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Just Cause 4

Posted by GG Goblin On January - 2 - 2019

Loads more boom.

Avalanche Studios bring back action superstar Rico Rodriguez once again to overthrow a dictator and possibly answer some personal questions in Just Cause 4, the latest explosive entry in the popular series. Bring on the explosions.

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For those who are interested, this time around sees the heroic Rico heading to the fictional South American country of Solis and getting all involved with the countries troubles with The Black Hand. This obviously means it is time for a rebellion, and along with a cast of new characters and a few returning faces, Rico will have to destabilise the regime through causing chaos. With the inclusion of an enemy controlled weather machine capable of generating tornados, you can imagine that the chaos is going to be epic.

But that is only for the players that are interested in the story. The Just Cause games are not really known for their deep narrative, and Just Cause 4 pretty much follows that formula. It’s nice to have something to tie everything together, but it just isn’t very interesting. Players of the former games may get a kick out of how they all connect, but most players will just be here for the action, which is actually something of a problem. While the action is amazing, and more on that in a minute, there are a number of roadblocks that will prevent the player from simply going off and having fun. The country is divided into a number of different areas, and the player will have to liberate these areas to gain reap the rewards of the rebellion. While this generally means just having fun and blowing stuff up, there are also a number of set missions that the player will have to complete before achieving that freedom. These missions are not very interesting, often involving some basic objectives that just feel dull compared to how much fun the player can have when left to their own devices.

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Still, the players who are here for the over the top action will not be disappointed outside of these missions. Once again, Rico will simply be blowing things up, often in new and interesting ways, while fighting off wave after wave of dumb enemy soldier, all in the name of the rebellion.

Rico is perhaps most well known for his grapple hook, and in Just Cause 4 the hook is even more useful than before. At its most basic, the grapple hook acts as an interesting and quick way to move around the island. Simply fire at a point some way away and then the line will zip Rico to that location. Need to get to the top of a tower, just grapple your way up. Need to travel to a different area of the map, grapple onto a moving car and enjoy the ride. Want to have some fun, grapple a helicopter. There is an amazing freedom to using the grapple hook for movement, and when combined with Rico’s other gear, namely the wingsuit and parachute, it makes moving around Solis an absolute joy. There is a certain amount of skill that comes with using the wingsuit due to the speed and manoeuvring required, but it won’t take long for a player to be zipping around like a true action hero.

But the freedom of Just Cause 4 means that there is far more to Rico’s grapple than just getting from A to B. The grapple is upgradable and can have a few other uses, should the player want to experiment. Firing the grapple at one object, and then at another will activate the tether ability that will bring t6he two objects together, generally in an explosive way. Imagine the possibilities of tethering a chopper to an explosive barrel, or to another chopper for that matter. Even the simple act of tethering two enemy soldiers together is great fun. Further down the line, there are even self inflating balloons that can be attached with the grapple, to make objects float into the air, and rocket boosters that will move an object very quickly in whichever direction the player chooses. Yeah, you can make tanks float. Enjoy that image.

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Of course, taking on the forces of The Black Hand is not just about dropping large objects on the enemy, or attaching them to explosive barrels. The gun play in Just Cause 4 is fairly expansive, and there are a huge amount of different weapons to play with, including some new ones such as a lightning gun. The enemy AI is not especially bright, and Rico is such a bullet sponge that taking on the huge number of enemies doesn’t really ever become a problem. However, it has to be said that I have never really been a fan of the shooting mechanics in the Just Cause games, and Just Cause 4 does nothing to change that. It feels loose and imprecise, never really coming together in an enjoyable way. Still, with the amount of chaos that is generally going on, and the huge number of different ways to engage the enemy, the wonky gun play is never really a barrier to enjoying the explosive action.

The promotion for Just Cause 4 made a big deal about the weather mechanics, specifically the likes of tornados and lightning storms. It has to be said that the weather makes for some epic set pieces, and they really are impressive. However, the weather feels underused in the game, and doesn’t really offer much threat to someone as hard as nails as Rico. It may well be that the weather will make more of an appearance in DLC down the line, but in the core game it is slightly disappointing.

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Despite all of this, Just Cause 4 is an explosive action adventure which works best when the player is free to experiment. The game hasn’t massively moved on from the previous title, and so players who enjoyed Just Cause 3 will know what to expect here. While the story is lacking, and the missions are dull, there is still a lot to like here. Packed with impressive physics and some really fun ideas, Just Cause 4 is mindless fun and worth checking out for some relaxing, bombastic action.




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