JUST CAUSIN’ TROUBLE
Just Cause has always been about absurd action and having a huge map to play on. Our hero, Rico Rodriquez, is on a mission to take out the Black Hand and is packing a few new tricks to play with.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
WHY? JUST CAUSE.
Just Cause 4 is set after the previous game, but is in no way a follow-up, where Mira asked Rico to help in Solis where the Black Hand is tampering with the weather. The story does not have any plot twists; it is pretty straight forward as they come.
The mission is taking back Solis in conquest style. It feels more like a board game when you take over areas, no direct input, like a battle, to secure it. However, the amount of destruction you are tasked at causing makes up for this. This opens up the story missions in the regions, but again, straight forward.
The mission structure, in general, is nothing special, it is the standard escort and take out targets. You are presented with some new toys that demand experimentation, but there are no gadget specific missions. This didn’t stop me from playing around with the abilities when on a mission.
Just cause 4 is fairly similar to the previous game, in style anyway. Newer elements such as the weather system are a nice mixup of what the game is.
At times, and the part I enjoyed the most, you explore the world merely to take in the beauty of a vast open landscape. Whether using the Parachute or the Wingsuit, both offer this calm and relaxing style exploration. The biomes the game offers add variety and are large themselves. The transition from one biome to another is natural, so you won’t suddenly be in the jungle and then the desert.
This is in contrast of when the game decides to go crazy on you. With scattered battles between the rebellion and the military, you never too far away from the action. Ground war is basic run and gun, but also lets you use the grappling hook on enemies to keep it fun. When it gets too hot, you dart out of there with a combination of the wingsuit and parachute. Being in a tank or an attack helicopter seemingly makes the enemies fight more aggressive, and when out the vehicle, the action tones down.
Amazing how calm the game can be in comparison with its sometimes overwhelming action. I love both these type of moments.
SAME DOG, NEW TRICKS
These new tricks come in three flavours, and fits nicely inside your grappling hook. All three can be modified to react differently, from light to heavy, automatic activation or passive, these options are very useful depending on what you want to do.
First, we have the Balloon Tether. Attaching balloons to anything that isn’t nailed down is more fun than it sounds. Normally strong enough to lift a car, you can see where this is going.
Boosters are mini rocket boosters you can attach to any object and just watch as it breaks physics in two for hilarious results.
The Retracting tether pulls things together, from enemies to cars driving past, two helicopters to so a nice explosion or enemies to helicopters to cars driving past for some really interesting moments.
The game shines when these new abilities let you get creative at causing chaos. My favourite is the Balloons to airlift a tank into the air, and using the Boosters to propel myself forward. Steering is still in development but, flying a tank overhead in a random direction is the silly moments Just Cause 4 wants you to create.
Combine that with the weather effects, especially the tornado, and you are in for some serious carnage.
STICK IN THE MUD
As fun as Just Cause 4 is, it is not without some drawbacks. These are not game breaking, but they are noticeable.
Just Cause 3 had the water effects, when either in lakes or the open sea, it helped create the sensation of being on the actual ocean. In Just Cause 4 it is completely absent. I am suspecting the weather effects has taken its toll on the game’s engine.
Vehicles feel ok, not great, but good enough to play around with. However, when driving/piloting at high speeds, it becomes twitchy and cars feel like they are about to take off like a jet. Entertaining when out of a mission, not so much when on a mission.
In general, there are a few minor graphical downgrades, but for the best part is much-improved performance.
Just Cause 4 plays a lot like Just Cause 3 with some improvements on controls, more on performance, but with some cutbacks.
The game can sometimes go bonkers on you, but usually asking yourself “What The…” and then ending with a chuckle. Physics-based gameplay is really random, like making things fly that are not supposed to fly.
The story is not great but is entertaining at the very least. Unfortunately, the mission structure is lacking any significant impact, again entertaining, but nothing that makes it stand out. However, the game itself and all its craziness are what you will remember.
There is a ton of fun to be had in Just Cause 4 and is worthy of your time.