Just Cause 2
If I had to sum up Just Cause 2 in one word, the word I would use is fun. This is the game that the last two Grand Theft Auto’s should have been. It’s the new benchmark for free roaming, blowing shit up, style games.
Not only is it more fun, but it’s scope is huge. The Panau Island group is a massive undertaking, with everything from snow covered mountain peaks, through lush jungles, arid deserts, right down to a sprawling metropolis, and the best bit is that it’s all unlocked from the start of the game. What’s even better is that the over 400 square mile playground is a richly detailed and semi destructible environment that begs comparison with Bad Company.Â
But that’s not all, you get to play the part agent Rico Rodriguez, a man with a mission and one very important gadget; a super styled automatic grappling hook that can get you out of tricky situations real fast, help you scale tall buildings in a couple of bounds, and pluck enemy snipers out of their sniper nests with ease. It’s almost as if the developers looked at the over the top abilities available in Crackdown and figured how to take the fun of having super abilities and forge it with a subtle grounding in reality.
It’s this grappling hook and the availability of a range of aircraft, coupled with Rico’s ever handy parachute that gives Just Cause 2 another of it’s strengths; the ability to go vertical. The premise of being able to jump out of an airplane at any point and slowly drift down to where you want to be, didn’t excite me all that much when I first started hearing details about Just cause 2, but utilising Rico’s vertical abilities really makes for a unique slant on the genre.
Add to all of this the ability to tackle available missions in any order you want – once you’re past the obligatory opening mission/training level – and you have the best sandbox game on the current generation of consoles.
Just Cause 2 is easy to pick up and play, the controls are intuitive, the detail is incredible, from the damage you can do to the vehicles – which handle wonderfully, with that essential slightly comical edge – to the spectacular vistas that you get to witness as you fly through low clouds, make Just Cause 2 an experience that is within the reach of just about any level of gamer.
But doesn’t blowing shit up get boring after a while? To be honest that was one of my fears on Friday when first put the Just Cause 2 disc in my XBox 360. I had plans to play it on Friday night, then hop online Saturday night for some Bad Company 2 and finish up the weekend with some more Just Cause 2 on Sunday night. After playing till 1am and still wanting more, my Saturday night plans changed and saw me thrashing Just Cause till 2am, with more late night antics on Sunday.
A combination of rampant destruction and missions to complete saw me becoming instantly addicted to the game, and with plenty of missions still to go, along with a swag of achievements to unlock, all my other games are going to be collecting dust for a while.
Reviewed on: XBox 360
Available on: XBox 360, PS3, PC