Just Cause 3 Review

Cause and effect in game form.

Wife’s Seal of Approval

Put simply, Just Cause 3 is my new addiction. Its fairly odd that this is the case because Just Cause isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it’s soothing to play, like roaming around in Grand Theft Auto. The best way I can describe the game is that its essentially the same as Shadow of Mordor except with more explosions, less orcs, and a heavy dose of cliché action movie style story.

It’s at this point in my review that I have realized that I have spent the majority of my time running around and blowing everything up instead of playing the game in the manner that I’m assuming was intended. I can’t say anyone who knows me well enough would find that surprising however.

So without further adieu, let’s get down to business.

TL:DR REVELATIONS IS WHERE IT’S AT

GAMEPLAY

Just Cause 3’s gameplay is the major selling point of the game, which is a massive improvement over the last game, Just Cause 2. I’ll elaborate in a well-formatted list:

  1. The gunplay is fluid and frenetic.
  2. You can traverse the islands quickly without a vehicle if you choose.
  3. The grappling hook/parachute/wingsuit combination is a blast to play with.
  4. Infinite remote explosive charges.
  5. You get tons of explosives.
  6. Jets are ridiculously fun to fly.
  7. Rico Rodriguez (the main character) is a total badass.
  8. Weapons and vehicles are all unique.
  9. The map is HUGE. Roughly 400 sq. miles.
  10. You can make huge explosions.
In addition to this comprehensive list of why Just Cause 3’s gameplay is awesome, you also can gain access to just about every vehicle and weapon in the game by using the Rebel Drop tab in the game’s menu. The Rebel Drop tool puts all the tools of destruction you could possibly need at your fingertips. Do you need a jet fighter? Drop it in. Laser designator? Rebel Drop. Monster truck and a shotgun? You guessed it…
Now this doesn’t mean that there aren’t caveats to the awesomeness. Minor annoyances are in the game and they tend to rear their head at the most inconvenient moments, but they are usually fleeting. Do yourself a favor and don’t bother with motorcycles.
Oh, and flying full-speed into the ground with your wingsuit on is extremely funny.

PRESENTATION

Just Cause 3 is a pretty game, hands down (even on consoles). The islands that the game takes place on are diverse in climate as well. The many areas even have drastically different looks to them that set them apart. The southern islands have a distinct Mediterranean feel to them, which seems to imitate the Italian/Sicilian setting that the location is based on.

However, you have the northern isles as well, which have mountainous, temperate, and strip mined environments that are a blast to play around in (hehe). Those blastable locations treat you to what can only be described as Michael Bay-esqe level explosions and mayhem.

Just Cause 3 still suffers from a few issues. These issues are often limited to short draw distances and framerate problems. The draw distance issues are rarely a problem since you’re more than likely going to be staring down an enemy tank, a rapidly approaching missile, or a platoon of enemy soldiers that want to disembowel you.

In the sound department, things sound pretty standard. Guns sounds like guns, explosions sound explodey, and Rico sounds… like Rico sounds?

ORIGINALITY

As far as originality goes, I can’t decide if Just Cause 3 is original or not. It is a sequel, yes. It is also a fairly standard third-person shooter. However, in a day and age when third-person shooters are serious or gritty cover shooters with cut-and-paste shooting, Just Cause 3 stands out from the bunch.

At first the tone of the game, which is about as serious as a 13 year old talking about flatulence. It was a little grating but I eventually settled into it. After some adjustment to the tone, I began to enjoy the absurdity of it. It infected my being which resulted in stringing up cows, attempting to fling a body from a helicopter (I succeeded), and dropping a tank out of an airplane for no reason whatsoever. In many ways, Just Cause 3 borrows its nature from games like Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto, but holds back quite a bit on the vulgarity.

All in all, it was a refreshing game to play and I was very entertained for the majority of my time with it.

STORY

As far as storylines go, this is where Just Cause 3 seems to suffer the most. I’m going to invent a term: ‘bloatbox’. Bloatbox (n.) is defined (by me) as any game environment that is filled with things to do but lacks substance overall. Games that fit this criteria are:

  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Far Cry 2/3/4, which are getting progressively worse
  • The majority of the Assassin’s Creed franchise
  • Watch_Dogs
  • Mad Max
Now you may be thinking, “You’re supposed to be talking about the story.” Well, I’m getting to that. I have a point I’m trying to make. That point is that Just Cause 3 has a pretty forgettable story, much like the other games in my list up there. The game’s plot can be summed up pretty easily in one sentence:
Rico Rodriguez goes to his home country and finds that a coup-de-etat has occurred, slinging a military leader with WMD’s into power, and Rico must work with the resistance to oust him.
There, that’s it. There are no complications to the plot. I also pieced together the entire story while playing the majority of the missions on low volume, and I don’t believe I missed anything important. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
Now addressing the bloatbox label. Avalanche Studios and SquareEnix apparently decided that a meaningful or interesting plot could be substituted with the aforementioned bloat in the form of time trial racing, target shooting, and blowing stuff up challenges on top of a horde of collectibles; which add a ton of extra “play” time.
The problem is that while the challenges are pretty fun to do with the ridiculous gameplay, and the collectibles are easy to get, they don’t add much quality play time. The most fun however can be found in the capturing of military bases and towns since you can make tons of big explosions which is never a bad thing.

WILDCARD: MORE GRAPPLING THAN A UFC MATCH

Regardless of the state of affairs of the story or bugs, the freedom of movement in the environment is insanely fun. The combination of the grappling device, wingsuit, and infinite parachute might convince you that vehicles are entirely unnecessary. Slamming face-first into the ground at full speed with your wingsuit on is hilarious. Using the grappling hook and reel-in function to slam aircraft into each other is far easier and satisfying than wasting precious rocket launcher ammo. Not to mention that slinging enemies across the islands is deeply, sadistically entertaining.

Revelations

Just Cause 3 is one of those games that I almost didn’t give a chance, but I’m glad I did. I tried out its predecessor and suffered through a handful of hours before deleting the game entirely without looking back. Something called out to me to still give Just Cause 3 a shot, and I was delightfully surprised. It has been a long while since I had as much fun as I had with a game as I have with this, even considering its shortcomings. It sure has some rough edges, and I can barely remember anything about the story but I can’t shake the feeling that what I paid for Just Cause 3 was money well spent.

If you’re looking for absurd entertainment of the variety harking back to cheesy action movies of the 1980s, look no further… Just Cause 3 is your game.

3 thoughts on “Just Cause 3 Review

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