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.http://www.gamerztech.com/2010/04/just-cause-2-review/