Haven Review: Just Cause 3

JustCause3 2015-12-09 02-51-17-79 First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

I’ve got to say, out of all the games I’ve played, Just Cause 3  takes the award for being the most stunning in visuals…with its crystal blue oceans and its vast terrain that are pretty much all destructible! I’ve heard great things about the Just Cause series, so I wanted to see what all the hype was about.JustCause3 2015-12-09 04-09-59-48

So this is our review of Just Cause 3.  Now bear in mind, I haven’t played any of the previous titles in the Just Cause franchise and because of that I feel like I’m missing out on a lot of story here. I’m left at a loss for much that happens in the game and don’t fully understand what is going on. I get that the main hero is named Rico Rodriguez; the most gentlemanly character I’ve ever seen in a game (and possibly one of the best and well written characters I have ever seen in a fictional universe). But despite getting to know the characters, I still feel like I am losing out on the overall story. That makes it a bit uncomfortable for me, as the title isn’t a good starting point for anyone wanting to get into the series.JustCause3 2015-12-09 07-59-36-44

That being said, the story for this game is amazing and right from the start you are grappled onto the back of a biplane flying over the cities as they fire anti-air guns at you. You fire rockets at them as they try to shoot you down…all before you jump and parachute off into a ravine. Suddenly you get a call from a friend; he needs help. So you grapple your way over to him, cruising on the breeze as you shoot attacking enemies…and that’s just the first three minutes of game play!

The entire game is completely void of subtlety no matter where you go. You will always be doing the most insane things to combat the enemies in the nation of Medici. At one point you even grapple onto the back of a gigantic missile that is supposedly more deadly than a nuclear warhead, and use your grapple hook to move the fin and make it change course!sadf

Now despite riding a missile as in the movie Armageddon, the game bothers me. I get that the title is really popular among fans and is indeed enjoyable. But it also feels like someone took a real-time strategy (RTS) game, made one NPC playable, gave him unique abilities and put it all into third person view.

In games like Dead Space your main hero can duck and cover and fight among the enemies. In Just Cause 3  there is no way to duck. I tried for a hour and nothing is there that lets me. It is either grapple onto an enemy structure/vehicle or grapple out of the way of bullets which I find highly redundant. If bullets are coming at me I would very much like to duck behind something and shoot back.

The world is open and vast, but because of this not many buildings are able to be explored; making it feel even more out of place. Do not misunderstand me though. Despite feeling out of place, the overall quality of the game is solid and the lack of accessible buildings has zero impact on the overall story and plot.JustCause3 2015-12-09 03-34-16-07

Another issue I found with the game is the controls. You can glide around flying overhead or you can parachute and just loft around the map. You can even mix it up if you want and do both but it feels clunky. I know the wing suit was a new addition to the Just Cause series and I like it. I only wish it acted more like the gliding mechanic of the Batman Arkham franchise. I try to glide from area to area but am constantly pressing the wrong controls and falling to my death. If you have experience playing the Just Cause franchise this may come easier to you. But as a new-comer it’s confusing and hard to understand.

The game also feels like it has elements of Grand Theft Auto V, where you can go around stealing cars, boats, planes, and even helicopters to use in your rebellion against Medici’s fascist dictator. This I like because of the detail they put into the vehicles (at least visually). Not to mention, if you complete various in-game challenges you can unlock new bonuses for your sweet rides, like adding nitro to your helicopter because, why not?JustCause3 2015-12-11 08-14-19-50

Now the game’s musical score is pretty on-point. The environment feels a lot like Portugal and the music feels like it too. When you enter a town and a band starts to play, it gives me the urge to start dancing and eating strange foods that I wouldn’t normally find where I live.
But in conclusion, is Just Cause 3  worth the investment? I think so. The controls may have issues for me and you may be missing out on a lot of story if you haven’t played the first two games. But let’s be honest. If you saw the trailers and you watched the game play, you are probably more interested in the Easter eggs like Cloud’s Buster Sword or Thor’s Hammer and the insane stunts you can pull off, than you are about the story.

I highly recommend investing in this title if you get the chance. It is totally worth it.

-Daniel Clatworthy-