Just Cause 3 (PC) Review

By Athanasios 06.12.2015

Review for Just Cause 3 on PC

Imagine a videogame where the main protagonist would be a mixture of Schwarzenegger, Stallone, van Damme, Steven Seagal, Bruce Willis, Bruce Wayne, Bruce Springsteen, and Bruce Almighty. Yes, that's a stunningly stupid concept, yet, wouldn't it be great? The answer to that question is Just Cause 3, the distilled essence of '80s and '90s action flicks, and a title which, similar to the Saints Row series, takes the sandbox world and gameplay of the Grand Theft Auto franchise, and in a self-awareness act that is worthy of praise, throws realism, plot, and so on, out of the window, and provides gamers with 1000 square kilometres of pure insanity, something that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "guilty pleasure" - although this, otherwise, awesome sandwich of testosterone, does come with a few serious problems.

Rico Rodriguez, the Latin superman in this larger-than-life action blockbuster, flies with a wingsuit after free-falling from 10,000 feet, gets into an approaching helicopter, hangs upside-down from it in order to shoot the soldiers underneath, gets on the roof of a jeep by using a grappler, chain-links a tank with some TNT barrels before entering it, and, finally, accelerates towards some enormous fuel tanks, parachutes out of the vehicle in the nick of time, and leaves behind fire, smoke, and ashes. Want to know the best part? This whole thing wasn't a cut-scene, but an everyday occurrence in the game world of Just Cause 3.

It is hard going back to any other videogame and travelling on foot or car after trying this out, because these means of transport simply pale in comparison to gliding/parachuting around cliffs and mountain towns, and using a grappler to get a speed and altitude boost, effectively enabling unlimited hours of flying. In fact, all vehicles here feel somewhat slow and awkward to use, with cars and boats that don't steer as well as they should, helicopters that are hard to handle, and planes whose controls are terrible, to say the least. Thankfully, going from A to B is much faster without all of these, something that's great given the sheer size of the gargantuan complex of Mediterranean islands known as Medici.

Screenshot for Just Cause 3 on PC

The story is once again: Rico Rodriguez vs. Oppressing Regime, but those expecting a Metal Gear Solid-like epic will be disappointed. It's just a generic action hero against a generic Dictator figure, with every single character here impossibly one-dimensional, stereotypical, and predictable - and yet, all of them a joy to watch, because, while similar to simplistic cartoon characters, they are actually very likeable cartoon characters. Of course, the Just Cause series never tried to hide the fact that the plot was always just a placeholder, simply giving a reason for blowing things up - and boy, are there plenty of things to blow up here.

Bear in mind that while Medici is as beautiful as throwing Majorca, Patagonia, Santorini, and Crete in a blender, it feels somewhat bland; way too clean and devoid of large and diverse crowds of people, and not exactly fun to explore since everything looks the same. In other words, it feels like a studio set, and in many ways that's what it is, since the concept here is simple: if it's red, make it go BOOM! The whole map is just a checklist of things that must be destroyed in order to turn each region in the various available provinces to blue, and drive Di Ravello's army away; an army which goes by the name of… DRM.

Screenshot for Just Cause 3 on PC

Taking into consideration the extreme similarity between the various towns and military bases scattered around Medici, it comes as no surprise that the whole thing is repetitive beyond belief, and yet it's hard to put mouse and keyboard aside and return to playing, for example, Grand Theft Auto V, which may have more depth, but just isn't as fun and cathartic as acting like a human nuclear bomb - and wait to see the explosions; the best ones in the industry, bar none. In the end, though, this is still a repetitive, although addictive, experience, with little incentive to return back to a region after demolishing it.

The great thing about Just Cause 3, however, is the variety of things that can be done on the battlefield. Aside from planting C4, creating a rain of bullets and grenades, smashing things with a tank, and so forth, the best mechanic here is how the protagonist can tether two items and then pull them together, enabling all sorts of crazy experiments to be carried out, like tethering a tank with some explosive barrels, an enemy soldier with a helicopter, or a massive radar dish with the very ground that it's built on - with the only problem being the fact that, aside from a few occasions, there's usually little motivation to use this wonderful system more creatively.

Screenshot for Just Cause 3 on PC

There are four things to do here. #1: raze enemy structures to the ground; #2: gather collectibles, ranging from cassette tapes of Di Ravello's personal diary, amongst others; #3: encounters, which are short and sweet, run-of-the-mill mini-quests, like escorts, assassinations, or car-jackings, and, finally, main missions, which are, without a single doubt, the best ones here, because they provide far more diverse and interesting scenarios, with the best example being an escort mission where Rico's friends are being chased by a whole DRM battalion, forcing him to become Spider-Man and go from vehicle to vehicle via his grappling hook, or chain-link them together and make them explode - and all this at 120kmph.

Once again, though, and besides the fact that not all missions are of the same calibre, things soon start to go down the road of tedious repetition. Additionally, while it's possible to unlock all sorts of crazy upgrades called MODS, those are hidden behind some, simple, although fun, challenges, like flying/driving through rings, or destroying things as fast as possible; a concept that, while not bad, feels more like a chore. Oh, and something that should be mentioned earlier: bugs, glitches, and connection issues are abundant, but, fortunately, an enormous patch is on the way. Long story short: the third Just Cause is a mindless, repetitive, and flawed piece of software, but still, a fantastic bundle of TNT-filled fun.

Screenshot for Just Cause 3 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Avalanche Studio's creation doesn't care about the "are videogames art?" dispute, it doesn't give a dirty rodent's behind about realism, and it doesn't takes itself too serious. It's an unapologetic tribute to the best adolescent boy fantasy of all time, besides a gaming session with a young, black stockings-wearing Dolly Parton, which is none other than being a flying, bullet-eating cocktail of comic book superheroes, and all this with the sex appeal of a Mediterranean Nathan Drake. Sure, all this destruction and mayhem lacks the required depth and motivation inherent in other sandbox titles, and yes, it can all become extremely boring, but while this ultimately more of a somewhat flawed toy and not a "true" videogame, it's an extremely addictive and enjoyable one at that, nonetheless.

Just Cause 3 can be bought from Play-Asia.com in Steam format today, as well as on other formats, along with many other great digitally released titles on the likes of Nintendo's eShop, the PlayStation Network, and so on, across all regions.

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Developer

Avalanche

Publisher

Square Enix

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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