warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

'Just Cause 3' Review

Johnny Flores, Jr. |
December 8, 2015 | 12:44 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

 Avalanche Studios
Avalanche Studios

"Just Cause 3" is wild, fun, crazy and -- at times -- highly disappointing. The third entry in the series prides itself on its crazy and unbelievable situations set within a fictional world. Such is the case when the game opens and you are standing on top of an airplane with a rocket launcher in tow, shooting down various targets before you jump off to save a friend. 

"Just Cause 3" revolves around our hero Rico Rodriguez, a self proclaimed “dictator removal specialist” arriving in the fictional Republic of Medici in order to remove Sebastiano Di Ravello and his military dictatorship. While this has the makings to be a great story and ode to action movies of the past, it is not. It is forgettable at best. However, "Just Cause" has never been about the story, rather it has always been about the world the story is set in. 

Medici clocks in at 400 square-miles and is filled with bases, towns and outposts for you to wreak havoc upon. The world is your playground and in typical "Just Cause" fashion, there are myriad ways for you to have fun. How you decide to liberate Medici is based upon your creativity. You can be traditional and shoot everything or you can chain together multiple objects to a nearby enemy helicopter and use it as a wrecking ball. The possibilities are endless and I had a blast testing out new methods to the madness. Each outpost became an opportunity to try out a new method and even in failure I had a ton of fun. 

Destruction aside, "Just Cause 3" also offers one of the most versatile movement systems in recent memory. Rico is supplied with a wingsuit, parachute and grappling hook to use in order to navigate the Mediterranean terrain. What I really enjoyed most about this movement system is the steep learning curve attached. Just Cause 3 does not hold your hand and show you to launch off of a grapple hook, deploy your parachute and then use your wingsuit to gain altitude in order to get from Point A to Point B. Rather, the game allows you to learn and fail. Practice makes perfect and before I knew it I was gliding off mountains directly into enemy territory and leaping from helicopters and freefalling before deploying my parachute. I was never angry when I miscalculated a jump and plummeted several hundred feet down below as I knew that I was one more jump away from succeeding. 

While this sounds like harmless fun, "Just Cause 3" does occasionally abandon its open world in favor of a story. Scripted story missions not only remove you from the action, but are highly repetitive and at times broken. I often found myself repeating various missions because the person I was supposed to escort and protect behaved in an unintelligent manner. I found myself becoming frustrated as all I wanted to do was get back into the world and have fun. "Just Cause 3" works best without a story and more as a free-roaming sandbox. Unfortunately, in order to get back into that sandbox, you must complete various missions that often repeat themselves. 

Aside from story issues that test one’s patience, the game is also riddled with bugs and other nuances. Closing parachutes, AI issues, graphical glitches and other issues are to be experienced a number of times. I am optimistic, however, that a patch can help curb many of these issues. For now, these issues are prevalent and very annoying. 

I guess what I am trying to say is that "Just Cause 3" lacks consistency. It does so many things right, such as free movement and destruction, but at the same time it does so many things wrong, like the story and repetitive missions. When "Just Cause 3" is not consistent, the game becomes tedious to play. 

Still, despite these issues, "Just Cause 3" remains a great game. It ups the ante once more and provides hundreds of hours of content. It encourages creativity and there are numerous options in order to put that creativity to the test. The challenges put in play are worth pursuing and the environment is a blast to traverse using the fluid movement system. Bugs and other technical problems aside, it is a great game and well worth the multiple hours you will be putting in. 

7.5/10 

Reach Staff Reporter Johnny Flores, Jr. here.



 

Buzz

Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.