Just Cause 3 Review
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Just Cause 3. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
There are moments of pure, unadulterated destructive bliss in Just Cause 3 unlike any other in gaming. There's nothing like blowing up an oil refinery and then wing suiting out over a crystal blue ocean, dodging gunfire and helicopters along the way. Somehow though Avalanche studios has created a game where even moments like this end up feeling like a chore before long and you can't help but wonder what else there is to do on the island of Medici. Just Cause 3 can be great, destructive fun, but most of that fun is hidden behind repetitive mission structures and an archaic unlock system.
After freeing citizens of nations run by cruel dictators the world over, rebel extraordinaire Rico Rodriguez returns to his home, the island nation of Medici to deliver his own brand of justice. It's a story of coming home, of coming to terms with one's own mortality and finding out what's really important in life. Nah, just kidding...it's about how stuff blows up real good like. Rico is tasked with toppling yet another dictatorship the only way he knows how; with lots and lots of heavy fire power. It's this destruction that's at the heart of Just Cause 3 and unquestionably what the game does right. It's insanely fun to move through the incredibly large map finding new things to explode and new ways to do it. There were plenty of times I was traveling through the island and then stopped dead in my tracks at the mere thought of toppling a new structure I found.
Half the fun of these explosions is finding new ways to string together all of your tricks to create huge spectacles of destruction. Like the best Hollywood blockbusters, there's no point in looking for logic here, just enjoy the ride; and what a ride it is. In one sequence I blew up an entire army stronghold then used my grappling hook to attach myself to a helicopter, hijack it and then crash it in into what was left of the army base, quipping like a badass the whole time. This is a game that the ability to record gameplay clips was seemingly made for. I couldn't stop laughing as I used a grenade to blow up a circular oil tanker and watch what was left of it roll down a hill as people fled from it. Hey, it's the little things in life.
Play Just Cause 3 for long enough though and somehow even these moments can begin to feel mundane. The game tasks you with liberating sections of the island by destroying things like propaganda spewing speakers, billboards and weapons bases. Sounds fun right? It is, until you have to do it over and over and over again. Destroying these things is as fun as ever but when it becomes a task it loses a lot of a luster. For what it's worth I rarely ever knew if I was advancing the story or just goofing around as the sense of direction in Just Cause 3 is pretty minimal. There are mission givers around, but mostly you'll just be blowing stuff up.
Don't expect a reason to blow this stuff up either. Sure, taking out speakers and stuff is sure to piss off the government but I couldn't help but wonder how why I was doing was helping the people of Medici when half the time they were caught in the middle of my explosive experimentation. It's like, don't worry local farmer, I destroyed that pesky speaker at the end of your property...no need to thank me, but sorry about destroying nearly everything with it. The most important tool you have at your disposal is your grappling hook which you can use to reach new heights or even attach two objects together. When I learned that I could use it like a makeshift slingshot it started raining cars on more than a few villages...with the drivers still in them. See, logic schmogic.
Just Cause 3 also completely nails the feeling of movement like no other game before it. Between the grappling hook, the parachute and the wing suit, you're able to practically fly around the island though you'll likely fail spectacularly at first. Mastering the timing between these three mechanics can be tricky and my face met the side of a cliff more than a few times but once you get the hang of it you'll realize that it's so incredibly well done. You get the feeling of the wind in your face and in your ears and you're able to fast travel the map remarkably well. I also couldn't help but wish for Avalanche Studios, the team behind the game to make a superhero game off the engine.
There are times when Just Cause 3 looks fantastic. Looking over the island from high in the sky you'll notice it's full of colors that pop and aren't found in many similar games. The draw distances are also fantastic and I couldn't resist the temptation of seeing if I could blow something up that I see in the distance (spoiler, you probably can). The game also has a habit of dropping the frame rate to pretty absurd levels when the action gets hectic. This has gotten a bit better since a series of updates rolled out last week but I still found some issues when the action got heavy.
Just Cause 3 can be a destructive dream, but it can also be a repetitive mess all at the same time. You'll have a blast blowing up as much as possible but even that get's boring before long thanks to the game's lack of structure. If you're looking for a fun time you can't go wrong with Rico's latest adventure, but expect to get bored of your vacation before long.
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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