Monday, August 13, 2012

Just Cause 2 BABLAM!


Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2 was an open world game I looked forward to since I first saw trailers of action and explosions that would give any summer blockbuster a run for its money. With guns blazing, Just Cause 2 promised players a world of guns, high speed pursuits, government take-downs, and of course, even more explosions. This wasn't a game I was planning on reviewing. However, as I’m always game to hear from my readers, I’m always open to suggestions and even requests. A fan (you know who you are) requested I review Just Cause 2, and I’m thrilled at the opportunity as Just Cause 2 truly is a game worth mentioning. If you enjoyed the original, you’ll love this game and I highly recommend those of you who liked the first game go out and add this one to your library .

Just Cause 2 E3 Trailer Youtube by VisoGAMES

Just Cause 2 Meet Rodriguez

Players, you will take control of Rico Rodriguez, the charming yet rugged filed agent of the American agency known as (drum roll) the Agency. Mind official blown. But all unoriginal names aside, Just Cause 2 truly is a game worth exploring. The story itself isn’t the strongest point, however. Rico is assigned a mission based in the island of Panau in Southeast Asia after discovering his friend and mentor Tom Sheldon is missing. To discover the whereabouts or ultimate fate of his friend, Rico must harass and overthrow Panau’s current totalitarian government. To do this, Rico works on conjunction with three criminal factions by accepting their missions and for all intents and purposes, accomplished most of their dirty work they’re too much of a pansy to do themselves.


Just Cause 2 Grappling 

So what separates Just Cause 2 from other open world games? For starters, there is the grappling hook. I love this game mechanic. It’s like playing as a gun-packing Batman. And one minor note here, and I just have to say this even though it’s not really a part of the review. Why do so many people compare the grappling hook in Just Cause 2 to Spidey’s webs? Batman is the one with a grappling hook, not Spider-Man. Just thought I’d put that ridiculous comparison to rest. I like Spidey as much as the next guy but come on people, get your super heroes right. Anyway, with Batman’s I mean, Rico’s grappling hook, he can snag just about anything and spring over to the target in no time at all. And what makes this game all the more like a blockbuster is that Rico can jump onto the roof of one car, grapple to another wile speeding along at 65 miles and hour, and kick the unsuspecting driver out of the care and take it for himself. I once kamikaze a guy and grappled out of the jet at the last second, pulled myself onto the car roof, hijacked it for myself, kicked it into gear, hopped back on the roof for a quick gun fight, and then jumped off at the last second as the car slammed into a small military base and blew the whole thing into the sky. But not before I walked away from the explosion, never turning around to look at it like a boss. Cause that’s what heroes do. And that was in the span of about seven minutes. About three minutes later I did  something very similar using a bike, an RPG, a parachute, and a gas station before escaping on the back of a trucker and grappling into a small plane. Like a Boss.

Just Cause 2 Parachute

Speeking of the parachute. It’s the second game mechanic that sets Just Cause 2 apart from other open world games. With the parachute Rico can take off mid-grapple or when free-falling. This gives Rico the ability to explore as you can literally jump off a high rising building, a cliff, or even something like a fighter jet. But the best part is when you use the two items in tandem. It’s a blast to play.


Just Cause 2 Weapons and Vehicles

Rico can use pistols, machine guns, rocket launchers, shotguns and more. And with over a hundred vehicles to choose from in the game, you’ll be traversing the sprawling and diverse island of Panau in style. When traversing the island you’ll be faced with a difficult choice. But in a good way. To get from A to B do you hijack a bike? Take a running leap and parachute over the highway and then grapple your way from vehicle to vehicle? Actually, I can kind of see the Spider-Man comparison now. Or do you take down a military base, hitch a ride on a jet, take out the pilot, and then fly to your destination? Or do you simply jump off a building, snag a car with your grappling hook, whip out the parachute, and take a quick nap while on first-class thermals? It doesn’t matter what you do, but no matter what you choose, you’ll feel bad doing it.

Just Cause 2 Explosions

The missions themselves are a bit of a mixed bag. But most follow this formula. Bullets spraying everywhere + grappling onto a helicopter overhead * firing a rocket launcher + blowing **** up squared = epic Hollywood Top Dollar Production action movie squashed into a video game. And the good thing is, about half the missions are like that. Some are a bit on the bland side, like most open world games; if you cram everything you can think of into a single game, there are bound to be a few no so great ideas. And even when you’re not on a mission, you’ll be blowing up half the island bit by bit to earn money and slowly edge out the government.

Just Cause 2 Gameplay Youtube by deluxe 345

Just Cause 2 Failures

And before I sign off on this review, it’s time I talked a bit about the parts of the game that just aren’t so great compared to the rest of the game. Despite everything I said, this is not a game of nonstop action and explosions as there are some things that get in the way at the worst possible time. The mission check points can be frustrating. If you die, expect to start over in many cases. During the larger missions the check points are a bit more frequent, but you can expect to be thrown back further than you’d like or even expect. The voice acting will have you laughing; everything from weird voice syncing to horrible fake accents is just over the top and very poorly done with a few exceptions here and there. My biggest complaint is the aiming in this game. After playing other first person shooters like Resident Evil, Gears of War, Mass Effect, Max Payne, Uncharted, and so on, I because used to sniping off those head shots to take down enemies in no time. Players were rewarded for accuracy. Just Cause 2 is an anomaly of sorts. For whatever reason, and this game has been around for a while and I still can’t quite figure it out, I seem to be more accurate when I’m just pulling a Rambo on my enemies and spraying bullets everywhere like they grow on trees, and when I actually try to be accurate I end up shooting the torso, the arm, etc. In some ways the auto aim feature is partly to blame, but even when I override it I still find myself hitting the mark more easily when I’m just pumping my enemies full of lead.

Just Cause 2 Final Verdict

In closing, Just Cause 2 is, even with all its flaws, one of the best open world games out there. The action is in your face, Hollywood style, explosions and chaotic mayhem. The island itself is beautiful and diverse with hot sun bathed beaches and snowy mountain peaks. The gameplay itself is a bit of a mixed bag with a plethora of options, the best of which being the grappling hook and the parachute. But alas, there are too many problems with aiming, lackluster missions, a bland story, and other listed above that keep this open world game from reaching the heights like other open world games such as Red Dead Redemption or Skyrim. And so, I give Just Cause 2 a strong 7 out of 10

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