I know this game isn’t exactly new but I don’t think it’s been getting the recognition it deserves. GTA has always conquered the open world game genre. I don’t mind that because GTA IV is one of my favourite games, I love walking around and beating people on the street with a baseball bat, I really do but after a while beating people up on the street loses it’s fun factor. That’s where Just Cause 2 comes in. The game isn’t perfect but it’s still just as fun as when I picked it up when it first came out last year.
You play as Rico Rodriguez, the Agency’s secret weapon. The guy who gets things done. You are sent to a fictional island in South-East Asia called Panau. An island that used to be allies with the US until the leader dies and his son takes over, Pandak ‘Baby’ Panay and cuts off all connects with the US and introduces a harsh dictatorship. Three gangs fight for land in Panau, the Ular Boys, a tribe who fight against foreign influence, the Roaches, an organised crime syndicate and the Reapers, a revolutionary group. During the game you fight along side the three gangs, doing missions for them and destroying military and government equipment. One thing I love about this game is that life goes on with the gangs. You’ll be driving around Panau and you’ll see a gang fighting for what it believes in and you can join in and help.
This game doesn’t play like others. It encourages you to explore and discover the huge island. One of my favourite things in the game is ‘Chaos’. You must cause a certain amount of Chaos before the next Agency mission is unlocked and the story is progressed. To gain Chaos, you guessed it, you must cause chaos. Destroy any government equipment and you gain Chaos. By collecting weapon, vehicle and armour parts in the form of boxes and causing Chaos you can complete different settlements around the island. This will cause even more Chaos and earn you money. By obtaining the weapon, vehicle and armour parts you can upgrade weapons, vehicles and your health. The vehicles that I’m talking about can be obtained from the Black Market Dealer. You are introduced early on in the game and from the Black Market Dealer you can get weapons, vehicles and you can be extracted to previously discovered locations.
Once you’ve completed the game, it encourages you even more to go around the island and try and reach 100% of game completion. This is called Mercenary Mode. The world is huge and there is so much to discover. The island looks amazing too. As you explore the island of Panau you’ll discover different climates and terrains, from lush jungles to deserts to snowy mountain tops, all which look amazing. You can explore the island in different ways, by car, (which in my opinion is the worst way to get around) by boat, by helicopter or by plane. In my opinion you won’t drive a better car than in GTA IV, the cars in the game feel so realistic but one thing that GTA IV is missing is planes. You have no idea how much fun you can have with a plane in Just Cause 2. Feel like a commercial airliner, hop over to Panau’s International Airport and hijack one. Maybe you want a small fast plane that’ll zip around Panau’s financial district? Go for the Pell Silverbolt 6. Or if you’re feeling adventurous take a trip to the military airport and get a jet… with rockets and a huge gun.
I’ve saved the best part of this game for last, the grappling hook. The game wouldn’t be able to function without that thing. It allows you to do so many things that you can’t do in other open world games. It gives the player so much freedom and not to mention fun. You can grapple onto cars, planes, helicopters, buildings and people and so much more! In combination with the parachute you can slingshot your way across the island which is a very effective way to travel in small distances.
The game might be a lot of fun but it has it’s downsides. The voice acting is absolutely atrocious. I was so happy when I finished the game, partially because I knew I would hardly have to hear the characters speak again. The developers should be ashamed but they’re also lucky, if the game wasn’t so good I probably would have snapped the disc by now. Running around different settlements trying to find weapon, vehicle and armour parts is a little annoying but I can live with it. Again, the game makes up for it with the other aspects of gameplay.
If you haven’t played this game then go and play it because it’s amazing.