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TheArtofBalance played Just Cause 2

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I recently received a free copy of JC2 from gogamer.com to review for a friends gaming blog ( www.gamerztech.com) where I also do some graphics and design. I thought I'd share it here on GDNA as well. Be kind folks, I'm no professional.

Just Cause 2 is the latest sandbox-style action game by Swedish developer Avalanche Studios and Eidos Interactive. It was published by Square Enix and released in North America on March 23, 2010. It is the direct sequel to the 2006 Xbox release Just Cause.

Just Cause 2 puts you back in the shoes of Agency Agent Rico Rodriguez dropping on the fictional Southeast Asian island nation of Panau and it is enormous. Easily one of the game’s best features, the island is an amazing playground. Utilizing the Avalanche Engine 2.0, it’s beautiful and lush with just about every form of weather imaginable. You’ll spend hours exploring the cities and jungles in well over 100 different vehicles from dirt bikes to helicopters and everything in between. It’s all here. Of course the most fun and dynamic way of traversing the island is with the dual-grappling hook and parachute, effectively creating a Spider-Man – Bionic Commando hybrid. Grappling to the back of cars and utilizing the parachute as a sort of sling-shot makes for a very effective means of travel and a beautiful way to tour the island or make a quick getaway.

Just Cause 2 is really at its best when you are tooling around, exploring the game and playing with all the various toys. Creating explosions earns you Chaos, which acts as currency that you can use to unlock new missions vehicles or weapons from the Black Market. All weapons and vehicles on the Black Market have parameters that can be upgraded in several steps, by building upgrades with weapon and vehicle components. There are over 2,000 parts that you can acquire. There is a laundry list of things to blow up and the explosions in JC2 are really a driving force of the game since the story revolves around you undermining the government’s influence over its people.

As with most sandbox games, exploring and tooling around is fun but when you want to complete a certain set of actions you’ll really see how broken JC2’s targeting can be. The auto-targeting can be a big pain and actually can cause more experienced shooters a lot of frustration. You’ll have the most fun when you are running around spraying bullets.

Where Just Cause 2 really falls the shortest is its story which is very lack-luster and forgettable. Rico must effectively gain the trust of the islands three gangs to overthrow the government and liberate its people. Some of the missions are very cool and others can be very frustrating and repetitive, like escorting A.I. characters around the map. The voice acting is bad and the accents are worse. Bugs? –this game has a few. Mostly due to the physics engine which can make more precise actions almost impossible (like leaping into specific areas or carrying cargo around).

Over all Just Cause 2 is a great experience. It gives you a ton of things to do and a giant playground to do them in. Lush and beautifully detailed environments, vehicle variety, giant explosions and playing with the games tools, guns and physics is where JC2 really shines. The game offers a great deal of possibilities and is really one of the most fun and dynamic sandbox games I’ve played. 8/10.

Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2 (PS3)

Genre/Style: Action/Action Adventure
Release Date: 26/FEB/10
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I've been hearing good words from a friend of mine, likening it to a GTA clone on a much grander scale and all the mayhem/options you can pack into it. He's convinced me, based on his enjoyment of the game, that I should play it too... and likely will once I can find some time.
I'm only posting in this for three reasons:
1. A good deal of my posts draw attention and this is well deserving of spotlighting.
2. This is a well thought out and well written review.
3. You posted this in the wrong place. This should be at
http://theartofbalance.gamerdna.com/review/just-cause-2 which doesn't exist yet.
This is how reviews should be written, people.
@ Xoaks thanks :)
@xoaks Agreed, on all three points ;-) @TheArtofBalance Good review. I was actually thinking about picking this game up at a later date. I love sandbox games.
To be perfectly honest, the only thing I didn't like about your review is the same thing I dislike about (almost) all game reviews: that it has a score. Numbers are so arbitrary and useless. I mean, granted 10 is a damn fine game and 1 is a p.o.s. But what about a five? Some reviews say that's the median, average, not-good-but-still-not-bad score. Some reviews use seven as an average (notable Dtoid and Gameinformer.) Which in turn throws Metacritic out of wack [(5+7)/2=6 Either slightly above or slightly below average, depending on your school of thought] I personally like Kotaku's "read the damn review and form your own opinions" style best (see http://kotaku.com/5012473/about-kotaku-reviews , it's fucking brilliant) but I also like 1up's alphabetical scores. A "5" versus a "7" may not make sense, but I know damn well what a "C" is. That being said, I assume editorial mandate took precedence here, rendering the vast majority of this post moot...
@High Sim Sim Thanks man :D, you should def. pick it up. The story is so weak but the sheer depth and freedom more than make up for it. @Xoaks I honestly don't like giving a game a numerical score either, and yes it was most definitely tacked on at the end for those that demand a grading system. If I had to sit down and set up a scoring system I'd go with you and 1up and use an alphabetic system like schools,.you're right we all know what a "C" is.
It sounds similar to Mercenaries 2, I haven't played much of it yet but it seemed fun too, what with the explosions and causing mayhem and all. I guess I'll have to check out this game as well.
Oh... so you're saying that "Just Cause 2" is a lot like Saint's Row 2. Where parts of the game is broken, but that's what makes it fun. Gottcha. Ok, well in that case, I'll have to check-out the demo. Thanks.

Everyone on here is not so bad. We've definitely have had our disagreements, arguments, and rants. But in the end we're here for the same reasons. Gaming.
@CrazyPhish It looks like Mercs 2 but where this one appears to shine is in the ability to set up outrageous stunts. If I were them, and if it is not already in there, implement a way to capture these stunts and post them online. The ones that they have used for trailers are freaking awesome, but I am wondering what the community would come up with. And yes, Saints 2 is pretty awesome @funkzillabot. Awesome indeed.
The mechanics I have seen in this game are what I have been wanting since GTA Vice City when I got the sudden urge to jump onto a boat from a helicopter, but could never do it. Come to think of it I never quite tried it since I may have to break out GTA4 or Mercs 2 just to see if I can do it.
Is it better than GTAIV or Mercs2? It sounds like it might be.
@CrazyPhish Yes.
I tried some online on GTAIV a few weeks back and the shooting mechanics on it suck ass.
@Rawkr Ive played GTAIV online ONCE, and it was horrible. At least for me. Some people are quite good though. They should implement a shooting mechanic like uncharted or gears of war.
@TheArtofBalance They have one, but it is also horrible.
@TheArtofBalance The auto targeting is so terrible that you can literally stand three feet away from someone holding a pistol, while you have an ak47 and both be shooting each other but somehow the pistol wins more often than the AK. I don't get it.
@rawkr I know right! I played last night and shot at someone point blank, rather than hitting him every bullet hit the car he was riding on and blew it up. weak.
I think I was just so psyched that it was GTA and it had online multiplayer that I overlooked the glaring flaws the mode had. Sure there is freedom to do whatever and there are some interesting modes but since I have played more games online, it doesn't measure up. I am still interested in the new modes from the Episodes though.
I have yet to experience a GTA episode... I have the PS3 version >_< It seems like the multiplayer was just an after thought.
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