Review: Just Cause 2

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Bolo Santosi of the Reapaaahs!
:P
One fun thing to do in this game, is get a SU-47 and fly around while blowing stuff up :D
...or go to the Mile High Club, and kill everyone there XD

This is defiantly one of the more negative review, while still being positive to a degree. It's good to know that the developers improved greatly on the first installment since there were definitely good ideas such as the parachute, it was just bland at times, but the hook is a great addition.

BTW congrats for getting on Metacritic.

review reads not just as though the reviewer was a fan of GTA3, but that they've never played a "sandbox" game since

This all seemed to have a healthy dose of hate and venom tossed in for flavor. Judging by the comments and the great demo, I think I will be getting this.

The one thing I noticed from the demo which whas very bad (other than the cutoff point and the time limit, sigh alright I can't complain since it was free) was the voice acting.

I just ignored the briefing and ran around imagination-yelling things about being politically active and loving your children to people as I ran them over with their own late grandmother's golf cart.

And then drove it off of a cliff, just to be sure.

I'd like to commend the makers of JC2 for supplying a GOOD demo on 360, it drops you on the island and just gives you 30 mins 'screw around' time, giving a real chance to see if the game grabs you.

*points EA to this as they continue work on their new range of $10 demos*

BobisOnlyBob:
Driving? Seriously? I've been watching my friend parachute around at high-speed thanks to the parachute/hookshot combo. Also, no mention of using the grappling hook to attach objects to objects? He's been dispatching generic mooks by attaching them to canisters and explosive barrels and then attacking them instead. Or vehicles.

The extraction system is easy and quick. The only problem I've seen is the lack of explanation; however, they're quick to work out with some experimentation.

It sounds like you've hit hard by journalistic time pressure and coming off the end of PAX. Hopefully you'll have some more time to dabble and either update the review or acknowledge the greater depth of the game here in the comments, because as it stands this review is poorly-researched at best.

Agree. It sounds like the reviewer didn't have enough time to truly experiment and enjoy the game properly.

I only died once during the opening mission, it just took me a second to get used to new parachute controls. (This is mostly my fault, as I'm pre-conditioned by GTA IV's controls.) I think maybe you had a similar problem, Mr. Reviewer?

As for the Black Market issue, it's a non-issue, really. As someone stated before, just skip through the dialogue scenes. And I had no problem using it at all. D-pad down, aim at valid drop point on ground (no boulders, water, steep surfaces), press Y/Triangle/mapped keyboard button. Easy peasy. And buying on thing at a time isn't a huge deal, bearing in mind you can only carry two pistols, one rifle/longbarrel shotgun and two types of explosives, that's a max of 4 items to call him for IF you're completely out of ammo and you want them ALL restocked. 5 calls if you want a vehicle drop. Cut that number by one more if you duel wield the same small arm, like I do with the pistol. (Max upgrade duel pistols ftw!)

Also, not just using a menu to order off of keeps me from accidentally buying things I didn't want via a stray button press.

I personally love this game. Sandboxers are my favorite genre of video game and this one does an amazing job at it. Encouraged free exploration, rewards for random violence and destruction, nice variety of vehicles to get around in, huuuuuuuuuuge (approx 400 km, iirc) world area with varying terrain, including snow-covered mountains, jungles, deserts, cities, industrial and military complexes, and even a floating cruise liner-like dance club, supported by two huge dirigibles, which floats in the sky and constantly moves around the game world.

But I really don't think this game gets enough cred for its innovation in creatively exploring and interacting with the environment. I mean, you could just go run and gun for everything, like in countless other shooters, but then you'd be doing yourself and the game a disservice. It's all about exploration and experimentation. One of my personal favorite things to do (which I figured out on my own through experimentation with the grapple), is to find one of the big windmills and tether a baddy to one of the 'wings'. Trust me, it never gets old watching a helpless soldier being spun around violently hundreds of meters off the ground. Then, when you're starting to get bored, click the grapple away, and FLING!

Also, surfing a jet into an enemy colonel, jumping off at the last second, and watching it all explode behind you as you parachute away in action movie fashion, is epic.

As a matter of fact, the only issue I have with the game is the occasional glitches. I'm sure they'll be patched soon enough, and I haven't found any game breakers yet. Sometimes audio from a random military enemy will stutter, but it's more hilarious than irritating, since it's rare.

