Just Cause 3 Review - Shut Up and Explode

Mitchell Saltzman | 30 Nov 2015 19:00
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The challenges themselves great for the most part, and it's nice that the challenge types offering the best upgrades are the ones that are the most fun. One of the more unique challenges involves driving a car equipped with a bomb that is set to explode if the car dips below a speed threshold for too long, just like the movie Speed. The goal is to crash the car into a group of enemies by jumping out of the vehicle just before it hits and explodes in a slow motion ball of fire and lightning. Another challenge has you tying a magnetic ball to the back of your car and tasks you with collecting a bunch of pieces of bavarium ore that are scattered all throughout an area while enemies try to take you out.

Just Cause 3 is a gorgeous game to look at, with incredible draw distances, beautiful vistas, and most importantly, some of the best explosion effects you'll find in video games. That being said, all of this glorious destruction comes at a price. On the PlayStation 4 version, I experienced significant framerate stuttering whenever the action got particularly hectic, which in Just Cause 3's case, happens quite regularly.

Still, a little slowdown is acceptable, especially when a game looks as great as JC3. What isn't acceptable though, is the fact that over the course of my review I was constantly disconnected from the game's online server, which immediately paused my game and made me sit through another 20-30 second loading screen, before asking if I'd like to retry to connect or play in offline mode. Obviously, I'd choose to play in offline mode, considering the fact that JC3 is a singleplayer game with the only online functionality being stat tracking of a bunch of pointless feats. But when in offline mode, as soon as I'd access a menu, it would automatically attempt to connect me back on to the server, which would start this cycle of connecting, getting disconnected, playing in offline mode, and then being forced to connect again.

Hopefully this issue will be fixed in time for JC3's launch, because if not, we're going to have a bunch of very unhappy gamers with a single player game that is being constantly interrupted due to unnecessary online functionality.

There are moments in Just Cause 3 where I'm able to forget the many issues that I have with the game. Moments where I'm stringing up a car in between two buildings, strapping it with rocket boosting C4, and watching with glee as it flips like a trapeze artist before I cut the tethers and let it fly off into the sunset. Moments where I tether a helicopter to the ground and slowly reel it in as it desperately, but fruitlessly, tries to fly away and avoid its inevitable fate. Those moments eventually run out though, and what's left in Just Cause 3 is a beautiful and enormous open world sandbox, supported by a lackluster campaign and a host of technical issues.

Bottom Line: The additions of the wingsuit, dual tethering grapple hook, unlimited C4 and regenerating health system are all fantastic additions that would've made Just Cause 3 a breakout game in the franchise, if not for the dull story, repetitive story missions and technical issues ranging from long load times, to poor framerate and to constant disconnections for a single player only game.

Recommendation: If you don't have high hopes for the campaign and are the type who can spend hours messing around in the open world, coming up with new creative ways to create chaos and destruction, you'll likely be able to look past a lot of Just Cause 3's flaws and enjoy the game's dedicated focus on blowing things up in the most stylish ways possible.

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