I played the demo a while ago and thought it was pretty decent but didn't think much of it after that. Since the Steam deal I've been playing it almost nonstop and I don't really know what to say. I'm in an utter state of awe. Ok, let me try to give you an idea what this game is like:
Put it in an open land mass several times larger than Liberty City with several times more things to do. Also add extensive amounts of verticality in the form of buildings and mountains.
Give the main character the ability to grab onto anything and zoom up to it at breakneck speeds.
Turn up the physics 10x.
Add ridiculous voice acting that is so bad it's good.
What was the last thing I did in the game before I wrote this post? I chased down a rocket as it was going into orbit with a jet I stole and blew up the projectile in midair several miles above ground level (there is no transition from air to ground so the scale is absolutely GINORMOOUS), then I flew through the insanely good looking explosion and ensuing puffs of smoke (it was so glorious I didn't even take screenshots, and I take screenshots of everything), after which I lost track of my orientation and starting shooting straight down to the ground at Mach 3. When I realized what was happening I opened the hatch of the plane's cockpit, jumped out and spread my parachute as I watched my plane explode in another impressive fireball on the buildings and streets below me, escaping a gruesome death by mere milliseconds and inches.
The surrounding militia were a little pissed that I crashed their plane right in the middle of their hometown after destroying their billion dollar rocket, so they started flipping their shit and a half dozen military Tuk-Tuks (you read that right) stormed my landing location; but they were in such a hurry that they started running over both each other and the civilians, which created enough of a distraction for me to grapple onto an old man's jeep so that I could parachute jump off of that onto another dude's quad bike and make my getaway driving through a dense forest like a madman and barely missing like a hundred trees. Helicopter started chasing me so what do I do? I grapple that bitch, punch the pilot 3 times in the face and throw him out, then I fly that helicopter to the tallest building in the game and enjoy the view.
Just Cause 2 is filled with such scenarios, and most importantly they stem from your own creativity.
Games with such open-ended gameplay, physics and environments must look like crap to compensate right? Wrong.
So basically you've got sick-as-shit gameplay meets one of the most beautiful looking games ever made. It's absurd. Not since Crysis have I felt this way about a game.
This game should be right up there with the other GOTY titles. At the very least, those who haven't played it are missing out.