I am a massive fan of the Just Cause games and it was a no-brainer for me to swipe this off the trade-in store’s shelf after I traded in my old Xbox. Just Cause has never looked so good than in its third iteration and on the PlayStation 4 it is the epitome of eye candy. Good looks coupled with the parachute, wingsuit and grappling hook dynamic gameplay is a winning combination, yes?
Well… kind of – after a while liberating islands from the military control of the evil dictator got a little boring. The problem for me was that there was way too much repetition to the sandbox experience. Once you’ve liberated one town and explored the tactical variations involved then it just seems a case of repeating it for hours.
Much like Batman or Assassin’s Creed these sandbox distractions are supposed to give you attributes or equipment to aid you in the main storyline missions and therein lies the other problem with JC3 for me. The main story missions are a doddle. You really don’t need anything other than the basic equipment to complete the whole thing and the final ‘boss battle’ which consists of shooting at a helicopter with a rocket launcher and hiding behind a big rock when it shoots back was ridiculously easy and frankly quite a lame way to finish the game. Okay I admit I used a different model of rocket launcher from the one you get at the start of the game but it was hardly difficult to obtain.
The cut scenes are generally entertaining but perversely graphically inferior to actual gameplay and I found that I had to turn the music right down in the end because much like the gameplay it was getting quite repetitive.
Another interesting feature was that when you got killed while trying to liberate a town or military base you got respawned on the area’s doorstep with a full weapon load out and having incurred no cost (in terms of chaos points perhaps). So you could just carry on where you left off without any trouble and with the alertness of the enemy set back to zero. This means that every liberation could be a suicide mission based whittling process – basically see how far you could get and then rely on the respawn and repeated until the flag goes up and the rebels set off the celebratory fireworks. Not great gameplay in my opinion. Perhaps it would’ve been better if some of town’s military assets got rebuilt while you had to travel back to the location?
I did enjoy the game up to a point and certainly more than some games I have played (e.g. Call of Duty seems rather lacking without a grappling hook) but overall I was disappointed. If you like hunting around for collectibles then with JC3 you can fill your boots, but once I’d liberated all areas and finished the disappointing story missions I ejected the disk and loaded up the much maligned Assassin’s Creed Unity.
My 3 top tips for this game are:
1. Spend as much time doing the land, sea, air and wingsuit races as you can without growing bored before doing a story mission – just to get your money’s worth.
2. Use a helicopter whenever possible to attack military bases from a distance without setting off SAMs – it’s easy to grapple and hijack an enemy helicopter whenever one comes within grappling distance and I hardly used the rebel supply drops to deliver vehicles.
3. Fly close to bases to trigger SAMs and to work out how many there are and where they are positioned, then bail out and hack as many as you can as soon as possible before continuing a ground offensive – there’s nothing more satisfying than turning the enemy’s weapons back on them.