Title: Just Cause 3
Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: Windows
Genre: Action, TPS
Players: Single player
Written by Whistler 7th December 2015
It can be said that just as light needs darkness to exist for chaos to thrive there needs to be order, because chaos without opposition is just a tad too messy and nobody can really be bothered to fill out the paperwork.
Yet in this case for a game that’s all about sheer unrivalled chaos it seems to get bogged down in rules, restrictions, a questionable unlock system and some god awful floaty controls.
That said Just Cause 3 can be a cathartic joyride of sheer utter explosive brilliance, but only when it stops thrusting repetitious side fillers, performance affecting online connection issues and oversized open world down our throats.
Just Cause 3 follows much the same formula as its predecessors; you are the rebel without a cause and former CIA operative one man army Rico Rodriguez who now comes home to help liberate the fictional island of Medici from the tyrannical dictator Di Ravello. What starts off as a simple crusade to liberate the oppressed peoples actually continues to be a simple crusade with the occasional silly plot device (in most cases Bavarium, magical rock only found in Merdici that seems to serve as Just Cause 3’s space magic/’the Truth’/magical orbs/parasites). Alas despite trying to throw wrenches into the mix the formula stays much the same and goes flat much faster despite a shinier label.
When your flirting with violence and maximum insanity Just Cause 3 is an addictive action packed gunfest that promotes creativity with the range of gadgets and toys at your disposal from hijacking helicopters with your upgraded grappling hook, grappling two pursuing military vehicles together to create a more explosive equivalent to tying an unsuspecting fool’s shoes together. Also the explosions are good, really good. I won’t lie, the giddy joy I experienced from concocting massive cloudbursts, there’s no denying the amount of effort channeled into the explosive effects are unrivalled to my knowledge.
You can grapple just about anything to create plenty of chaotic pleasure triggers as you combine it with other tools like the wingsuit or arsenal of weaponry. However all of this is weighted down as Just Cause 3 restricts itself to the framework and regulations found in the plethora of modern open world games without understanding why those titles have them.
Main missions are boisterous and often very tongue in cheek affairs while having dot-
Just Cause 3 also for whatever reason implements a questionable unlock system, where experience points are still a perfectly valid system instead when you clear settlements you can then take on several challenges for gears. After collecting enough gears you unlock add-
The sandbox and more so the visuals are also perplexing.
I will say the natural landscapes are a wondrous sight to take in, from large scaled mountain sides and sandy beaches to colourful fields that honestly made me want a third person holiday simulator. But then it feels like guy in charge of urban populating took a long holiday himself and then just grabbed some unused assets from a failed PS2 game. Buildings at best look awful and at worst, bloody awful where you’d be forgiven for thinking the textures were taking a ridiculous amount of time to load in. Character models suffer to much the same effect, where Rico looks nice and stylized for the modern age everyone else looks like they got stuck on a lower graphics setting or that nowhere near enough effort was put into their textures and animations.
But the biggest offender of Just Cause 3 is that it just sets itself up to be this big sprawling fun ride when really if it scaled back its oversized playground it could fit more variety and not have to waste as much time chucking in filler.
It wants to stand amongst others like Witcher 3, Metal Gear Solid V and Shadow of Mordor without learning and understanding all the fine tuning that’s needed to make sure you balance size, content and enjoyment.
There’s fun to be had but where either of titles I previously mentioned are like epic feasts you’ll remember for a lifetime, Just Cause 3 is like some fast food, you enjoyed while you had it but honestly you feel like you’ll be ill if you have anymore. There’s fun to be had in Rico’s explosive homecoming but his ride all too often gets stuck in the mud of frustration and tedium where it barely manages to fill even a quarter of the 400 square mile map with meaningful content. Style over substance is all too apparent here so perhaps Just Cause 3 is best played in short burst as opposed to continuously playing to make sure you can review all the content.
Enjoyable gameplay in short bursts,
Impressive explosion effects,
Great tongue in cheek humour,
Allows for creativity,
Smooth seamless open world.
Controls aren’t as fluid as predecessor,
Constant long load times for cutscene transitions,
Poor unlock system,
Runs out of variety fast,
Intrusive online connection issues on PC.
Just Cause 3 is a fun romp but desperately fails in the content department with a 7/10.