Just Cause 3Overview -
Swedish developer Avalanche Studios made their name with the first two 'Just Cause' games before forming a second studio in New York a few years ago. While the main studio worked on 'Mad Max,' this new studio took up the reigns of 'Just Cause 3.'
'Just Cause' once more sees the free-wheeling, free-falling Rico Rodriguez enter the breach, dead set on removing an island despot. This time out, Rico is squared up against the forces or General Di Ravello. At stake is the freedom of Medici, which happens to be the home of Rico's youth.
This being 'Just Cause,' the key factors appear to be Rico's ability to traverse and cause chaos using not just guns and vehicles, but his trusty grappling hook (with tether ability), parachute, and wingsuit. Nicknamed 'Firestarter' in pre-release marketing, playing as Rico means causing explosions for reasons that could almost be described as "just cause."
On the Xbox One, 'Just Cause 3' is very two-faced. There are artifacts of one sort of another in every combat zone, and all of those military installations tend to have a muted color scheme outside of the chaos red stuff. Framerate is unsteady, but I didn't experience hitching. The map isn't just big; it's also very tall.
Still, the game can look good, and happily, accessing the map and other in-game menus is a snap. It's too bad there's now dedicated photo mode.
When I began my review, the Square Enix servers that backed the game's leaderboards were unstable and caused some gameplay issues, prompting me to play offline. Fortunately, these problems were eventually corrected. In the early mission with the Heat Exchanger doors, I managed to grapple into some box collision.
After some struggle, I was able to escape. All in a day's work for Rico.
Medici has pleasant ambience to it which is only occasionally sullied by a cutscene. The voice acting overall is fine, with the individual characters being more endearing than the plot. The in-game radio broadcasts, which feature a wonderful stilt on the destruction caused by the player, are voiced by David Tennant, and he nails the perfect ridiculous tone.
The sound field is pretty tame, which is fine, what with all of the destruction, but surrounds are engaged. The citizen chatter, which sees people praising Rico in response to his hijacking of their personal ride, is light and hearty.
'Just Cause 3' does a few things that are just ok, but it also does explosions and crazy physics on a big scale very well. By easing up on some of the restrictions typical to openworld games and dialing up Rico's special abilities, 'Just Cause 3' survives its early rough opening to become a worthy diversion for many and an endless playground for others.
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