Just Cause 3 takes places one step further as franchise hero Rico Rodriguez as he helps arm a rebellion, take down a tyrannic leader and faces down some of his most explosive tours of destruction yet. Now it’s time to see just how far he’s gone with our review for Just Cause 3.
+Open-world activities feel like they matter based upon the side-mission undertaken
+Gorgeously crafted islands, scenery and city locales
+Movie-like graphics that help provide a cinema-like experience
+Action-packed story that delivers at every turn
–Small frame-rate spikes during high-action sequences
–SAM turrets can get quite annoying if not taken care of promptly
–Wing-suit exploring can lead to same face splitting moments
Much like the previous couple of entries, Just Cause 3 introduces us to the franchise’s protagonist Rico Rodriguez who once more looks to charm fans with his accent, quirkiness, and his insatiable want for blowing anything he can up. His new target? Santiago Di Revello’s “charming” nation of Medici, which has fallen under his oppression and has since caused inhabitants to form a rebellion on this splendid Mediterranean like getaway.
In this visually stunning game, fans will find themselves immersed by the chaos that ensues, but also the charming cast members that help bring Medici’s struggles to life as the game plays on and becomes more like an action movie rather than a game. But that’s not why our famed hero Rico Rodriguez has returned to Medici. Instead, he is back simply because, well, things have changed and it’s once more time to bring down the next big a-hole in order to make the world a better place.
Spanning 400 square miles, Medici is by far one of the largest virtual locales that have been created to date. To simply put it? It’s a very carefully, beautiful, and rather lively 400 square miles that offer unique visuals, terrain builds, and secrets for players to discover if they are to take the time to explore the game without using fast travel or vehicles. However, the beauty is taken back when bullets begin to fly due to Di Revello’s troops who follow his insane orders to kill any Rebels on sight. For those wanting a great plot?
The game’s plot is simple as any other, which makes it dull, drab, and boring in comparison to the brilliant gameplay and open world that is given to us to take by the hand and fully explore. The plot is simple – overthrow the bad guy by blowing all his toys up and putting him in time out while joining a Rebellion and becoming its inherent leader. Simple right? Seems so as the plot will easily remind people of those movies we know as “The Expendables”, but this one is about a guy who pretty much plays the guardian role to his family and friends while blowing up the world around him.
Much as expected, players will complete the game by going through certain mission locations that can be unlocked by simply progressing through the game’s campaign. While just going through the campaign by playing does work, it’s not advisable. Instead, the best option is to take over every enemy location possible in order to overthrow Di Revello and his cohorts in order to make the world a better place. When not fighting this guys militarized morons? You can casually run up to one of the island’s inhabitants to grab them, throw them out of their vehicle, and casually drive off, fly off or simply walk away with a cheeky grin casually shown off.
While not turning zones from Red to Blue it’s almost like watching a casual game of risk that the A.I. will inherently lose since that’s well… What bad guys do. When looking away from the fact this is a trending portion of open-world games, Just Cause 3 comes with a few new additions that veer it away from the mindless shooters like the origins, and itself. The newest addition is the rather enjoyable wingsuit that can be deployed in order to assist move players across the land quicker than before. When combat comes nearby? That parachute works even better as players can arm themselves with a weapon that is a part of their own arsenal in order to dispatch groups of enemies only to watch them rag-doll across the screen while on fire.
Needing to change your weaponry? That’s easy using the Rebel Supply Drop in order to exchange your weapons for a setup more suitable for your occasion. Once setup it’s time to reign down fire upon your enemies while preparing to take off in an orderly fashion using a helicopter or a tank or perhaps a plane of some sort. If you’re one to use anything explosive it’s time to find the game comes to a stuttering halt while watching transformers, fuel tanks, water towers or what-have-you explode in order to see the enemy base turn into a ball of flames.
While console or PC begins to render the explosions, it’s hard not to cringe as the frame rate seems to dip down into almost single digits as Rico prepares his own onslaught against enemy troops or vehicles to keep his own alive. If you are unfortunate to stop Di Revello’s forces? Well, prepare for the prolonged load times that have caused a storm of frustration filled cries. With load times averaging between 45-90 seconds, these load times can be between painful and beyond excruciating when trying to quickly maneuver between missions and challenges in order to equip better perks for Rico to use.
While the campaign is almost completely forgettable to some there is a rather charming aspect to this game that has caused me to come back for the extra 40 hours I’ve give within the past week. This charm is the game’s ability to give you plenty of land and terrain to explore so that players can find those odd little tropes that may be hidden around the village, such as the hidden sunken towns that could easily represent places like the “Sunken City of Atlantis” or even the charming landscapes that go from monsoon-like weather systems to Siberian like blizzards that leave little room for visibility.
Later it’s only time to visit the sunny coastlines where players may just decide to find the nearest boat and go for a cruise. While that’s fun and all there are hidden items scattered throughout Medici such as Rebel Shrines to remember those that fell against Di Revello, weapon parts to unlock weapons, and Di Revello’s recordings, which give an insight to just how madly stupid this guy is.
Just Cause 3– PC, PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), and Xbox Onee
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Publisher: Square Enix
Cost: 59.99 USD
Release Date: Now Available
While it’s easy to say that blowing everything up in an unforgiving manner, Just Cause 3 is charming, beautiful, and a heavy improvement upon the fast titles in spite of the frame rate drops, but also the long load times. If players are capable of avoiding these moments, Just Cause 3 is a solid title that will offer quite a bit of gameplay for completionists while clocking in around 52 hours played for this review with only having completed a quarter of all the recordings as well as about a quarter of all the shrines as well as a completely liberated map.
This is surely a gem that is well worth the money even before the patches that will hopefully smooth out the load times and frame rate drops across all platforms. Even then? Feel free to take in the magnetic beauty of this carefully crafted land as well as the hauntingly realistic sound they used as the lullaby of soft guitars fills the background.
Our review is based upon the final version that the publisher provided us with. For information about our ethics policy please click here.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the borders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter on a daily basis.