Just Cause 4 Review
Rico Rodriguez returns to action as Just Cause 4 marks a return to form for the action franchise.
Just Cause 4 is the latest in Avalanche’s open world blow it up first, talk later action franchise.
Just as in previous games in the series, you play as Rico Rodriguez, and this time he is back for more grappling hook shenanigans as he tackles the Black Hand in a pretty direct followup to the story of Just Cause 3.This time you discover a hidden connection between the Black Hand and Rico’s personal past, and set out to stop them from unleashing a weather super machine that will destroy the local rebellion with the power of tornadoes, fire and blizzards.
Kind of like a third person retelling of my Sim City play sessions.
The story is about as straightforward as it gets, with brief cut-scenes that generally keep a brisk pace as to not interfere with the real star of the show, the absolute insane game play and tools Rico has to cause chaos with.
Just Cause has been around for quite a long time. It honestly isn’t too far off from the Fast and Furious films. They both started off as small ideas that have grown exponentially with each new release. They have never lost their core, and instead have maintained their identity while adding more on top and has grown to become a spectacle rivaling any big budget action blockbuster you throw at it.
Everything you know from Just Cause is back. Grapples, wing suits, big explosions, the chaos system and the vaunted stunt position all return.
This time around Rico’s tool set has grown to an almost Garry’s mod level. Every tool has been developed as if it were a fan mod. Each and every gadget has so much diversity and options it feels like you’re given permission to try and break the game engine.
Grapples with boosters, parachutes, slingshots and more can all be adjusted and modified to your hearts content. The creativity the tool set gives the player is the best part of Just Cause 4. Almost any way you imagine blowing something up is possible with the games tools. It also looks and runs fantastic while doing so. Just Cause 3 caused many problems for me on PC and consoles, so I’m glad to say on that same machine Just Cause 4 has been hands down a much smoother experience.
The guns themselves have also seen some adjustments. They all feature a secondary fire, which usually amounts to turning every weapon into some sort of explosive rocket. The feedback on the weapon sounds and the enemy response to getting shot are much better than they have ever been. It actually feels very satisfying to pull off head shots while you are flying around the battlefield.
The general moment to moment gameplay is powered by a new open battle mechanic. As you cause chaos you earn enough points to form squads of rebel soldiers. As you gain more squads you can send them out to push the front on the world map and slowly liberate regions from the Black Hand and provide ample supply points for Rico and his allies.
The war itself is mostly surface level. You aren’t recruiting individual members and being tactical about any of these choices. Much can be said about the story itself. It’s well told an voiced but its not the focal point of this games motivation.
As for the world itself its better than 3, but doesn’t have the same diversity and unique locations Just Cause 2 had. you won’t find floating nightclubs in the sky or hidden islands way off in the oceans unfortunately. That is a bit of a bummer because the games premise since its announcement; the insane weather effects; absolutely hold up to their promise.
Tornadoes of fire, blizzards and more all happen seamlessly and despite all of the sheer carnage and physics on screen the game holds up beautifully. I would have preferred to see these tornadoes rip apart a more interesting environment is what I kept thinking about as I finished my campaign.
I have also seen reports of bugs, but in my play sessions I haven’t encountered much problems so I cant really speak on those issues. Like i said previously this game runs absolutely fantastic and hasn’t crashed or even had frame drops despite the action on the screen.
Overall, Just Cause 4 is a worthy sequel, and improves many problems I had with 3. A shallow story and bland open world don’t hinder the excitement and insanity the tool set Rico is given to cause damage with.
The only real question I have is, when is the co-op coming? This games open world and gameplay systems are screaming for a friend to hop in and help out with the more elaborate stunts.
Despite its omission just Cause 4 is easily recommended, and provides a nice relief from the plodding, slower paced open worlds that have become increasingly mundane to play through. Don’t miss it.