Just Cause has always gone for a crazier style of gameplay with every addition in the series. With Just Cause 4, Avalanche Studios promises the best action we have seen from Rico Rodriguez. Does Just Cause 4 fly high with the "action movie" gameplay we were promised? Or does it fall short of its star-studded status? Find out now!
Just Cause has always been a crazy, over the top, series that makes gamers feel like they’re in an action-packed film...But sometimes it can get repetitive. This was the case with Just Cause 3, but has Avalanche Studios changed the game for the better, or did they keep the same formula with just a new graphical upgrade? Find out now as we dive into our Just Cause 4 review.
SIMPLE, CRAZY, AND BEAUTIFUL
My main concern during my playthrough of Just Cause 4 was getting bored with the repetitive gameplay. Fortunately, the gameplay is great, but it seems the story is still pretty bland. Just Cause 4’s story follows Rico Rodriguez as he tries to find out more about his past and take down The Black Hand once and for all. The story is a bit more action-packed and gritty this time around so you can feel like you are playing/watching a movie.
Something that sold the “action movie” style of the story was the change in voice actors for Rico this time around. Orion Acaba plays Rico in Just Cause 4 and really seems to bring more of a rugged, rough, and real tone compared to Kevin Collins, who played Rico in Just Cause 3 and seemed to have a lighter more comedic touch to the character. We have seen this type of change happen in other title and I think this change helped sell the more gritty story this time around.
With certain characters returning in the story mode this can be a bit confusing for players who didn't finish or even play the last title in the series. I know this is a continuing story from the previous games, but I wish Avalanche Studios would have just started fresh and re-launched the game instead of diving back into the same universe. Think about it, Just Cause re-launched with a younger Rico and an all-new list of characters in a huge new location! Alas….
The bad thing about this story mode is the connection you never seem to have with the “sidekick” character. Rico as a character is a total badass and stands out on his own so much I really didn't care about the other story characters. This factor takes the game from a huge “action movie” to feeling like a B+ Netflix release. The story is around 20 hours long and I have to say although I enjoyed it, I enjoyed running amuck and discovering the world much more. The story is very simple and kinda dry, but the world is what really pulled me in.
The game’s world is just huge. Whether its random explosions, full-scale war between the Rebels and The Black Hand (who have been in Just Cause since the first game) or crazy dynamic weather, there’s always something going on in this wild sandbox. Among all the games that have released this year, this is some of the most fun I have had in a game in 2018. In a year with some huge releases, Just Cause stands out with its fun/fast-paced and action-packed gameplay.
Gunplay is more fine-tuned and on point then ever, but one this that still irritates me about this series is the actual combat. The only hand to hand combat that Rico can do is a simple melee attack with his grapple hook. Come on now, Rico is supposed to be a super badass fighter of justice but all he can do is one melee attack? I would have really loved an additional, customizable combat system where you can do more kicks and punches in the world. That addition would have really sold the “badassness” of Rico just a bit more.
THIS WORLD IS YOURS FOR THE CHANGING
Throughout the game, you will be prompted to do certain missions to expand the Rebel army further into the map. This helps clean out any enemy forces in certain territories. This management tool is a pretty cool addition to the game and helps you, as a player, feel more in control of the world. You can also add more people to your team which gives you the ability to drop guns, cars, helicopters, planes, and even tanks anywhere on the map. AT ANY TIME. For instance, I had been exploring the map and ran up on a good chunk of Black Hand Soldiers. After running for my life, I got my team members to airdrop a Cavalry Armored Truck in my area. This is probably one of the best features in the game. No matter where you are, what time it is, or how many enemies you are about to face, you can get these drop where you want and when you want them.
After taking out the enemies I drove to an enemy outpost that was more heavily fortified with Black Hand soldiers and chose to take them out in a more nonconventional way. I decided to use one of the new grapple hook tools called Airlift Balloons. These balloons can be attached to almost every item and lift them up in the sky to make them float.
There is even a mod setting where you can lift said items to the point of no return. Meaning, they will lift so high they will go out of the game's atmosphere. So, I attached one of these balloons to all four corners on my Armored Truck, set the two of my Airlifters to the low air intake and two to the medium in-take. I then put a small Booster tool on the back of the Armored truck and TAH-DAH I now have a FLOATING ARMORED TRUCK OF DEATH!
These tools have come in handy a multitude of times and have made the grapple hook even better than before. You can also use a tool called the Retractor, which makes it easier to open huge doors, pull things around the world, or send enemies back where they came from. These tools can be modified to the smallest detail to make them tailored to your specifications.
For example, with the Airlifter you can change the type of gas, armor, locomotion, peak altitude, and peak effect. This makes for a level of customization that I have yet to see in any other game. In perfect sandbox fashion, the devs have basically given fans the keys to this world and said HAVE FUN!
NON-STOP FUN AND DISCOVERY
In all honesty, I am really shocked how fun this game is, I don't know why, but Just Cause 3 really didn’t feel as fun as it should have. The repetitive style of missions and gameplay just made me bored with the game, very quickly. Even though Just Cause 4 still has a bit of the same repetitive aspects, I have yet to stop enjoying my time in the amazing world.
One of the best features of this game is just simply gliding with Rico’s wingsuit and discovering the world. This game is ridiculously detailed, so discovering new areas, in-game easter eggs, and just admiring the scenery is really fun for me. The addition of true dynamic weather really makes the world feel more alive and beautiful than ever. You can run into dust storms, rain storms, severe lightning storms, and even huge Tornadoes. That is where using your wingsuit really comes in handy.
The game will generate Tornadoes in certain areas of the map, this is the perfect time to use Ricos wingsuit and discover all the great visual aspects of this game. All you have to do is grapple hook near the bottom of the Tornado, open your wingsuit when you are pulled into the vortex, then ride the outside of the funnel all to the top. At that time you can pull away from the Tornado and glide over the beautifully breathtaking map.
This is probably some of the best in-game world creation I have seen and probably the most fun I have had in a game this year. The action is over the top, the gameplay physics are insane, the easter eggs are hilarious, and the world is beautiful. I would have to say Just Cause 4 is definitely something you should have on your holiday game list this year!
My time with Just Cause 4 has been pretty well spent. Even though the story is a bit corny, I really felt like this game had enough potential to be an action-packed film! Rico Rodriguez is by far one of the best action heroes of 2018. I'll even go as far as saying that Just Cause 4 is one of the best action titles of the year! This game is high-octane fun from beginning to end and a must buy title!