Just Cause 3: Playing Just Because


I bought way too many games, and now I have to play them all. That's the premise of reviewing older games. It's also the premise of a YouTube show I may or may not have stolen that tag line from. You be the judge. Anyway, Just Cause 3 has been in the backlog for a while. I threw it in and got ready to go. I thought I was but there was a bunch of updates, and it had to register the game with Square Enix or something. But eventually, I got to play.

Just Cause 3 is the third entry in the Just Cause franchise. It follows Rico as he works for some unnamed government agency. This time, he's taking on a personal mission. He's liberating his homeland. I don't know where his homeland is. It looks like Italy, everyone has Mexican names. I know what you're thinking, there's Italian Ricos and Marios. But, not with last names like Rodriguez. Anyway, evil dictator has taken over the country. Rico works with his childhood friends, some mercenaries, and traitorous government agents. I'd like to tell you the story was riveting and breathtaking. It wasn't. It is exactly what you would expect, maybe a little less. It's the script to a D level action film. I'm upset, I expected at least C level nonsense. That's easy to get past, as you come to a game like this for the gameplay.

I hate the gameplay. I should love it. The problem is, I feel like it's Saints Row but thinks too highly of itself. I know that sounds odd, but hear me out. Everything except the grappling hook, can be done in Saints Row. Pick a game, your choice. Problem is, Saints Row is a lot smoother to play with. There's no real aiming reticle. I mean there is, but Rico just shoots in the general area of whatever you're aiming at. He may or may not hit it. You can unlock enhanced aiming through upgrades, but it doesn't do much good. In fact, bullets don't do much good. The game is designed to force you to use the grappling hook. I get it, you spent a lot of time developing it; but don't make everything else useless. It kind of drains the fun from the game.

Then there's the stupid ways they increase difficulty and force longer play times. Early on there's an area that you need to liberate. The problem is the area fires missiles at you every ten seconds as long as you're there and they insta-kill you. Now, once you complete this mission, the next mission has you got to an area you liberate in the first mission of the game. From that very first location, you turn off the missiles that were beating the crap out of you in the first area. There's no reason to force players to complete those tasks in that order other than to just piss off players. There's entire YouTube videos and web pages dedicated to how stupid that is. But, you gotta get more play hours in a game with 25 missions I guess. Especially when half are on the first of three islands and every mission after is a rehash of the first half in some way.

Do I have anything nice to say about the game? Yes. The game world is beautiful. Sure, the towns all have the same architecture but they all have features that make them unique. Might be a farming town, might be built on a cliff side, might be a port city or whatever. Even the wilderness is really nice. There's wild animals that can be spotted every now and then. A big thing with the game is destruction, and I love how just about everything can be destroyed. You won't level a building, but everything else you can take out. It'll look glorious as well. A photo mode would have been great, but I don't think that was a thing when the game was released.

I had been interested in the series, for a long time before I purchased the game, in a really good sale before Just Cause 4 was released. Then I didn't touch it for a long time. There were moments I enjoyed. But for the most part it was sanitized destruction. Sure, there's a ton of cool things to do, but you can only do them the way they want you to. For a game with so much freedom, it just feels really restricted. If you think Saints Row is ridiculous and pushes things too far, you'll probably love Just Cause. But I'm a sick individual who needs people to run around on fire when I strap them to a burning vehicle.

You can check out some of my fiction at 12 AM Fiction or follow my web serial Exsanguinate and of course hear me on the Powerbomb Jutsu podcast.
Just Cause 3: Playing Just Because Just Cause 3: Playing Just Because Reviewed by Darrell S. on Monday, June 10, 2019 Rating: 5

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