I was also once in a military base, causing havoc (as you do) and I was parachuting in to land for a one on one, mano y mano, fists vs. violently swung grappling-hook melee fight with a high ranking colonel, having removed all his support staff with sniper rifle fire from a nearby mountaintop. As I neared the clearing where the colonel was, I grappled onto a barracks to speed my decent, only to find myself stuck inside the barracks. I could see out, the colonel couldn't see me (only a few feet away) and I couldn't walk out the invisible-from-the-inside walls.

Luckily, grappling the ground behind the colonel yanked me free (I think it's because you're somewhat intangible while hookshotting), and our bout began as intended.

Again, none of these glitches were game-breaking, but you'll hear about them a lot in a game that has such room for all these physics experiments.

As for the voice acting, yeah, it's terrible, and the characters are hokey and cookie-cutter for the style, but I think it's really tongue-in-cheek as the game is all about the sandboxing, and I'm sure the devs knew it. Plus, it's that so bad, it's funny kind of terrible.

Ok, so, tl;dr,...

This game's awesome.

Pretty sure this review was rushed.

Grappling hooks rule.

9/10 (I would have given a 10 if the tether stretched across a road actually clotheslined people instead of being intangible.)

I made an Escapist account just to comment on this video. Just Cause 2 is waaaay more fun than this review says. Have you ever seen pictures of a beautiful place and thought "I really wanna go there" have you ever seen a tall building or mountain and thought "I really wanna climb that and/or dive off with my parachute" have you ever wanted to engage in intense gun battles/car-chases/mid-aid dog fights/sneaky assassinations/massive mother****in explosions? THEN GO BUY JUST CAUSE 2 NOW! Or atleast try the demo/rent it. This game is easily the best looking game I've ever played and the load times (including death load times) are wickedly fast on the PS3, especially for a game so massive as this. Just Cause 2 is the game for everyone who has ever enjoyed an action film, even just one! If ever you have watched an action movie and ever thought "Hey that was kinda cool." THEN YOU NEED TO PLAY THIS GAME. There are bugs for sure but they are not in anyway game breaking or even game-affecting for that matter, the only bugs I've encountered (in 20+ hours of gameplay so far) have been visual or audio bugs, not once have I encountered a technical error.

BobisOnlyBob:
Driving? Seriously? I've been watching my friend parachute around at high-speed thanks to the parachute/hookshot combo. Also, no mention of using the grappling hook to attach objects to objects? He's been dispatching generic mooks by attaching them to canisters and explosive barrels and then attacking them instead. Or vehicles.

The extraction system is easy and quick. The only problem I've seen is the lack of explanation; however, they're quick to work out with some experimentation.

It sounds like you've hit hard by journalistic time pressure and coming off the end of PAX. Hopefully you'll have some more time to dabble and either update the review or acknowledge the greater depth of the game here in the comments, because as it stands this review is poorly-researched at best.

Agreed.

Popcicle42:
-snip-

Hahahahahahaha, oh man, the music during that was perfect lulz.

I laughed like 5 minutes straight. My sides hurt. Thank you.

Sounds like nothing was learned from Mercenaries 2. I'll be giving this one a miss.

I think the reason dieing has so many disadvantages (and there aren't that many) is because, oh, I don't know, they don't want you to die? Most of the people I hear saying how "hard" the game is are the people who are way too trigger happy and just want to run into a military base and blow everything up in one swoop, and come out unscathed. This isn't Halo! Sure, with the right equipment, you probably could. But sometimes it takes more time than that. This is a sandbox game, but they need to put some sort of restrictions on what you can do. If you instantly respawn right next to where you died, dieing wouldn't be a big deal at all. And this wouldn't be a realistic game at all. Everyone would just keep doing crazy things, and there would be no consequences. Sure, this could lead to some interesting results, but do you really want that? Not to mention there would be a lot more programing that would need to be in the game, and that means less space on your storage devices. They want you to be careful in the game, so you can keep reaking havoc on the island. If you didn't care about dieing, it would take forever to get anywhere. And honestly, when I die, I just kinda laugh and then get right back to playing, because it's just way to fun to blow shit up to worry about "how long it takes to die and get back to where you were". One word: extraction!

