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Review: Just Cause 3

While a lot of people are preparing for Christmas, Just Cause 3 makes an explosive entry on your PC or console. Forget the short and dark days, Just Cause 3 is filled with sunshine and explosions that’ll make Michael Bay jealous. The game isn’t perfect but I’m sure a lot of players will enjoy their stay on the sunny island Medici.

Welcome home

Fans of the franchise might recognize Medici, no surprise since it’s the hometown of our hero Rico Rodriquez. Rico returns home due to a new dictator called Di Ravello. This dictator took over the entire island and took away the freedom of the people. Of course, Rico doesn’t agree and decides to free the island from the claws of their leader. The story isn’t that impressive or important but it gives you the perfect excuses to set foot on the sunny island and take down everything you can in order to stop the danger.

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The island is rather big and it’s up to you to explore everything it has to offer! With a bit more than 400 square meters, the map is comparable to the ‘Just Cause 2’ map but with some more details of course. Just Cause 3 is the first to release on the current generation so that means it brings in some graphical updates. Everything looks sharper and brighter than ever before but some more variation would still be welcome. Most villages look like copies of the first one and lack some personality. Aside of the villages, the explosions and environments do look good. You won’t mind spending some of your time in this bright sandbox.

I can make an explosion

One thing’s for sure, Just Cause 3 isn’t aiming for realism. You start the game on top of a jet that you take down with some big explosions short after you get full control over Rico. Just Cause 3 offers a lot of explosions and some might say it’s the key feature in the game. The game offers tons of ways to take down buildings, vehicles and enemies using an infinite amount of C4 explosives. Most of your missions will ask you to liberate and take over certain settlements. How you do this is entirely up to you. The most fun is to combine your updated grappling hook with your explosions.

 

It’s all about having fun

 

This grappling hook is one of our favourite additions in the game since it offers a lot of possibilities for more destruction. Thanks to the grappling hook, you can stick two objects together. Shoot one side on a helicopter and the other side on a car. Result? The car will be pulled towards the helicopter to take it down. The possibly are endless, finding sick combinations and brutal new ways to take down your enemies offers a lot of fun. There’s no right way to play Just Cause 3. Everybody will use a different approach but the main goal is to have fun with it.

Since having fun is the selling point of Just Cause 3, it’s really hard to die. Unlike other sandbox games, you’ll survive high falls and even car hits. Rico isn’t supposed to die a lot since it would take away the speed of the action. If you’re into this type of arcade gameplay, Just Cause 3 is the best game that released in years.

Boys and their toys 

So the grappling hook offers a lot of possibilities and fun but there’s a lot more to discover. Just Cause 3 found some inspiration in Far Cry 4 and introduces a wingsuit. The wingsuit works surprisingly well in a game like Just Cause 3. You use your grappling hook to get you high in the air and activate the wingsuit afterwards. It’s the perfect gear to travel faster and to take down enemies from above. It’s the easiest and fastest way to get to your location. It’s even faster than most cars! It reminded us of the way we moved Batman around in the new Arkham Knight game.

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Besides these toys, Rico can call in whatever he thinks is useful thanks to a Beacon. Money is useless in a world under control of a dictator. Want some guns? A helicopter? A tank? Just place your beacon, select what you want and it will be dropped into the world immediately. It’s a great and fast way to call the weapon or vehicle you need to solve the situation. The world is filled with beacons so you’ll have no trouble at all to find some if you need them.

The world is also filled with flares; these are used for fast traveling. Once you take over a base, you’re able to teleport to that location is you have a flare. This fast travel-system works well and offers a new and fast way to travel to your location besides the wingsuit.

Game modes

One of the problems with Just Cause 3 is the lack of modes. Unlike the previous episode, Just Cause 3 lacks multiplayer and we already miss it. It’s strange to see this mode being dropped after the success of the multiplayer in Just Cause 2. Fans of the game adored the multiplayer mode and stayed active a long time after the release as well. It’s a shame the developers went for a singleplayer only game since the map isn’t that much bigger than before.

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Aside of the regular campaign missions you do still have random events and challenges. These challenges are interesting to complete since they offer great bonuses. Some bonuses might increase the speed of your grappling hook for example. The collectibles are hidden well in the world and are the perfect feature for the players who look for full completion in their games.

Some issues

Although the lack of multiplayer will disappoint a lot of players, the technical issues will disappoint even more. Just Cause 3 doesn’t run as it should on consoles and that’s a shame. Loading times are extremely long, frame rates are dropping and objects are randomly popping in on the wrong places. As it is now, Just Cause 3 feels like an unpolished game and desperately needs a new patch. Sure, these problems can all be solved with a patch in the future but a game shouldn’t release in this condition. The problems aren’t breaking the game but they do result in unnecessary frustrations.

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Conclusion

Just Cause 3 isn’t about realism but is all about having fun. There’s a lot of fun to have on the sunny island thanks to your grappling hook, wingsuit and endless C4 explosives. The game offers a lot of freedom in the way you like to play and it’s great to see that every player can clear the mission in his or her own way. We’re sure a lot of gamers will have a lot of fun in this sandbox. It’s a shame however that the game still has so many technical issues and long loading times. We’re sure a patch will fix most of these problems in the future but the game is far from perfect right now. If you’re able to look past these technical issues, we’re sure you’ll have a blast on Medici.

7.5/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.