Just Cause 3 is now part of the PlayStation Plus August 2017 line-up. This means you can download the game for free for approximately one month providing you’re a subscriber.
Let’s check out the original Just Cause 3 review.
Throughout 2015 the industry has seen some of the most compelling and deep gameplay experiences of recent memory. While this is all very well and good, sometimes you just want to relax, let loose, and blow sh** up. To that end, Just Cause 3 is like experiencing a Michael Bay film with you as the director. With so many serious games out there, Just Cause 3 simply wants you to embrace the mayhem and spectacle and have fun unleashing it.
Just Cause 3 is one of those games that you can just jump right in and have a blast playing right from the get go. The opening sees our hero Rico Rodriguez standing on top of an airplane shooting a rocket launcher at anti-air defenses, while an all out rebellion is unfolding on the ground and in the air. It’s an action-packed opening that perfectly encapsulates the type of experience the game offers, and lets you know exactly what you’re in for.
Much like the original Just Cause and its sequel, Rico must overthrow yet another dictator oppressing his people. Although there is a core story in Just Cause 3, it’s not one that you should take particularly serious, as Avalanche Studios has done a great job making it clear it was conceived with fun in mind. The game’s cheesy characters are represented with some of the worst voice acting I have heard all year, but it all fits perfectly with the tone and world that the developer has crafted for this latest open-world extravaganza.
They showcase this craziness with awesome story missions like avoiding water mines on a boat while being pursued by attack helicopters and stealing a high-tech tank while the entire nation is trying to kill you. It’s so out of control that sometimes I saw stuff blowing up in the background and I don’t even know what set them off. Needless to say, these missions are easily the most explosive and entertaining I have played this generation, and it wasn’t long before that I realized most of what happens in them can be replicated in-game at any time.
The island of Medici is massive. The game world is 400 square-miles of gorgeous landscapes with plenty to see and explore. The three main islands are populated with towns, military bases, and fishing ports. Exploring and transversal is made easy with Rico’s signature grappling hook, which can attach to any surface and vehicle in Medici. Accompanying the grappling hook is Rico’s trusty parachute and the awesome new wingsuit. Although the game allows you to hijack any vehicle in the world such as cars, planes and boats, I always found myself using the wingsuit to get around due to its easy access and control. It’s also the best tool to use to get out of sticky situations.
Playing Just Cause 3 I now know how Michael Bay must feel directing his movies. “Explosions, explosions, snappy comment about explosions, more explosions.” This game is about blowing stuff up and shooting as many bad guys as you can. Just Cause 3 does something I wish more companies would do; they give you access to all of your main guns right from the get go but the really special stuff is locked until certain prerequisites are met. Rico has access to four types of weapons. Dual wield pistols or sub-machine guns, two-handed assault rifles or shotguns, a special weapon like a rocket launcher or grenade launcher, and explosives.
Unsurprisingly, Rico loves blowing things up, and the game gives you ample opportunity to do so. One of the goals in the game is to capture military bases and liberating towns from the evil dictator. In order to capture a military base Rico must destroy strategic supplies located in and around the base. Communication satellites, fuel tanks, and power stations are just waiting for your destruction and when it happens it’s glorious to watch.
Although simply shooting them will get the job done, Just Cause 3 is a lot more enjoyable with experimentation. As an example, using your grappling hook Rico is able to tether multiple objects together, allowing all sorts of mayhem. Indeed, Just Cause 3 is the only game where you can tether an enemy tank to an enemy helicopter; watch the tank go flying, grapple into the tank, and start bombarding the enemy base with the tank in mid-air. It’s like watching that tank fall scene from the “A-Team” movie reboot, but actually doing it.
Tethering can also be used to have a lot of fun. At one point I tethered my motorcycle to a gas canister. Sitting on it I shot the gas canister and like a rocket it took off flying into the sky taking the bike with me on it straight off the cliff, using it like a jet engine to fly across the sky with my motorcycle. When liberating towns, players must capture the town’s government-controlled police stations, destroying propaganda speakers, and tearing down billboards. Liberating these towns opens up “Garages” players are able to take any car they discover, to the garage for later use if they wish.
When you’re not liberating Medici, there are plenty of challenges to take on. These challenges will put you head-to-head with other players in the leaderboards but also serve as an upgrade system. Taking part in these challenges players receive “Gears.” Gears are used to upgrade Rico’s equipment and abilities such as nitrous boost for your cars and better control for your wingsuit. Even though these challenges aren’t required to complete the game, you almost have to do them to make life easier for you in the long run.
For some reason abilities that you would think should be available at the start are locked behind this unlock system, things like using precision aiming and being able to land on your feet while using your wingsuit are both locked behind challenges. What makes it worse is you don’t even get to choose what you want to unlock. Depending on what your challenge is, you will automatically unlock the first ability or upgrade for that particular challenge. For example, if you want to upgrade your wingsuit, you have complete the wingsuit challenges making it hard for the players who aren’t the best at using the wingsuit.
Thankfully most of the challenges are fun. The challenges range from flying your wingsuit through checkpoints, to destroying an entire base as fast as you can with a specific weapon collecting score multipliers, working to get the best score you can to unlock the maximum number of gears while competing for the high score in the leaderboards.
As fun as the game is it has some of the worst loading times I have seen in a game in ten years. I understand big open world games require some time to load. Games like Grand Theft Auto V take ages to load into the game but when you’re in the game it’s smooth sailing from there. Just Cause 3 on the other hand chooses when it should take long or when it shouldn’t. At one point I did a wingsuit challenge where I crashed and burned. After retrying the challenge it took no more than five seconds to load, after crashing and burning for a second time, the same challenge takes an unforgiving three minutes to load back up. It’s because of these inconsistent loading times that I became so hesitant to do any of the challenges, just so I can avoid loading as much as possible.
When in an open world as huge as this, you almost expect there to be a fast travel system in place. As I continued to play I started to think fast travel didn’t exist. After completing a story mission I unlocked fast travel but my relief was quickly squandered by yet another questionable design decision. For whatever reason Avalanche Studios decided to make fast travel use limited to the number of flares you posses. At first you only have access to one flare. In order to unlock more flares you once again have to complete challenges. Thankfully you can replenish your flares from garage locations in liberated towns.
Just Cause 3 is one of those games you can use to unwind from a hard day’s work. It doesn’t try to pretend to be something it’s not and it embraces what it is. Although you can play it like any shooting game before it, experimentation is what makes it shine. Its story isn’t made to win any awards and its voice acting is terrible in the best way. It’s not perfect though, and sadly for all its good the questionable design decisions and the inconsistently unforgivable load times keep it from being the gem that it should have been.
Just Cause 3 review code provided by the publisher.