I’ve never felt so empty about a game in my entire life. I’m so glad I played Yakuza 0 before this. That game was the very definition of open world. It is packed with loveable characters, menacing villains and a fun storyline.
Just Cause 3 on the other hand, is not.
(In the above screenshot, you can see Rico gracefully gliding over a small Medician town. I had to do this a lot in the game and 9 times out of 10, I would crash into a wall or hillside. It sucked. That sucked. This game sucks.)
There is a lot to say about this game. A lot. A lot of negative stuff. I’ll start with this: I really really REALLY don’t like this game. On a lot of levels. You play as Rico Rodriguez, protaganist from Just Cause 1 and Just Cause 2. Six years after the end of JC2, you’re going home to the beautiful, Mediterranean ambiguous island of Medici, which is currently under the rule of the corrupt Dr. Eggman er, I mean General Di Ravello. That’s how forgettable this plot is. I’m not even going to look up the characters but there are only a handful I can remember off the top of my head that were relevant to the plot. There’s your best friend Mario, scientist Dimah, CIA agent Sheldon, new leader lady, over the radio lady, Tico and blode mercenary lady. Yep that’s it. That’s all of them. They’re all paper thin, even Rico. There’s something about this mineral called Bavarium that’s native to the island. It’s weaponized by the Medici government to strike fear into the people as well as being sold overseas. It’s a sold plot in outline form however I don’t think the writers really fleshed out the characters or the potential of where this plot could go. It’s about Rico saving his home country however it doesn’t feel like that at all.
The Just Cause series has progressed since Just Cause 1, as a shining example of how large open world games should be approached. I purchased the second game, Just Cause 2, back in 2011 on Steam. Back then, Just Cause 2 was an innovative game. It made all the right moves with in-game features, an expansive playground, tons of vehicles and fun weapons.
Writing this article is making my head hurt with anger so I’ll simply list the top reasons why I really don’t like this game.
- The game is insanely glitchy. There are times when I’m grappling to a wall and it phases me through the wall. There was even an instance when I grappled the ground and somehow managed to phase through the ground and fall into the abyss. I get that not every open world game is perfect but please, for the love of Medici, please make it so that it doesn’t happen more than once.
- Everything seems tedious, specifically the progression system. They hit you with all these upgrades however in order to obtain them, you have to complete specific missions. These include, racing missions, flight stunt missions, parachute missions and flight suit missions, just to name a few. These missions are a chore to do and completing them doesn’t feel rewarding.
- The game’s story is very short overall. It took me around 8 hours to beat. I’ve read elsewhere that it takes 17 hours to bear just the main story. That is complete and utter BS. The story is so flimsy that even the characters start to realize this. Speaking of characters, they are paper thin and when one of the important characters dies, it doesn’t grip you emotionally. I simply felt, “ah this happened.”
- It’s crashed on my three times. Once when I was doing a racing mission, the second time when I was in the middle of the second to last mission and the third time when I was simply traversing the environment. It seems as though the developers couldn’t make a game that could handle more than one action at a time. If one explosion happens, that’s fine. If five explosions happen all at once, the game will slow at 10FPS. It’s infuriating. This is an AAA title from an AAA studio. Optimize your damn game! It’s like the game engine wasn’t designed to handle so many explosions at once. But isn’t that what the game is about? Explosions?! The damn jewel case cover has Rico pulling away from an explosion. See below:
Not everything is negative about this game. There are some fun things to do. Driving is actually fun and trying to drift feels like a challenge. Flying around in a helicopter while shooting missiles is actually entertaining. The explosions look almost real and the graphics aren’t bad either. Rebel drops are what make this game a little more fun. Need a vehicle? Access the rebel drop menu, choose among weapons and vehicles then BOOM, have them dropped in front of you via airdrop. That part is cool. The airdropped vehicles come equipped with boost and jumping capabilities (provided you unlocked them with the aforementioned tasks.) There’s a lot of detail about this game that seems like it either should have gone in a different direction or just fell short of being an action game.
(Do you see that explosion in the bacgkround of the above photo? Looks great right? It’s great. Also I tried this exact stunt and I pretty much crashed my plane in the process. I bet it took a lot to get this screenshot.)
But there’s a reason why this game is less superior to Just Cause 2. In 2011, Avalanche Studios decided that they were going to open a new development branch in New York City. They ultimately decided that this branch would focus development on the new Just Cause entry while the Stockholm branch would focus their efforts on Mad Max. It was at this point that Avalanche made a horrible mistake. The New York Studio just simply doesn’t know how to make an AAA game on any platform.
Bottom line, this game isn’t the greatest. It has a lot of flaws. If you really like the JC franchise, check out this entry. Prepare to be disappointed.