Just Cause 3 – Review
Follow Genre: Open world, Action-Adventure
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: Xbox One

Just Cause 3 – Review

Site Score
7.1
Good: Chaos!
Bad: A bit simple, Repetitive, Never truly blows you away
User Score
7.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

It has been five years since the last Just Cause game made its appearance on the last generation of consoles and PC. The over the top action adventure game offered many possibilities, in a fairly big open world, where you could roam around and burn everything to a lovely crisp, all for the ‘just cause’ of course. Today Rico decides to head back home, as it’s also the breeding ground for something that might cause many innocent lives to be lost, at least if you don’t blow everything up first. Here we are playing Just Cause 3, for the just cause, just ‘cause.

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Story

After serving the CIA for quite some time Rico Rodriguez calls it quits and decides to go back to his home country of Medici, an archipelago in the middle of the Mediterranean sea. Nonetheless, Rico is not back to rest and catch up with his childhood friend Mario Frigo, as they will have to overthrow the local regime of general Sebastiano Di Ravello. Di Ravello has been keeping his underlings on quite a tight leash for all this time and it seems he has his eyes set on a bigger prize as of late, namely the rest of the world.

While the general’s army might not yet be an overwhelming force, he has something else that might prove a great help in allowing him to conquer Earth as a whole, namely Bavarium, a rare and highly explosive mineral, which seemingly can only be found in Medici.

While the plot feels basic, it ends up being just that as well. Nonetheless, a game like this does not need a very elaborate plot to become fun or interesting enough for you to wade through all of the story missions. The overall plot is brought to you by ingame cutscenes, which have their own sense of charm.

Graphics

Graphically Just Cause 3 is actually quite impressive, as the landscapes of the made up archipelago, are quite stunningly done, ranging from the many small cities and villages, to the acres full of flowers and the mountainsides that trot along the many different areas. The cars are decently detailed, having a certain realism surrounding them, even though ‘real’ cars are not implemented in the game. Other vehicles look nice too, as well as the characters that roam around in this semi-paradise.

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While everything looks good, it all gets whittled down a bit due to extensive recycling, as many cities look alike, bases are identical and there’s not a huge variety when it comes to villagers, soldiers and rebels. Seeing you’ll be watching many explosions, as you’re a force to be reckoned with, things stay rather exciting, but after some time, you’ll wish there was a bit more to see, especially in terms of variety.

The game is not shy of having a few graphical bugs, where you seem stuck in buildings and cliffs, encounter moving bodies or see very square cloud reflections on the ground. While these are all simple bugs, they can get annoying from time to time, especially if they come hand in hand with a serious framedrop.

Sound

As far as sound is concerned, you’ll be bathing in the sounds of the many explosions you will cause and the ridiculous one-liners of Rico. To be honest, these two are already enough to keep you entertained for quite some time, but luckily the other characters also have a decent voice cast to back them up, at least the key figures. The general populace, rebels and soldiers do have a few different lines, but they get looped over and over again. An otherwise witty touch are the announcements made by the regime or the rebels after conquering one of the many bases Di Ravello has scattered throughout the land.

The music however is very subtle, especially when just roaming around. Seeing the game is all about destruction, it would have been rather cool if you could at least have the option to play some upbeat tunes to get you in the mood for your next conquest. While the current music is not bad, it’s simply negligible.

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Gameplay

Just Cause 3 is, just like its predecessors, an open world action-adventure game, which offers you the option to follow the storyline, conquer the areas, do challenges or just roam around at your own leisure.

The main goal of the game is to liberate all of the islands of the evil presence of Di Ravello’s regime,. this is done by either completing the story missions, which always brings you a few steps closer to the general himself, or by destroying the bases and influenced towns which are spread all over the map. Whilst the latter will not complete your story per se, it will aid you to make things easier, as the rebels in those cities will aid you.

After mere moments it becomes apparent that this game is all about blowing things up and this is pretty much true for 90% of the game, as you’ll find yourself liberating locations, destroying the regime’s bases and so on. There is actually not that much more to the game, except for the fairly straightforward packaging of things.

To complete your missions, you’ll have a limited arsenal at your disposal, which can be stocked by the many weapon lockers on the map, or by the ‘rebel drops’, which can drop you aid from time to time, if you are in desperate need of weapons and/or transport. Again, this feels pretty simple and straightforward. The one big asset you’ll have in your toolkit, is your grappling hook. With this you’ll be able to scale mountains and buildings, drag items towards you, or even tie cables between two objects, pulling themselves together at your command.

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Not only is the grappling hook useful for normal movement, it’s also very useful in combination with your other tools, namely your parachute and wingsuit. Whenever you desire, you can pull yourself towards something and open your parachute, which allows you to fly around (same for the wingsuit). When in the air, you can continue using your grappling hook, to stay afloat, or fly over mountains, which is often a lot faster than using a car.

The mod section, which grants you boosts, such as better grenades, boosts on cars and so on, is one of the poorly implemented features of the game. While the implementation of mods is quite nice, it’s quite annoying that you can only unlock them by completing optional challenges, forcing you to play side content in order for you to get stronger. While many might argue that more content is always nice, it’s understandable that others rather occupy themselves with the story and the basic destructive action the game has to offer.

Even though Just Cause 3 is a rather okay, yet repetitive whole, things aren’t always as pleasant as one might imagine due to the somewhat clunky controls. Scaling mountains can get rather tedious due to random letting go of your grappling hook or due to shoddy camera angles. The range of the grappling hook seems to be random at times and so on. One of the most annoying bugs is that you often get stuck behind the edge of a rooftop or other plateau, when you wish to run off if the drop is only a few feet.

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Two other issues you’ll notice are the atrocious loading times, where you will have the feeling that you could pretty much play with yourself, rather than play with the game (pun intended). The other annoyance is the fact that the AI is pretty much retarded beyond belief. You can actually blow up an entire base, kill off 50 men and then hide behind a corner and hear: ‘suspect gone, get back to your positions’. Really? One has to stand in the middle of a smoldering crater, between the bodies of all his fallen comrades, while if they did a little effort they would rip Rico open like a stuck pig. Nope, get back into position.

Conclusion

Just Cause 3 is a rather entertaining experience with a few childhood diseases blended in with the overall explosive mix. Nonetheless, if you liked the previous installments, you’ll probably go nuts over this one, but all in all, things stay rather repetitive, not only because the objectives are limited, but because there is a lot of recycled material in the game. That being said, this one is a fun addition to your library of games.

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Just Cause 3 - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

2 Comments

  1. MC_JP
    MC_JP
    December 12, 2015, 1:22 am

    My opinion

    +: Grappling hook is fun to abuse

    – Much loading such repetive gameplay

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  2. […] It’s been nearly a year and a half since Just Cause 3 was released, and while it had its fair share of small bugs, it proved to be another wacky adventure in the Just Cause series. Now, the Gold Edition has hit the shelves and we were curious to see how this title would hold its own amongst the many new releases this last year brought us. Once again we found ourselves blowing up entire cities, massacring hordes of communist soldiers and looting nice rides, all for the liberation of Medici. We’ll not be diving into the specifics that much in this revisit of the game, but you can always check out our original review of Just Cause 3, by clicking here. […]

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