Just Cause is back and like its predecessors, you’ll either enjoy it or you won’t. There’s no two ways about it.
The premise stays the same, the toys of destructions are same with minor tweaks and the story is… well, let’s just says that mindless destruction is what you should focus on.
In pure Just Cause fashion, the recipe for the most entertaining destruction is given to you on a golden platter right from the start. Pick and choose your agent of destruction and get creative.
Why am I blowing stuff up?
There’s an island where you go and blast everything off into space.
Okay that’s not entirely true because there’s some story content here with decent voice acting but all that is really not what drives you forward. That is well known to the developers too - it’s the fourth game in the series after all.
This time you’re targeting a dictator who’s notorious for using the weather in scheming his evil plans while Rico’s dead father who was a scientist, used to work for him and is the main reason why Rico is on this island. A revenge? Doesn’t matter. The game doesn’t give you much context in the start to bother about said father or the dictator. If you’re a returning fan after playing JC3 then you might have some closure for Rico’s maniacal ways.
Again, why am I blowing stuff up?
Because it’s fun.
No seriously. The game wastes no time in preparing you to be the next Michael Bay. Rico is armed to the teeth with two guns, a parachute, a wingsuit and everyone’s personal favourite - the Grapple Hook.
The Grapple Hook is honestly the most versatile weapon I’ve come across in any game. It’s like Batman’s Grapnel Gun from Arkham games but much more fun to use. Aside from pulling you towards the target, you can also use it to deploy tethers that can be customised according to your fancy.
The game immediately gives you almost every tether mod that is available for your Grapple Hook. From attaching two objects together to lifting objects in the air, the possibility of creativity is only limited to your imagination.
I would attach all but one enemy helicopters together and then speed up the tether contraction to let them collide against each other. After which I would use my Grapple Hook to pull myself towards the last helicopter to pilot it and rain down a devastating machine gun fire on the poor enemies running helter-skelter. It was so much fun.
Is this why I am blowing stuff up?
Precisely and traversing the massive map using a combination of your Grapple Hook, parachute and wingsuit requires a certain degree of practice but once you get the hang of things it’s a lot of fun. You can obviously fast travel and can have a range of vehicles (and guns) delivered to you anywhere but I prefered flying around like an excessively armed squirrel or hijacking enemy helicopters.
The series of repetitive missions get to you after just 10 hours of playing. There’s barely any variety in them and the path to main missions is fairly standard. You need to secure a certain number of areas for your Army of Chaos before advancing to the main missions and all of them require blowing enemy holdouts or hacking (in a destructive way) into one.
Army of Chaos is your army which you send forth to create chaos (no prize for guessing that). They’re usually the locals that join your cause to overthrow the evil dictator but you barely have any control over them. Most of the times I didn’t even need their help and many times I would just blow them up too because they got between my line of fire.
Even the famed weather mechanics, which by the way is amazing, has very limited screen time. The side missions are not in your face, which is nice, but they too are not very compelling enough to hold you in this world for long.
Just for laughs
Rico’s health will put Wolverine to shame. There’s no health bar or any stats to come between your boom-tastic ideas and mission completion. There’s barely any damage consequence from enemy fire and even if it reaches a critical point, a Grapple Hook away for barely two seconds will shut all alarming health issues.
Enemies keep coming till you don’t complete the assigned task and move on. That’s Just Cause’s way of dealing with infinite freedom and we really like that alot. It’s a mock on all other serious video games but can turn into a double edge sword.
For instance, most games keep progression and upgrades in check to keep you hooked and reward you throughout the experience of the game. Just Cause does the opposite. It’s basically saying - to hell with all that, here’s everything you need to cause maximum carnage and have fun, go play now. Due to this, most people will get bored easily and there’s no multiplayer to share the experience with a friend either.
From the trailers we expected it to look really stunning and beautiful but that’s not the case here. Although the massive map is scaling impressively from lush green hilltops and flat plains, to snow-capped mountains and dust-covered deserts, Just Cause 4 doesn’t look like a 2018 game in terms of graphics.
Even characters had weird texture colours and shading issues during cutscenes. To be honest it’s not why you play this game but it would have been nice to see more detail here since other triple-A games are reaching cinematic levels. We didn’t find any bugs which is a good sign and the game seems pretty polished for what it’s made to do.We had to dial down from 4K to 2K even while running it on our PC gaming test bench which has Nvidia’s latest RTX 2080 Ti. On 4K at maximum settings we got around 45FPS and 2K was sailing smooth at 60FPS. During one of the missions where you’re chasing a frickin’ tornado, the framerate dropped to 50 which didn’t happen when we were doing other crazy weather missions.
Processor: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920X 12-Core (3.5Ghz) liquid cooled by the Thermaltake Floe Riing RGB 240 TT Premium Edition
RAM: 16GB of Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro (3200MHz)
Motherboard: Asus Prime X399-A
CPU Case: Corsair 570X
Keyboard: Kingston HyperX Alloy Elite RGB
Just Cause 4 verdict
While Just Cause 4 is a good game over the previous titles, it still doesn’t bring anything new and meaningful to the franchise.
The amazing Grapple Hook along with wingsuit and parachute is still a lot of fun to use but that doesn’t make its repetitive missions any more interesting. Rather it feels as if the brilliant transversal and tether mechanics are wasted.
The story wasn’t much to be expected from but the weather system looks promising. It was fun only in the missions where you could actually experience it. We think if you’re making a video game gag, go all out.
There were a few instances where JC4 got us laughing really hard. Using an ‘airgun’ that fires a blast of wind was hilarious as it would blow away structures and enemies. Sometimes hitting the two and causing more unnecessary explosions. Also, enemy roadblocks have jump ramps which are hilarious and in the starting few minutes of the game, one of the NPCs mentions, and I quote: ‘I will radio your eyeball with more information’. This silliness is what makes us love Just Cause and fans of the series will love it too but its only in these instances and these instances alone.