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Just Cause 3 answers 'why not?'

Jan 5, 2016

By Daniel Barron - G4 Canada

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Just Cause 3

Just Cause 3 is a game whose entire focus seems to be on how much chaos and destruction can be caused at any given time. That chaos does indeed arrive in spades, but my favourite moments in the game were the ones where nothing was blowing up and no one was dying.

If you've played the previous two games in the series, or have seen any of the trailers, you'll know exactly what to expect in Just Cause 3. Simply put, it's an open-world game that's only as fun as a player's imagination. You have all sorts of toys at your disposal, and it's up to you to manipulate them - as well as the game's physics - to your will. The results are usually hilarious and often exhilarating.

Sure, there is an overarching storyline that involves main protagonist Rico Rodriguez as a rebellion soldier who is attempting to take down the leader of the fictional Mediterranean island of Medici. That quickly gets pushed to the background, though, as you're equipped with a grappling hook, wingsuit, and parachute very early on in the game. Why follow a rigid campaign when there's an entire island calling out for you to do fun stuff?

Just Cause 3Like so many open-world games released in the last few years, a lot of Just Cause 3's action revolves around liberating oppressed areas throughout the map. What makes liberating so fun is that it essentially involves blowing up and destroying key objects.

In towns, for instance, you'll have to destroy things like massive statues and propaganda-spewing loudspeakers, while in military bases, you'll have to damage satellite dishes, gas tanks, transformers, and much more.

It's during these liberation missions that the whole "use your imagination" idea comes into play. While you could pump hundreds of bullets into each object, it's a lot more fun to, say, tether three fuel tanks to a massive communications dish and watch the ensuing explosion. Or, you could attach some high-powered rocket grenades to a vehicle and aim it at a nearby object that needs to be taken out.

Once you start unlocking more and better weapons and items by completing side-challenges, you'll be making excuses to use those things for more random reasons. For example, I can't count how many times I attached multiple tethers to a random pedestrian's limbs just to see their body contort in impossible ways. Sick? Probably, but hey - if the game allows it ...

Just Cause 3The aforementioned story missions are usually pretty short, and at some point many involve - surprise, surprise - blowing stuff up. Certain moments were more interesting, such as one mission that tasked me with driving a truck full of containers without dropping too many of them. Most, though, devolve into huge firefights against numerous enemies.

What impressed me most with Just Cause 3 - and this is what I alluded to earlier - were the quiet moments where I could simply admire the beauty of Medici. I was legitimately awed when I stepped up on a snowy rock atop the highest peak in Medici, and did nothing more than marvel at my surroundings.

When I was done with that, I then leapt off the mountain and proceeded to use my wingsuit to fly past lakes, towns, bridges, and much more for over five minutes. This was truly one of the most memorable gaming moments for me all year, and it showed me that Just Cause 3 has more to offer than massive body counts and jaw-dropping explosions (which become far less jaw-dropping after the hundredth time).

Just Cause 3Unfortunately, the game always leads you toward more violence, whether you're launching a limo off a cliff to kill an enemy in one of the many random encounter missions, shooting a neverending stream of rockets at attacking fighter jets, or anything in between.

In terms of technical problems, Just Cause 3 once again suffers issues found in many open-world console games. I had my game freeze and crash on a handful of occasions, though as frustrating as that could be, the constant auto-saving makes those problems far from a dealbreaker.

What does threaten the game's momentum over and over again are the loading times. They're some of the worst I've experienced in a game in years, and they nearly turned me off Just Cause 3 completely early on. The load times are worst when respawning after dying, but even loading up the challenges require far too much staring at loading screens.

This issue was so bad, in fact, that it made me not want to attempt many of the challenges, because I knew if I failed or attempted to improve my score, I would have to sit through more load screens.

Just Cause 3My suggestion to players is to stay away from the story missions as long as possible. Once you've liberated every location and finished the story, there really isn't much to do in Medici. The random encounters pop up far too rarely, and with every area under rebel control, things are just too bland.

Just Cause 3 shows moments of brilliance, but most of the time, they're hidden behind plumes of smoke rising up from fiery destruction.

 

Just Cause 3
Format: Xbox One
Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Avalanche Studios
ESRB Rating: M for Mature 17+
Official Site: https://justcause.com/

Rating: 7.5 / 10

 
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About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.