Just Cause 2

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Just Cause 2 review
Ben Lelievre


Lots of fun and things that blow up

Hits & Hiccups (cntd)

What makes it different than the Rockstar Games behemoth is the accessibility to objects like a grappling hook, a plane or a parachute. The grappling hook allows you to climb up buildings, hijack vehicles, make people fall to their death, escape from yours and much more. The only limit on the hook's usage is your imagination... and a hundred meters distance. But still, there is a lot of fun to be had in this hundred meters.

Vehicles are accessible even in the jungle, through the Black Market system. Your contact in Panau hooks you up with the Black Market and for you they have motorcycles, cars, planes, choppers, weapons, ammo and they can even extract you from tough situation for a price. Avalanche Studios once again went out of their way to give the user the most fun possible through the sandbox formula. There are also racing challenges, which can get addictive as they are cars, boats, planes and even base jumping time trials. The challenges are only one of the optional choices. There are collectibles, hitman contracts, strongholds takeovers and targeted sabotages that makes Baby Panay grow weaker.


Just Cause 2, as enjoyable as it is, comes with its frustrations. For example, the driving is not up to par with the AI for car chases missions. They will make sharp turns and you will crash and die trying. Every vehicle car, planes, boats and motorcycles come with its set of frustrating controls. The grappling hook is often better to travel, but it is slow. Try going up in a plane, throwing yourself up and parachuting to destination. Everything is better than driving. For a reason I can't explain Avalanche Studio's designers decided it would be a good idea that R3 would change the angle of the camera. The right stick being used to walk or drive, when the mission becomes tense, you can imagine the frustration of constantly switching cameras and not knowing what is going on.

It is great to have that big of a map, but when it makes traveling hard; you might want to re-think your options. A big map worked for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas's urban landscape, but the concept gets a bit battered in Just Cause 2. Motorcycle and four wheeler trails in the jungle would have been a welcome addition. Some of the mission design is also questionable. Timed missions have you climbing up tall buildings in a time that is ridiculously short for the method used. Enemies take a load of bullets before dying. Small annoyances drain down the fun factor as it makes the game very long to progress. You often have to do missions over and over. Hard to kill enemies make the missions go by trial and error.

Ben, should I buy this game?

Just Cause 2 is a lot of fun. It is a beautiful, colorful world where you can blow things up at your leisure. It is a sandbox game that knows what it wants; give the player the freedom to create havoc in the most creative ways known to man. Therefore, it is a surefire investment. The sandbox genre has been dwindling since the adoption of its model by the role playing games and other story driven genres. Consider Just Cause 2 a return to origins and a sandbox that assumes itself as a genre. There is not emotional involvement required. Just a lot of fun and things that blow up.


fun score


Rewarding way to story progression.


Controls fail in tense situations.