The Explosive Potential of Just Cause 3
In March of 2010, Avalanche Studios dropped their ‘surprise’ open world sandbox, Just Cause 2. I say ‘surprise’ because I’d never heard of the series before, and remember the first time I saw a pre release trailer.
I was working in an Internet cafe for backpackers in central Sydney at the time, and my colleague, a handsome Swedish man named Fredrik, was watching this video of a dude who was grappling on to buildings and cars, tethering them together and causing all sorts of chaos.
“What. Is. That!” I shouted, glaring through the monitor at the aftermath of a car that had just done a complete front flip before exploding. That was that; the love affair had begun. A truly glorious mix of unashamed b-grade story and voice acting, a giant open-world, and a grappling hook/parachute combination that turned out to be one of the more potently fun and creative mixtures of mechanics experienced in a third person action game.
So here we are, less than a week from the release of Avalanche’s newest entry into the fold, Just Cause 3, and there is already a stupid amount of information available about what we can expect. The game’s publisher, Bandai Namco, haven’t been shy about getting the game out there for YouTubers and Twitch streamers to show off to the world, with some having pre-release code available to them for a few months now. Hell, they’ve even just released a video of the entire first hour of the game for you to watch, right now.
That’s confidence with a capital C.
They clearly feel they’ve got the goods to back that confidence though, otherwise there is no way in hell we’d know what we do as early as we do. So with that in mind, what can we look forward too, then? What do we *really* know about Just Cause 3?
Well, we know a few things. We know it’s set on the island nation of Medici, which also happens to be series protagonist Rico’s homeland. That’s about 1000 square kilometres of island, in case you’re wondering. And yes, that’s a lot.
Some argue what could you possibly do with all that space? I say you can do PLENTY with that space. Despite the handful of ‘main’ sized islands in Just Cause 2, I think it missed the boat in that respect with much of the playable area being the ocean, dotted with smaller islands; it was under-utilized space for the most part, and just a little too spread out. Similarly, Medici has plenty of ocean surrounding it, however much of the land mass is centralised. This gives the terrain a more naturally connected feeling.
This plays into the addition of the wing suit as a way to fling yourself through the sky like a winged meat sack. From the short time I had with the game at EB Expo a few months ago, it felt like the wing suit would take a little bit of getting used too, as did most of the game if I’m honest. It’s much, much faster than the parachute/grappling combo was in JC2, and in turn, it’s very responsive to slight movements.
Many things from Just Cause 2 have been tweaked heavily for Just Cause 3. Multiple tethers make up the grappling hook now. The parachute is now a far more stable aerial platform with which to rain down hell from above. All of these things add a new layer of complexity, which in turn creates many more opportunities for Rico to do the kinds of things that would make James Bond nervous.
This is what has me most excited for Just Cause 3. The potential for chaos was already massive, and if this has managed to stretch that even further, then hot damn. I’m getting sweaty just thinking about it.
Just Cause 3 is out December 1st for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.
James Swinbanks is a Games Critic currently writing for GameSpot, although you’ll still occasionally see him popping up on Player 2, because frankly, he loves the smell of the place.