Hehe, I first read the name as "Just 'cause 2", would that be more appropriate? Given the apparently low emphasis on story and saviour/terrorist thing :D

gagagagagagaga:

BobisOnlyBob:
Driving? Seriously? I've been watching my friend parachute around at high-speed thanks to the parachute/hookshot combo. Also, no mention of using the grappling hook to attach objects to objects? He's been dispatching generic mooks by attaching them to canisters and explosive barrels and then attacking them instead. Or vehicles.

The extraction system is easy and quick. The only problem I've seen is the lack of explanation; however, they're quick to work out with some experimentation.

It sounds like you've hit hard by journalistic time pressure and coming off the end of PAX. Hopefully you'll have some more time to dabble and either update the review or acknowledge the greater depth of the game here in the comments, because as it stands this review is poorly-researched at best.

Agree. It sounds like the reviewer didn't have enough time to truly experiment and enjoy the game properly.

I only died once during the opening mission, it just took me a second to get used to new parachute controls. (This is mostly my fault, as I'm pre-conditioned by GTA IV's controls.) I think maybe you had a similar problem, Mr. Reviewer?

As for the Black Market issue, it's a non-issue, really. As someone stated before, just skip through the dialogue scenes. And I had no problem using it at all. D-pad down, aim at valid drop point on ground (no boulders, water, steep surfaces), press Y/Triangle/mapped keyboard button. Easy peasy. And buying on thing at a time isn't a huge deal, bearing in mind you can only carry two pistols, one rifle/longbarrel shotgun and two types of explosives, that's a max of 4 items to call him for IF you're completely out of ammo and you want them ALL restocked. 5 calls if you want a vehicle drop. Cut that number by one more if you duel wield the same small arm, like I do with the pistol. (Max upgrade duel pistols ftw!)

Also, not just using a menu to order off of keeps me from accidentally buying things I didn't want via a stray button press.

I personally love this game. Sandboxers are my favorite genre of video game and this one does an amazing job at it. Encouraged free exploration, rewards for random violence and destruction, nice variety of vehicles to get around in, huuuuuuuuuuge (approx 400 km, iirc) world area with varying terrain, including snow-covered mountains, jungles, deserts, cities, industrial and military complexes, and even a floating cruise liner-like dance club, supported by two huge dirigibles, which floats in the sky and constantly moves around the game world.

But I really don't think this game gets enough cred for its innovation in creatively exploring and interacting with the environment. I mean, you could just go run and gun for everything, like in countless other shooters, but then you'd be doing yourself and the game a disservice. It's all about exploration and experimentation. One of my personal favorite things to do (which I figured out on my own through experimentation with the grapple), is to find one of the big windmills and tether a baddy to one of the 'wings'. Trust me, it never gets old watching a helpless soldier being spun around violently hundreds of meters off the ground. Then, when you're starting to get bored, click the grapple away, and FLING!

Also, surfing a jet into an enemy colonel, jumping off at the last second, and watching it all explode behind you as you parachute away in action movie fashion, is epic.

As a matter of fact, the only issue I have with the game is the occasional glitches. I'm sure they'll be patched soon enough, and I haven't found any game breakers yet. Sometimes audio from a random military enemy will stutter, but it's more hilarious than irritating, since it's rare.

I was also once in a military base, causing havoc (as you do) and I was parachuting in to land for a one on one, mano y mano, fists vs. violently swung grappling-hook melee fight with a high ranking colonel, having removed all his support staff with sniper rifle fire from a nearby mountaintop. As I neared the clearing where the colonel was, I grappled onto a barracks to speed my decent, only to find myself stuck inside the barracks. I could see out, the colonel couldn't see me (only a few feet away) and I couldn't walk out the invisible-from-the-inside walls.

Luckily, grappling the ground behind the colonel yanked me free (I think it's because you're somewhat intangible while hookshotting), and our bout began as intended.

Again, none of these glitches were game-breaking, but you'll hear about them a lot in a game that has such room for all these physics experiments.

As for the voice acting, yeah, it's terrible, and the characters are hokey and cookie-cutter for the style, but I think it's really tongue-in-cheek as the game is all about the sandboxing, and I'm sure the devs knew it. Plus, it's that so bad, it's funny kind of terrible.

