Just Cause 3
I dig a world that feels limitless. Just Cause has always fed the adrenaline junkie in me with its over-the-top explosions and antics. The next entry isn't changing any of that. In fact, just when you think the series couldn't get even more insane, it has, and you're doing it on a breathtaking Mediterranean-inspired island that has plenty of cliffs, caves, and water for all your extreme ventures. And, of course, the explosions are bigger than ever.
Just Cause is all about the creativity in how you play. You're thrown into a world where nothing seems off-limits. Everything is physics-based and it feels like if you can imagine it you can do it. At a recent Square Enix press event, I got my hands on the game, and laughed a great deal at all the crazy things you can do.
Avalanche Studios has created a world that's beautiful and yet feels oppressed. Chaos and injustice are all around. An evil dictator isn't making life easy for anyone and strolling around any city, you'll find the military is trying to put people in line, usually harshly and unfairly. But as Rico, you can help the people fight back against the oppression by destroying all the propaganda around you. Help the people enough and they might even fight with you, helping you gain an edge against the dictator's lackies. I liked this feeling, like I was fostering change with massive destruction. At least it counts for something, right?
Still, what makes Just Cause great returns and it's even better than before. The grappling hook can now tether to multiple points, giving you new and creative ways to bring destruction. You can grapple on to anything you see, as no specific grapple points exist. The tension of the cord is now controlled by the analog stick, so you can feel the weight as you pull objects apart. I destroyed propaganda speakers using this tactic, but my favorite moment was tethering a hand of a large government statute and slapping it in the face with itself. Note: You can also do with this people and have them hit and kick themselves. Better yet? Once ripping apart the statue, you can pull the head around to use for even more destruction or use it for a weapon.
Everything feeds into the idea of big explosions. Avalanche eliminated QTEs, because why open a door when you can blow it up? This concept seems to be ingrained into everything. Later on, there's a huge bridge, we attach some C4 (which is an infinite resource) and detonate it from a wingsuit. Nothing tops watching an entire concrete bridge collapse from an explosion.
Movement seems better than before as well. While you can travel on foot and by vehicle, the best way to charge at enemies and get around is through the air. The parachute has slowed down a bit, so you can focus and shoot from it. The new wingsuit is how you get around quickly. In fact, spend too much time on the ground, and you're bound to see a game over screen. Just Cause 3 is about constant movement in the air.
Avalanche also put in a racing engine and Just Cause 3 will let you drive through the streets in everything from flashy sports cars to tractors. You can even hang upside down from a helicopter if you wish... or attach a car to it. Any vehicle you collect will have nitrous to help make the explosions even more memorable. Your weapons are especially over-the-top. The standard RPG launcher is boring, but what if you had a shotgun RPG launcher that split into eight explosions? Nothing seems off-limits, and that's exactly what makes this game so exciting to see in action.
Even cool mods for Rico are in the game that you can turn on and off, like a mod that allows you eliminate death or gives you the ability to spawn a vehicle wherever you may be. Of course, Avalanche also can't wait to see what the modding community is set to do, crediting them with keeping Just Cause 2 alive for so long. Avalanche said it will always support them.
Just Cause 3 is a big game, and even in my brief time, I feel like I've barely made a dent on it, especially in terms of all the crazy things you can do. The game just looks so fantastic and I can't wait to see dive back in and see what other mayhem I can cause.
You can check out more on Just Cause 3 in our coverage hub. The game is headed to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC later this year.