If you’ve never laid your hands on a Just Cause game before, I’ll keep this short and sharp for you – you’re a superhero engineer with big guns and even bigger balls. It’s that simple, yet so incredibly complicated. As someone that’s spent the vast majority of his life playing video games, Just Cause is a barrier breaker. A different level of game that makes you feel like an everyday superhero. There’s been a decent amount of negative feedback from rusted on fans, but as a rookie to the Just Cause series and reviewing it as a standalone game, I had a fantastic time.
There are a few main influencing factors, starting most importantly with;
I could maybe list one other game that I actually enjoy ‘travelling’ AKA walking around the map to get from point A to point B. It’s not an easy thing to get right – but Square Enix absolutely nailed it. We’re talking hang gliders, we’re talking wing suits and most importantly the all famous Rico Rodriguez grappling hook. If you’ve managed to play the Spider-Man game since it’s release a few months back, you know how exciting these types of mechanisms can be, but not to the extent that Just Cause takes it to.
A real treat in gaming is professional music composition. In most forms of media, whether it be movies, television, podcasts, etc, all audio is curated to perfectly fit a scene – but in a video game you can never really know what the player is going to do, which makes it hard to get the composition where it needs to be. “Get on with it John, why are you writing about music in the travel section you geek?” Because the music that accommodates your in-game travel is so unbelievably encompassing. The upbeat, adventurous tunes that accompany you while hang gliding around the map warrant a whole paragraph – some serious time went into that and it has to be acknowledged.
As a run-and-gun shooter fanatic there’s nothing I enjoy more than being able to use my surroundings to assist in the carnage. With their incredibly unique physics engine in place, Square Enix give you the ability to use your surroundings in a huge way. While they’ve made sure you’ve got the classic ‘exploding barrels’ to wreak havoc, almost every aspect of the map can be manipulated in some way, shape or form allowing you to deal big damage.
My favourite run with the engine was floating a tank over a bridge, only to remove the floating mechanism 10 seconds later and squishing the ‘Black Hand’ enemies that were chasing me. The limit is your imagination and I found that mine is clearly far too small for such an interactive title.
WEATHER & PHYSICS
To tie in with the insane physics engine, Just Cause 4 has introduced ‘extreme weather events’ to spice up game-play and create an entirely new interactive function. The four main events are; tornadoes, sandstorms, tropical lightning storms and blizzards. They are each home to a different map biome so you won’t need to worry about these menaces combining. Now I said they’re interactive and I mean that in the most strict definition of the word – all of the physics elements on the map are graphically processed ON THE FLY in each of these weather events, nothing is scripted! It’s wild…
What some would consider a mild aspect of the physics engine, and one that proved to be a wonderfully exciting feature was the driving. The handling, accelerations and differences between vehicles was surprisingly accurate and credible, something I wasn’t even remotely expecting from the title.
If Just Cause 4 sounds like a game for you, it’s on shelves everywhere for $79. I’m not here to tell you what type of game you’ll like or whether Just Cause 4 is the “best” in the series, but I can report that it’s a whole load of fun.