Ok, so, tl;dr,...

This game's awesome.

Pretty sure this review was rushed.

Grappling hooks rule.

9/10 (I would have given a 10 if the tether stretched across a road actually clotheslined people instead of being intangible.)

Now why isn't this guy reviewing? Get him a job here NOW.

The Cake Is Annoying:
Sounds like nothing was learned from Mercenaries 2. I'll be giving this one a miss.

My friend, this game couldn't learn from Mercenaries because it's already graduating video game college with honors, while Mercinaries is still working the fryer at Pac-Man's Chicken & Pellets.

Shrimp782:
-snip-

Now why isn't this guy reviewing? Get him a job here NOW.

Well, gee, that was nice of you to say. !Gracias!
(Note to self; learn how to do the upside-down exclamation mark.)

And I guess I could do some reviews, if just for funsies. Anyone can, right? So, why not?

I think I'll do a proper full review of Red Dead Redemption when it hits. I'm a huge sandbox fan and could talk about them for hours... I'm like, 99% sure it's my favorite genre.

But thanks again. :)

Oh, and a little update, Just Cause 2 has made me feel like my years of video gaming have not been all for naught.

{MINOR SPOILER: Be warned)

Y'see, I was doing a mission for one of the rebel factions of Panau, the Ular Boys, in which I had to invade a satellite launch site, where three huge rockets were loaded up with the sats, ready to launch.

At the beginning of the mission, I flew around the base, sticking triggered explosives to two of the three targets. Then, trying to take it to the next level of epic, I hijacked a jet, and began surfing it towards my final target.

Before getting there, I trigger my explosives, setting two of the satellites ablaze in glorious explode-y fashion, when a communique comes through from my Ular contact that a timer has been set for the launch. Luckily, only about 3 seconds passed before I lept from my flying cruise-missile/jet and parachuted away, fiery death and ker-sploded satellite left in my wake.

That's right, I actually took down all the satellites near simultaniously, saving myself some hectic running about with a timer staring me down, without being told to.

I like to believe it's because that gamer part of my brain (the biggest and most well fed part) knew the deal and automatically convinced me that taking these things out like a True Lies Ahnold would be the best course of action.

Of course, the game still managed to throw me a curve ball because another communique came through, telling me a 4th, secret satellite had been launched and I had to catch up to it and take it out.

Luckily, I found another jet.

Man, I love this game.

gagagagagagaga:

The Cake Is Annoying:
Sounds like nothing was learned from Mercenaries 2. I'll be giving this one a miss.

My friend, this game couldn't learn from Mercenaries because it's already graduating video game college with honors, while Mercinaries is still working the fryer at Pac-Man's Chicken & Pellets.

Shrimp782:
-snip-

Now why isn't this guy reviewing? Get him a job here NOW.

Well, gee, that was nice of you to say. !Gracias!
(Note to self; learn how to do the upside-down exclamation mark.)

And I guess I could do some reviews, if just for funsies. Anyone can, right? So, why not?

I think I'll do a proper full review of Red Dead Redemption when it hits. I'm a huge sandbox fan and could talk about them for hours... I'm like, 99% sure it's my favorite genre.

But thanks again. :)

Oh, and a little update, Just Cause 2 has made me feel like my years of video gaming have not been all for naught.

Agreed on the Mercenaries thing. I found Mercenaries 2 to be an OK game, but it's just not in the same league as Just Cause 2.

And I'd be more willing to read your reviews than anything else by Greg Tito. Will keep an eye out for your Red Dead Redemption review. You might be interested in a review I'm planning of every single sandbox game I remember playing (count's at 13 so far) :D

Well, in all, I'm loving Just Cause 2. I've had *none* of the problems the reviewer has, particularly the ones that are downright baffling. Seriously, you *died* during the opening skydive? You had to press ONE button! And it tells you which button! And I worked out you had to put a beacon on the ground literally the first time I used it.

The review falls a little flat, basically, because it's telling me more about the reviewer than the game.

