Just Cause 4 Review
If you’ve never played an adventure as grade-A bad ass Rico Rodriguez, then you are definitely missing out on one of video games more entertaining – albeit wildly unrealistic – action adventure experiences. And that is really what sets Rico’s adventures in the Just Cause franchise apart from other action adventure games: there is almost nothing remotely possible about the various actions you’ll complete in Just Cause 4. Is it a step above Just Cause 3? While I’m not entirely sure about that, it’s still the over-the-top experience I’m looking for in the franchise.
Just Cause 3.5
Ultimately, if you’ve played Just Cause 3 and seen the various explosions and animations that the third game in the franchise did so well, then you might think Just Cause 4 is simply an extension of that experience, with a few new game play mechanics. So ultimately, in terms of graphics and game play, not a ton is changing as you move from 3 to 4, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunate carry-overs exist, such as fairly poor facial animations in the games NPCs and minor characters, and the lack of some detail in areas of the world. Even larger cities and villages lack that sense of immersion that you would have hoped was improved upon when jumping from one title of the franchise to the next.
But once you get past these minor issues, the same awesome game play that existed in Just Cause 3 carries over to 4, and brings along enough new ideas and mechanics to make purchasing 4 justifiable!
Grapple Hook Load Outs?
The biggest change in Just Cause 4 is the variety of grapple hook load outs that players can equip and tailor to their game play style. The typical grapple is still available, and hooking up enemies to flammable barrels and launching them into the sky is as entertaining as ever. But there are new load outs available that make traversing the environment and dealing with enemies more enjoyable. For example, early on you’ll receive the balloon hook, that will allow you to life items off the ground, important when trying to clear a path to escape, or reach a target.
Who’s the Bad Guy?
While you are introduced to the games villain within the first 5 minutes of the game, he will disapear until the end. Between the beginning and end, the game throws a different ‘villain’ at you: extreme weather. While there are three major weather events you will often deal with – high winds from Tornado, rain and lighting from storms, and wind and obscured vision from sandstorms – only the Tornado missions drastically affect how you play the games. Sand storms can be annoying, but not overly problematic, especially when target buildings are so prominently displayed in red, and enemies can easily be detected through the flying sand.
The new grapple mechanics make dealing with these storms a bit more fun, but ultimately you’ll find yourself looking for ways to use all the new game play mechanics, and coming up short. There just isn’t enough in Just Cause 4 to make great use of your on-person gadgets.
Traversing the world is as fun as every, and having a wing suite, grapple hook, and parachute at your disposal at all times makes Just Cause 4 a treat, but perhaps just in short doses. Missions structures become fairly repetitive – protect this item, escort this individual, etc. – and sometimes game breaking bugs will cause you to fail missions that in reality, you shouldn’t.
Army of Chaos
And so we come to Just Cause 4’s other large new mechanic – creating and letting loose your own army, the Army of Chaos. As you add more and more troops to your growing army, you’ll begin to take provinces across the world and place them under your control. IT would have been great to get push back in some areas, but ultimately once you’ve secured a region, it’s yours for good, even if no one remains to defend its borders.
The more chaos you rack up, the more troops you will have to push back the Black Hand. Ultimately, this portion of the game isn’t as well thought out or as deep as one might want it to be. Still, taking more territory opens more missions, and ultimately that is most important.
Just Cause 4 has so much going for it, it’s a shame there isn’t more to do with the amazing arsenal of tools Rico has at his disposal. Couple that with some lacklustre character animations and a few uninspired locations, and you have a game that could have been great, but has to settle for Okay. There is still lots to love about the title, however, so if you are looking for some mindless, explosive fun this holiday season, we highly recommend Just Cause 4!