Just Cause 4 review
Please note that this review may contain spoilers!
My personal game collection does not include the themes of revolution, war and dictatorship. Yet all those themes do occur in Just Cause 4. However, I felt rather adventurous this time and wanted to give it a shot. Just Cause 4 has surprised me in a positive way, mainly because of the freedom I have in this open world concept, the chaotic weather conditions I can play with and the fact that this truly is a traditional Sandbox game. In short: this game has every element to let one's creative mind run free.
The story line is short and uncomplicated: Rico Rodriguez is assigned to overthrow the wicked plans of Oscar Espinosa, who runs a dictatorship on the island of Sílos. I immediately got sucked into the story from the first scene, as an uninterested Oscar Espinosa receives a briefing from Gabriela Morales, Commander of the Black Hand. During this briefing, Morales shares the news that Rico already is on the island. Espinoza is not pleased and demands that something needs to be done quickly. For me, the fun starts shortly after this scene. With Rico’s pretty straight forward plan (find Espinosa, question him and destroy Project Ilapa), we are going to reclaim the island bit by bit.
Explosions, explosions and even more explosions!
If there is one thing that is typical for the Just Cause games, it would be the endless possibilities to blow up pretty much everything. I must say that the explosions look pretty impressive and it gives a sense of power to get rid of your targets that easily. Rico has all the tools and weapons he needs at his disposal (that literally fall from the sky through supply drop). Do you need a tank? Here, have one. Or would you prefer a new weapon? Say no more. But note that not everything is available at once. Every pilot has a brief cooldown and the items must be unlocked one by one. Hey, you don’t want to complete the whole game right away, do you?
The idea to get the support of provinces by completing missions is a positive development compared to Just Cause 3. However, the missions are pretty much copy / paste, so the quests lack a bit of diversity. After a while, it just started to become dull.
In the game there are extreme weather conditions, such as a tornado or heavy thunderstorm, created by a weather console (a device that happened to be designed by Rico’s dad). You can use it to your own advantage, but sometimes the game is a bit glitchy, making you hit the tornado as if it is a solid wall. That was a bit disappointing in my opinion. I think they could have done more with this weather control device.
Mobility and controls
Personally, I am a fan of games with an open world concept: you are free to discover the map, enjoy different environments and figure things out on your own. The only limit is your own imagination, and you can just play around like a soldier in this Sandbox game. What I really loved was my mobility with the wingsuit. The good old parachute (a bit more refined, of course) is also available, so you can travel Solís through air without problems. With the occasional tornado coming your way, you have the possibility to fly even higher and use it to accelerate. Be careful not to get caught in the middle though, as you will be thrown out and lose your wingsuit temporarily. Just Cause 4 has some great small details, like the raindrops on your screen when you get too close to the tornado The ‘traditional’ vehicles on land are not practical, but I guess we are already used to that feature in the other Just Cause series ;).
I think everyone's favourite weapon is the grapple gun and the endless possibilities for using it. It is a great tool to swing around à la Spiderman and hook vehicles together so that they (surprise!) explode at impact.
Just Cause 4 is a decent game which I enjoyed playing. A huge strength is the Sandbox concept and the free world to roam around in. Many developers try and fail with their games to create a modern Sandbox game, but this is something where Avalanche Studios really excelled in with Just Cause 4. If you need constant guidance in your gameplay, then this is no game for you. You are on your own, literally a soldier playing around and blowing things up. Disadvantages of the game are the glitches, such as the tornado and the occasional mission markers that are oddly placed on the map. The story is fun, but not revolutionary (pun intended). On the other hand, one does not simply play a Sandbox game for a good storyline.
What is your opinion about this game? When were you overjoyed and filled with content and which moments made you want to rage quit? Let us know!