Just Cause 2

Jump on top of a car, shoot bad guys and blow up stuff. Get guns, shoot bad guys and blow up stuff. Steal helicopters, shoot bad guys and blow up stuff. Skydive, shoot bad guys and blow up stuff. Yup, Just Cause 2 is all about shooting bad guys and blowing up stuff, but you do so with some crazy action stunts.

Release Date:

March 2010.

Pros:

The pop-up tutorials are quite good. It sure helped me learn all the different stuff you can do in the game. You can also turn them off if you are a seasoned player.

There is also a good amount of information that you can view within the game. If you just want pure action, you can safely ignore this, but it does give nice background information for the game as well as hints on how to play.

The mounted minigun is awesome. Not only does it have unlimited ammo, but you can also pick it up and walk around, doing some serious damage. It is slow walking so you cannot take it everywhere… unless you are very patient.

The game is very open with a massive playing field. I thought Oblivion was big, but Just Cause 2 dwarfs it. It is so large that it takes planes some time to get from one place to another. There is a nice quick travel system so not too much time is wasted travelling from place to place.

Just Cause 2 also has lots of things to do. Or should I say lots of things to blow up and lots of places to get into gun fights. There are main quest missions, factional side missions and of course lots of places to simply blow up stuff. In the time it takes to complete Stranglehold, I only got through 13% of the game. And this was when I was focused on completing the main missions and playing on casual(the easiest) difficulty.

If you do get bored of blowing up stuff(you shouldn’t be playing this game), there are race time trials scattered around where you can earn money from.

There is a good variety of environments including large city areas, small villages, jungle, desert and snowy mountains. When you get to high altitude you can see the great views of the land or water. Although graphically very good, I still prefer the scenery of Oblivion.

Blowing up stuff looks fantastic with the Hollywood explosions and there is a good level of environmental destructibility. Although the destructible environment is not as detailed as Stranglehold, Just Cause 2 does provide an island load of stuff to blow up.

Other than explosions and great landscape , the rest of the game also looks great. Gun battles, vehicles, people, buildings, everything looks great.

Take to the skies, the water or the ground with vehicles on land, sea and air. Although ficitional, there are planes, helicopters, boats, motorbikes, cars, APCs and even tuk tuks.

Not since Quake 2 have I played a game that has a grappling hook. Just Cause 2 takes the grappling hook to a whole new level and allows you to do some very crazy stunts. You can dual-hook two objects together with some interesting results. Grappling vehicles quickly brings you to the target vehicle and you can hijack it while moving, and that includes planes and helicopters! Just to top it off you can also grapple hook people, which comes in quite handy sometimes.

The game takes place in a fictional South East Asian country with Malaysian/Singaporean accents. Sounds good to me! Those are not the only accents though, depending on the characters there is a range of accents and the speech is great in my opinion.

There are no John Woo dive shooting or slow mo actions in Just Cause 2, but there is dual wielding action. It i not just twin pistols or twin sub-machine guns either. You can can use different single handed weapons on each hand. For example you can have a sawn-off shotgun in one hand and a sub-machine gun in the other.

There are mods for Just Cause 2. Check out Just Cause 2 Mods

The game is made in such away that if you do not mind dying a lot, you can always progress and improve your character and weapons. I am not the best action gamer in the world, but I did manage to complete the story line missions on hardcore difficulty. This was made possible by slowly and constantly upgrading my weapons and character before progressing each story mission.

By now you probably realise that Just Cause 2 is very thick on the action. Even though playing through it provides some absolutely awesome action sequences, the most mega-ultra-super-awesome action sequences are on the last mission.

Cons:

There is no option for how close the chase camera is when driving a vehicle. I found it quite difficult to drive around as I could not judge which way the car was facing when it turned.

All this driving around and no horn? How could they do this? OK, I am just being picky, but it would be more fun if you can horn people to get out of the way.

Other Points:

This is a crazy action game, but it does limit the weapons and ammo you can carry(except the minigun). I have run out of ammo very often and picked up different guns during and after battles.

As you blow up stuff, you get chaos points. The more chaos points you accumulate, the more weapons and vehicles you unlock to be purchasable from the black market. There are also parts you can collect which you use to upgrade those weapons and vehicles. The enemy also gets tougher as chaos points increases.

When you load a game all the vehicles reset themselves to their default locations. This means any vehicles you buy will also disappear.

The story is OK. There are missions that follow the story, but it is quite clear that Just Cause 2 is about blowing up stuff and shooting bad guys… And maybe about doing crazy stunts too. The government of Panau is no longer friendly to the US and one of The Agency’s agents has disappeared. Your job is to find out why. How do you do that? Blow up stuff of course! Then the government troops come rolling in so you have a nice shoot out.

Although the government’s troops are marked as the bad guys, you can kill civilians like in GTA. However, there are no benefits or consequences if you do, other than more government troops coming along.

I like flight sims, but I found the planes difficult to control. I also rigged up my Logitech Wingman Force 3D to be playable with Just Cause 2 using x360ce and still found it difficult to fly. After some practise I found flying with keyboard actually easier than joystick. I guess Just Cause 2 was made for keyboard flying.

The AI of the game is not that smart, but smart enough to make the game a lot of fun.

The Logitech G35 detects surround sound but it sounds like normal stereo to me.

After you complete the main story line, the game enters mercenary mode, where you can just continue travelling around the island to blow up stuff.

Out of the blue, while listening to Roxette’s Joyride, I started seeing images of Just Cause 2. So, I made this:

Biases:

Reviewed version 1.0.0.2 of the game.

I have only played the first Grand Theft Auto and seen videos of the other GTA games. A part from having free reign to hijack vehicles and fight authorities, I do not know what other similarities or differences Just Cause 2 has with GTA.

I really liked Stranglehold.

I liked the first Grand Theft Auto.

I have completed all the main story missions once on hardcore difficulty.

DRM:

Uses Steam.

The first time I installed the game, it installed Steam and tried to update the Steam platform but failed. I had to run the installer again. The update completed on second run and I managed to reach the Steam login screen. When I entered my username and password, it crashed. Have to run the installer again. I had to retrieve a lost account and reset my password before I could login.

After three runs of the installer, I had to enter the Product Code into Steam to activate the game. Then the actual game started installing.

After game installation, I still could not play because it was getting game updates. It did not ask to get updates, it just went and got it all by itself. More waiting.

It took just over four hours before I could play the game. I am guessing it would not take so long if Steam was already installed.

Minimum Requirements (from the readme file):

  • OPERATING SYSTEM: Microsoft Windows Vista (Windows XP is unsupported)
  • DIRECTX: Microsoft DirectX 10
  • CPU: Dual-core CPU with SSE3 (Athlon 64 X2 4200 / Pentium D 3GHz)
  • RAM: 2GB system Memory
  • GRAPHICS: DX10 compatible graphics card with 256 MB of memory (Nvidia GeForce 8800 series/ ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro)
  • SOUND: 100% DirectX 10 compatible sound card
  • DVD-ROM: Quad-speed (4x) DVD-ROM drive
  • HARD DRIVE: 10GB of free drive space
  • INPUT DEVICES: Keyboard and Mouse

Computer Played On:

  • Windows 7 64 bit.
  • Intel Core i5 2.3GHz
  • 4Gb RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M 1Gb RAM
  • Conexant SmartAudio with egg speakers or earphones. Or Logitech G35.
  • Graphics settings are set to whatever I feel comfortable with playing on this PC. They are usually not set to the highest settings. All screenshots are taken with my settings.

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