Sunday, June 12, 2016

Just Cause 3 review

    Just Cause 2 was one of the most fun games I've played on the Xbox 360. It was a reign of delicious chaos, destruction, and madness across a fictional dictatorship where everyone was a complete asshat. It was basically Saints Row 2 except had the addition of a grappling hook and destructible scenery. Which, really, is just about everything you have to say in order to get C.T. Phipps to buy this game. Just Cause 3 would have to do a LOT in order to make it not the kind of game which I would enjoy playing. Sometimes Just Cause 3 comes close. Other times, it's just as fun.

    Mexican American (Central Intelligence) Agency agent Rico Rodriguez is no longer Mexican or American or working for the Agency. Rico is now a child of the fictional nation of Medici. Because the Agency supports the current dictator of Medici, General Di Ravello, Rico goes rogue to help his childhood friend Mario overthrow him.

I was actually upset by Sheldon and Rico's fighting.
    So, I guess Rico is Italian now, somehow? Anyway, Rico helps the plucky resistance overthrow Di Ravello and that's pretty much the game. There's also something about Bavarium which is the most German name for an pseudo-Italian magical ore ever but that's beside the point.

    The story is... okay. Just Cause 2 was never about the story but it didn't take itself too seriously. You had three competing resistance groups who were all varying degrees of insane. There was Bolo Santosi and her communists, an organized crime faction, plus the ultra-nationalist Ular Boys. Everyone was one kind of a son of a bitch or another and it worked better for the fact it was so over-the-top, like a CIA-backed version of Saints Row.

I enjoy the addition of the wingsuit.
    Just Cause 3 makes a mistake in dialing things back rather than dialing them upwards. The Rebels are quirky and funny but generally good people. Rico is definitely on the side of the angels here too. We only have two major factions this time with the evil army of Di Ravello and the Rebels. Even the Agency isn't playing a big role this time around as Rico quits in the first five minutes while Sheldon is left trying to pick up the pieces in a manner which is less funny this time around and more pathetic.

    Don't get me wrong, the characters are entertaining. We've got Mario as Rico's pathetic and very possibly stoned friend who is sort of that guy who always hung around the cool kid only now part of the Rebel Alliance. We've also got Dimah, an Egyptian Bavarium physicist who is very insane and very funny. There's even a pair of mercenaries who join the group later who are entertaining in their own way. The cast feels small, though, and they feel subdued and outrageous in a "safe" way which is part of the reason Sunset Overdrive failed for me.

This never gets old. Except, it does, after the 1000th time you do it.
    The game isn't one to play for it's story, though, much the same way Hitman is a game which you should enjoy purely for the experience. Just Cause 3 plays more or less identically to Just Cause 2 in that you grapple your way around the map, shoot up bases, liberate towns, and then repeat until you've done the entirety of the map. There's not many changes to the way Rico does things other than to give him a wingsuit and an unlimited amount of explosives, which is one of the best additions to the game.

    Even so, the game feels something like a rehash and there's not much in the way of innovation. I'm not a man who normally has a problem with "more of something good" but it seems like they could have been a little more innovative. They also removed one of my favorite elements of the game where you track down and eliminate the dictator's Colonels, each with an amusing biography. Worse, they replace it with audio logs from General Di Ravello who is one of the least interesting people in the history of gaming. Yeah, we get it, he's evil. So what? Expanding on a villain's backstory only works if he's someone we care to learn more about.

A charismatic 3-dimensional villain. 
    Despite this, I had a lot of fun playing the game and while I considered quitting a few times, I powered through until the very end. There's a lot of stuff to blow up in this game and it's almost never boring to do so. The game gets repetitive toward the midway mark but I usually found myself wanting to blow up another few towns full of stuff the next day. Medici is a gorgeous location and very fun to travel around in.

    One thing to definitely bring up is the fact the game's loading times are horrific on Xbox One. No, seriously, this is probably the worst I've seen for any game which isn't a first day release and it's pretty awful even by those standards. Cutscenes take forever to load, missions take just as long, and then there's usually multiple cutscenes spread throughout missions. Even starting the game is a pill. If the graphics are going to weigh a game down this much, maybe you should dial them down.

Fun but not nearly as wacky as it thinks it is.
    In conclusion, Just Cause 3 is an okay game. So okay, it's average. Fun but not something I would really say is the best game ever. Indeed, if I had to recommend a game to you, I'd just say play Just Cause 2 on Xbox One instead of playing this game. It'll run faster and be a more engaging experience.


1 comment:

  1. It is actually surprising it had a single player story at all. It was intended to be a online only multiplayer game at first.