It’s been more than four long years since Swedish developer Avalanche Studios released the outrageous open-world game Just Cause 2. Players gravitated to gunfights atop moving vehicles, the versatile parachute, and the innovative tether that could link nearly any two objects, humans, or a combination of the two. The 400-square-mile world provided the ideal backdrop for players to go nuts, with many players hitting the 100-hour mark to earn 100-percent completion or to simply goof around with the wild physics. The mod and YouTube community kept interest in the game alive for years after launch and eventually pushed sales to more than six million units. 

In 2015, the beloved series returns with Just Cause 3 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. We got the chance to be the first people outside of the studio to play not just 10 or 20 minutes, but several hours of the game, set in a fictional Mediterranean archipelago. The time flew by as we tried out the vastly improved parachute and grapple mechanics, terrorized the latest dictator’s well-defended bases, and soared through the sky with the all-new wingsuit. Just Cause has never played this smoothly, and as you’ll see in the cover story launching digitally today, it’s never looked this good.

[Is Just Cause 3 free to play? Find out here.]

Click the above image to see the full cover spread

For the first look at the game and a taste of what’s to come in our month of special online Just Cause 3 content, watch our coverage trailer below or watch and share it on YouTube.

The rest of our December issue is packed with great content. Our feature on the Metroid-inspired, 2D title Axiom Verge shines the spotlight on the ambitious one-man development team, Tom Happ. The Indie Game Development Primer gathers advice from an all-star panel of top developers in the field to help the next generation get their games off the ground. Our Classic section this month offers a rare look at mid-70s sketches for a four-player version of Pong and commentary from the industrial designer who made them.

Print subscribers should see their issues arriving in the next week or two, but it's available right now if you subscribe digitally (available on PC/MaciPad,Android, and Google Play). You can also get the latest issue through third-party apps on NookKindle, and Zinio starting tomorrow. To switch your print subscription to digital, click here, or to create a new subscription to the digital edition, click here.

Throughout the month we’ll have all manner of video interviews, written features on Rico and the new world he flies around, a special edition podcast, and much more. Click on the banner below to visit our Just Cause 3 hub and see everything collected in one place.