameplay involves the combination of two primary elements: the grappling hook and parachute. Sure, guns and explosions are fun, but Rico’s hookshot-like device and seemingly endless supply of stunt parachutes are what make Just Cause 2 truly unique and unbelievably fun. Though the physics aren’t exactly realistic, the idea is for the game to be fun by giving the player the opportunity to create any exaggerated action sequences imaginable or inapprehensible. In addition, every vehicle in the entire game can be driven, including monster trucks and commercial airliners.

          

The campaign of the game consists of 7 story missions focused around freeing the island from its oppressive government by causing chaos; which can range from completing the smaller faction missions, collecting hidden items, to just blowing up stuff. But the game could have been sold without any story missions at all and still have been fun. The majority of gameplay is spent just wandering around the island and performing extraordinary action movie stunts. If you want to attach a statue’s head to your helicopter and crash it into a skyscraper, you can. If you want to cruise the highway on a motorcycle, you can. If you want to skydive from your jet after flying a few miles in the air, you can. The possibilities are almost endless. Because of that, Just Cause 2 is one of the most entertaining sandbox games on the market today.

 

Innovation:

This title has quite a few interesting features like the grappling hook and its ability to attach different object to each other or the unlimited supply of parachutes to pull off insane stunts to your wildest imagination.  I hope some of these features are carried into other games in the future. Still, the most striking innovation is that most missions in this game are truly unique. You’ll never find yourself doing the exact same thing more than once with each faction missions. One mission you may be preventing missiles from being launched and another you might be gunning down someone from your motorcycle.

         

 

Longevity:

Just Cause 2 is the game that keeps on giving. Both before and after the main mission is complete, there is an almost limitless amount of stuffs to do and things to destroy. There are almost 50 faction missions, and also hundreds of towns to explore. There are hundreds of special faction items to collect. Even after every single thing has been done or collected, it is still very fun to pull off stunts and goof off around Panau Island. Honestly, the campaign shouldn’t take you more than a few hours to complete, but the post-game roam could take you days upon days.

 

Conclusion:

This game is sheer fun in its most raw form. It has probably the most expansive open-world that I’ve ever seen. Any fan of the good cheesy spy flick will greatly enjoy the characters and their snappy one-liners. Its refusal to adhere to the laws of physics makes the game even more quirky and entertaining. In the end, Just Cause 2 is for you if you want a game that lets you kick back, relax, and do whatever you want.

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