by Danny Raner
previewed on PC
Avalanche promises many new additions of vehicles over the first game. Many are not usually useable in games of this genre, such as the 737, helicopters, fighter jets and the long list of normal cars and boats you will see being used (and use yourself) around the island.
Vehicles aside, many of the impressive upgrades to Rico’s capabilities seem creative and promising, such as Rico being able to dive from car to car while moving. Although this was possible in the first game, Rico can now use the moving vehicle as cover, climbing around and on top while exchanging gunfire with enemies. The bulk of the appeal of Just Cause 2 is in these kinds of moments, the signature over the top action and movie like thrills. Whether it is piloting a jet, base jumping from a skyscraper, or using your grappling hook to snatch an enemy and execute mid air, it looks like it is turning into a unique and fun experience. Hopefully the gameplay lives up to what we have seen so far.
From what Avalanche we have seen, the game is shaping up to be one of the best looking sandbox games to date. Panau seems an amazing island, and should prove to be interesting to explore. Avalanche has said it will contain everything from tropical jungles, snowcapped mountains, clear beaches, and more. The scenery is amazing and even photorealistic in some parts. It is very impressive. Even the quality of the explosions look amazing and only a few games come to mind that can rival that kind of detail (Crysis, but that’s just unfair).
There are few graphical complaints like low resolution textures on some items, over-usage of identical models (ex. Trees), but most of the game’s areas look well polished. The most impressive thing is the draw distance in the game. It lets you view the fully detailed environment as far as you can see, instead of being on a building and having that beautiful view stopped short by an invisible cut-off line of endless un-inhabited terrain. A pat on the back goes to Avalanche for focusing on eliminating this.
One hell of a ride
Undoubtedly there are a good number of gamers who remember the original Just Cause and its (mostly) satisfying experience and will pick up the second. But to stay strong amid so many other popular games it is trying hard to pull itself from the crowd and present itself as a fun and unique experience for its genre. From what we have seen so far it has the potential to be a success. Will it be able to stand up against heavy hitters like Final Fantasy XIII and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 that are releasing within the same month? Probably not, but it looks like it’s turning out to be one hell of a ride that you may not want to miss. We just have to wait until March 23rd (March 26th for Europe) to see if those assumptions hold up.