I'm sure this has been mentioned before, but if the reviewer can't figure out basic gameplay mechanics, why is said individual a video game reviewer? The Just 'Cause parachute system offers nothing innovative, just your standard pull back/pull forward flight control. I guess if I couldn't manage to properly maneuver I would be annoyed as well, but having played at least one flying game in the last 20 years this seems pretty inconsequential. I guess its good to know which reviewers to ignore...

I almost want to say that the reviewer didn't play too far into the game. After a couple missions were completed, you gain access to an extraction feature that allows the black market dealer to drop you off at virtually any point on the map. (I didn't read the review, though, only watched the video supplement. Maybe he covered it in the written part, but then there wouldn't be a need to rat on the long distances needed to travel to get back to where you were) I also didn't experience that long of loading sequences after I died. Then again, I played on the Ps3, which I heard has faster loading times than the 360.

But yeah, the story missions were sucky, but really I knew that would be the case before I bought the game. I didn't get it for a story, I got it so I could blow crap up.

I've been playing this for a few days now, and am just past Agency mission 4. Good review of the game but I feel your being a little too harsh on it due to your own faults. Travel's not a problem and I'm fairly sure the on screen prompt told you to aim at the ground when the black market tutorial started, at least that's what I did from the start.

One thing I will say is that destroying bases get's pretty monotonous after 20 or so of them. Grab a 'copter, blast away at the SAMs whilst avoiding incoming fire. Then destroy everything and everyone for about 5 minutes before dropping in to pick up all the goodies.

Another thing that would have been nice would be the ability to shoot from the driver side window. I hate it when you're being chased by a bunch of lackeys without being able to return fire. Yes, I know you can leap on top of the car but then you plow into a tree/wall/zebra...oh wait this isn't Far Cry 2.

One thing I noticed was that I was feeling a little bit guilty for going into a small hovel and destroying the infrastructure. Granted the water tower belongs to the government but now what will people drink.

But despite all these little annoyances I'm still having great fun playing it and will probably still be doing so a month from now in my mission to get 100% destruction.

My personal rating: 4/5

happy_turtle:
I've been playing this for a few days now, and am just past Agency mission 4. Good review of the game but I feel your being a little too harsh on it due to your own faults. Travel's not a problem and I'm fairly sure the on screen prompt told you to aim at the ground when the black market tutorial started, at least that's what I did from the start.

One thing I will say is that destroying bases get's pretty monotonous after 20 or so of them. Grab a 'copter, blast away at the SAMs whilst avoiding incoming fire. Then destroy everything and everyone for about 5 minutes before dropping in to pick up all the goodies.

Another thing that would have been nice would be the ability to shoot from the driver side window. I hate it when you're being chased by a bunch of lackeys without being able to return fire. Yes, I know you can leap on top of the car but then you plow into a tree/wall/zebra...oh wait this isn't Far Cry 2.

One thing I noticed was that I was feeling a little bit guilty for going into a small hovel and destroying the infrastructure. Granted the water tower belongs to the government but now what will people drink.

But despite all these little annoyances I'm still having great fun playing it and will probably still be doing so a month from now in my mission to get 100% destruction.

My personal rating: 4/5

I like you. You say things that my brain says.

Also, yeah, I also feel bad about my destruction causing antics sometimes, even some of the government stuff.

I mean, sure, that is the government's gas station, but I think the people who drive around in that particular village, or at least travel through it, would find it's demise to be a bit inconvenient.

And as for the bases thing, I was having that problem, too, until my imagination kicked in.

About the fourth time I noticed this pattern of attack (yeah, I did it the same way as you for a while) repeating itself, I decided to change the game up and started doing things like;

-trying to sneak in and plant bombs on all the targets, then get out to a safe, vista-overlooking distance before lighting them up, without being noticed. It's hard, but fun. Plus, the suspense quickly turns to adrenaline when you're spotted and then you can try to escape without killing or being killed, or you can say eff this and try and mow down the entire base on foot. I call that last one 'Plan B'. I like Plan B.

-Crash random vehicles into the targets from great heights/speeds/angles. A lot of bases have make-shift ramps around them for what I believe is this express purpose. Try launching a boat, off of a boat ramp, into the enemy colonel for Maximum Win.

I guess what I'm trying to get at, and I truly mean no disrespect, is that the game allows you to be as fun as you make it.

You just have to be creative and use your imagination.

