Just Cause 2


Written by Chris Price
29 Monday 29th March 2010

NO VERTICAL LIMIT screams the box! Rico Rodriguez is back again, here to save the day. Videogamelands swarthiest Latino protagonist is back, to fight for yet another Just Cause. This is a man that laughs in the face of gravity. Stylistically, it is a Frankenstein’s monster of limbs borrowed from other games. Take the demolition of Mercenaries, Lara Crofts athleticism and Spider-Mans web-slinging shenanigans.  Lastly add a pinch of Enrique Iglesias for the adoring female audience. The minute you get stuck into Just Cause, it’s hard to find fault with its blatant plagiarism.


It’s a super fun piece of James Bond inspired nonsense, delivered with such aplomb; I defy anyone not to play with a massive shit-eating grin permanently etched on your face. It might be a patch-work monster, but it is made up of some fine stock. The content is straight-to-video action movie fodder.  Brash, badly acted and barely holds together. Rico is on a one man army mission.


His mentor has gone rogue, and he’s going to Pnau to bring that bitch in! 3rd person perspective sandbox action is order of the day. Are you a precise headshot hero? Or a trigger happy maniac? Both are accommodated in just cause. In one early mission, I found it easier to eliminate jeep-riding pursuers by hooking their vehicles to the side of a bridge, and letting their momentum whip them into the sea. It was by far more fun that just shooting at them.


The pre-release info teased, with one core aspect of JC2; Rico’s Inspector Gadget-style grappling hook. It serves as a weapon and transportation device which is a fundamental bit of kit in Rico’s arsenal. Mapped to the shoulder bumper you can use it to ascend and hang, or yank snipers out of guard towers and scoring a smooth ‘Fall Kill’.


An infinite amount of parachutes are also ready for deployment to negotiate Pnau. This can be combined with the grappling hook, to slingshot Rico into the air. The essence of play is to damage, disrupt and destroy. Core narrative is unlocked by killing a never-ending stream of Panauan soldiers and blowing shit up.


The more destruction you deal, the quicker you’ll get hold of better weapons. Travel is via over 2000 vehicles including bikes, jets and helicopters. Vehicular navigation is arcade-like, with an all-important handbrake for those snazzy slides. The island of Pnau visual realization of one of those illuminated waterfall pictures. You know the one, commonly seen in any aspiring East London Chinese takeaway.


The island is a paradise of golden beaches, luscious forests and crystal blue waters. It’s a compelling and silly series of set pieces. Like any entertaining straight to video gem, JC2 is not without fault. It’s very drawn out, the voice acting is pitiful and the controls have a mind of their own. Some will condemn it for its shortcomings. But it has enough panache, guts and charm to be a worthy purchase. Like most cult classics, it might not be to everyone’s taste. However if you like your games big dumb and shiny, you’ll be in good hands.

Just Cause 2 is published by Square Enix, developed by Avalanche and is out now on Playstation 3, PC and Xbox 360.



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  • Guest: boppybrown
    Tue 30 - Mar - 2010, 19:02
    not to mention that the island from Lost has been hidden away in there somewhere!