So I’m probably one of the last people to play Just Cause 2, but it was gifted to me on Steam just recently and I’ve had a hard time putting it down.
Really though, how could I have I been in the dark about this game for so long? It’s published by Eidos Interactive (Hitman, Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, etc.) and distributed by none other than its parent company, Square Enix. Not a bad team to have behind your game, that’s for sure.
In Just Cause 2 you play as Rico Rodriguez – the hero from the first Just Cause – and you continue the story from a few years after that game ended. I won’t go into huge detail, because let’s not fool ourselves, the story is the weakest point of this game, but the action pushes you forward in a way that makes it irrelevant. You’re crashing planes, jumping off mountains, hijacking cars and flying all over the beautiful – albeit fictional – world of Panau looking for your old mentor, and short gaps in action make this game move fairly quickly. You can, however, spend an hour destroying a government base, or saving civilians from murderers or fly a plane to the top of a mountain to base jump off of it…there are lots of things to keep you busy in this open – and I use the term modestly – world. It is said that there is over 500 miles of digital land in this game, and once you hop in a plane and fly above the island, you’ll see that it’s gotta be true.
One of the coolest things about this game is the grappling hook. You’re equipped with it right from the beginning, and can use it to grapple up to pretty much anything. You can use it to hook onto planes, climb the outside of a towering casino or even as a weapon, swinging it at your enemies. You can also use it in combat, pulling enemies off ledges and to their deaths. The shooting mechanics are pretty good in the game as well, you can run and gun as well as sort of a focusing aim that allows you to head shot more accurately. It can get a little annoying at times when – something I affectionately refer to as – the Uncharted effect kicks in and they take 30 bullets to go down. Otherwise it’s a solid mechanic.
There is also a black market in the game that can be called on at any time. You can buy guns, vehicles, and even transport yourself to locations all around the map using the system. It’s expensive though, when you pay for a motorcycle, let’s say $25,000, you’re not unlocking it for infinite use… you have to buy your ride EVERY time you want one. So you inevitably find yourself grapple-traveling a lot around Panau.
The island is the shining feature of this game though. It is BEAUTIFUL. If you have a PC capable of running this at ultra, then you’re in for a treat. The environments are lush, the colors are gorgeous and everything looks flawless. There are a few texture tears here and there, but all in all it’s really astounding. Flying over the island – a task that would normally just make me want to fast-travel – now makes me want to grab a plane and fly over it just to see the sights. The characters are modeled well, and the actions are fluid and well rendered. The AI is ok – there are lots of times where the enemies just run out in the open to get shot – and the destructible environments are fun to watch.
All in all it’s a great game, and for $15 on Steam, it’s a game that should definitely be a part of your collection.
Try it and let us know what you think!