With the innovative interaction you have with your physical world around you, it's truly a sandbox game. You can sit there, drone-like, building castles and knocking them down over and over if that's your thing, but I'll be over here building a sand town, where the Giant Shovel Alien has landed and unleashed it's pet Unholy Bucket loose upon the screaming populous, wondering if I can get a water hose over here to simulate the coming flood...

King of the Sandbox:

I guess what I'm trying to get at, and I truly mean no disrespect, is that the game allows you to be as fun as you make it.

You just have to be creative and use your imagination.

I guess that's true, I keep forgetting to mix things up a bit in open world games as I've spent decades playing games where you have specific ways of doing things, if only pac-man allowed you to blow up the walls or garotte the ghosts.

The last time I used my imagination was when I tried to get through GTA4 committing as few crimes as possible, as my gf at the time got upset at me hijacking cars and drink driving everywhere.

happy_turtle:

King of the Sandbox:

I guess what I'm trying to get at, and I truly mean no disrespect, is that the game allows you to be as fun as you make it.

You just have to be creative and use your imagination.

I guess that's true, I keep forgetting to mix things up a bit in open world games as I've spent decades playing games where you have specific ways of doing things, if only pac-man allowed you to blow up the walls or garotte the ghosts.

The last time I used my imagination was when I tried to get through GTA4 committing as few crimes as possible, as my gf at the time got upset at me hijacking cars and drink driving everywhere.

Oh, I understand. We've been trained by games, with their invisible walls, linear paths and immobile scenery, to not ask questions or use our own imaginations.

Sadly, most games today are training many newer gamers that leaderboards or achievements or trophies or K/D ratios are more important than, y'know, just playing (key word there) a game.

Though, this was also kinda true back in the arcade days. You could look in the face of a guy playing a cabinet and immediately know if he was having a good, fun time, or concentrating furiously on the high score, with the sweat on their brow.

King of the Sandbox:
Also, yeah, I also feel bad about my destruction causing antics sometimes, even some of the government stuff.

I mean, sure, that is the government's gas station, but I think the people who drive around in that particular village, or at least travel through it, would find it's demise to be a bit inconvenient.

Oddly enough, it's one of the things that makes me love this game even more. Despite the game's attempts to assure me that I was being heroic and that the main antagonist was as evil as all get out, I remained unconvinced. I haven't yet seen any evidence that whatshisname is really any more evil than, say, the government of the United States (although admittedly I haven't finished the story yet). And they seem to be doing pretty well. I mean, they have a space program and a bunch of windmills. And my mission is to cause as much chaos as possible to destroy all this. I am, essentially, a foreign terrorist destabilising the government of a prosperous nation. It just makes it more entertaining for me.

The game is so much better than he gives it credit for. And the "unintuitive black market" controls are to look at the ground about a yard away from you, press down on the d pad and then press triangle/y. Not rocket science Greg.

I played the demo but I never really could get into it. Though I do want to play the games. Very cool looking games.

i think he is an asshole how exactly is the government "opressing them" your the one blowing up all their water towers, gas stations, communication arrays, power grids, stealing their cars, and blowing up the crains that are building them houses also all that was givin to them by the "opressive" government damn these people live in relitive poverty and the government gives them nice things and then this asshole just blows it up

After watching the trailer about four times before I went to sleep, I had a dream I could use the hookshot and parachute mechanic and was flying around my neighbourhood...
Though the demo wouldn't play on my pc due to a incorrect version of windows (XP)

So basically this review is:

"I struggled with parachuting, I struggled with the story, " " " aiming, " " " using a beacon... this game is not good"

Sounds more like a faulty reviewer than a faulty game, especially if the only thing they remember saying out loud to themselves while playing was a measly "get out".

Also most of us actually wish the death screen went longer so that we can see all the fireworks go off in our final moment, or see exactly where our body ends up. If you're not thirsting for such things in a death sequence, you're doing it wrong.

Totally agree a shit review greg. Your frustrations in the game were due to not understanding the game. You may want to start with Barbie and the Magic of the Pegasus. http://gameboy.gamezone.com/reviews/item/barbie_and_the_magic_of_pegasus_gba_review/
Work your way up so when you jump out of the plane in a game and asks you to hit the a button you'll be able to respond!!

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