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Just Cause 3 review

Turn off your brain and wingsuit around an exploding paradise in Just Cause 3

Explosions, explosions and more explosions. That’s what you get in the new game Just Cause 3 and it all happens simply because you want it to. It’s a game full of missions, side challenges and a large array of ways to get around it’s ginormous map but while it’s good fun causing chaos when it works. When it doesn’t it gives you a lot of time to think.

The Return of a Hero

It’s been five years since we last saw Rico Rodriguez but he’s finally back and ready for action in this open world playground. Set in a Mediterranean island called Medici, the story is quite simple. Players have got to try and stop the evil dictator General Ravello from taking over the world. But while an overall mission is set in place players will find themselves focusing less on the story and more on perfecting their strategies when performing epic takedowns as they free districts from Ravello’s control. Though the story begins to become a lackluster sideshow, as more and more time passed I found that the versatility and the freedom Just Cause 3 grants players with is what makes it truly shine.

Going This Way & That Way

Take a killer grappling hook, a parachute and a wing suit and add those all into one game. Shortly after you do that try your hand at using them all at once, it’s definitely trick at first. Although, when you finally start to get the hang of it there’s no greater feeling. These are the three options you always have available when trying to move from point A to point B as Rodriguez but there’s also cars, planes, helicopters, boats and many more that are all also able to become weapons quickly. Chances are you’ll find yourself like me and not following the golden bull on the map to follow the games quests. If this is true then you’re probably freeing up territories marked in red by taking out billboards, satellites and everything else in your way just because it’s so much fun and too tempting flying into enemy territory without shooting something. Just Cause 3‘s weaponry makes you feel so powerful wielding three weapons at once and with a set of remote charges in hand, you’re near unstoppable. Put all of these things together and it can add up to some crazy destruction.

Vive La Upgrades

Sometimes you will get curious and let’s say you do decide to hop back into the story to see what’s next. Most of these missions involve so-so characters and more of the same gameplay objectives; freeing up districts while also finding items and protecting friends. It doesn’t take too long before it can all become a bit too repetitive. Although at least by taking over districts and leaving your rebel forces protecting what was the enemy’s base, it opens up new opportunities for the game in a major way. This leads to challenges and there’s basically three different types; some for vehicles, others for destruction and another for wing suit dives. Each challenge leaves the opportunity to earn up to 5 gears depending upon your score. What’s so special about this is the fact that players can use the gears they earn to unlock and add-on mods to their weapons, vehicles and upgrades to Rico’s abilities. This can totally  change up how you’re able to play when your cars have the ability to jump off the road, you can hold more grenades and in all gain more and more control. Then with the added support of online competitive scores throughout the game it gives you yet another thing to keep fighting for.

Slow-Mo Explosions

While I’ve had some serious fun blowing stuff up in this large and beautiful map, there’s been nothing worse than setting up a crazy detonation and not seeing it the way it should look just because the game can’t keep up. Now for me, I was on a PS4 and suddenly a decently smooth game turned into a jagged field of slurred motion right when things were starting to get intense. This all happened a little too often than I would’ve preferred. Tack on the fact that when trying to go after one more gear in a challenge or dying when trying to clear a district leads to rather long loading screens, suddenly I found the controller out of my hand and my phone in its place.  With it all tampering an epic gameplay session it can add up to yourself becoming pretty irritated because you just want to keep playing. Nobody’s trying to watch a loading screen for anywhere from 1-4 minutes every time they die.

El Fin

Despite the impromptu breaks and strange performance issues Just Cause 3 is a refreshing break from some of the years rather serious and more elaborate titles. It offers the chance for players to do what they want and go cause mayhem in a massive world both high and low. It’s just a shame that things can get monotonous when in long sessions and rather strained at other times for no apparent reason. Although when Just Cause 3 does work, it’s fun to let off a little steam and do what you want just because you feel like it.

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Joshua Smith
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Just another not so ordinary kid living this thing we like to call life.
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