Excitement is everywhere in Just Cause 2
Just Cause 2 can be described very well in one word, fun. If you don't have a bit of fun with this game, you're doing wrong. I only played a bit of the first one and could tell that it was not what I wanted from an open-world game. Having played the demo for this one, I was excited. Very excited. Luckily, I was not disappointed whatsoever.
In Just Cause 2, you play as Rico Rodriguez. A man that knows how to do all sorts of things that no man should even attempt. From riding the bottom of a helicopter to riding the top of a moving Jet Plane. The odd sensation you get while doing these acts are one of the many great things about Just Cause 2. It's a combination of over-the-top enjoyment and excitement. None of it makes sense, they don't explain why Rico can do all these ridiculous things but you don't really want them to. You don't come to Just Cause 2 to learn about how Rico received his special grappling hook. You come to Just Cause 2 to use that grappling hook to attach a human to a motorcycle then drag him around while unrealistic yet grotesque blood flies upward,
The main objective in Just Cause 2 is to earn "Chaos." Which you get by blowing up things, completing missions, taking over settlements, and collecting weapon/automobile parts. The way they introduce a collecting mechanic is very good. They have a signal tracker that starts to light up more once you get closer to an item. That really got me sucked into finding a whole bunch of the parts and not feeling incredibly frustrated while doing it. These parts can be used to upgrade your weapons/automobiles you get from your Black Market dealer, who is quite the comical genius.
Taking over strongholds for the three factions you deal with is a very repetitive task. It all has the same formula. "Start. Jump over gate to open the door for the others. Move up. Kill snipers/machine gunners. Have a final stand against a bunch of people while a man hacks a computer." That happens in every stronghold mission, which, granted there is only 9 of them. The other missions spread across the city aren't very spectacular either. They don't all follow the same formula but none of them besides one or two actually stand out after beating the game.
Just like near every other open-world game out there, Just Cause 2 has races. Which aren't really races per-say, they place you in a car as you drive through checkpoints. They don't just place you in a car, you can also have airplane races. Which are really disappointing. When you're flying an airplane high in the air, it's fun. The handling is good enough for you to do some exciting stuff. But having to turn quickly and fly under bridges is just weird and something that should not be in this game. There is nothing exponentially bad about the driving ones, they're a bit par for the course but adding in a speedy automobile makes everything better.
From my short time with the first Just Cause, I could tell that the driving was less than desirable. Just Cause 2 improves on that greatly. It's just a blast to speed down highways and launch off a mountain, watching your car tumble and roll. It doesn't hurt that everything in this game looks so damn good. The vehicle damage and the overall environment may be the best I have ever seen in a game. It's absolutely gorgeous.
Just Cause 2 definitely throws a lot of weapons at you. Unlocking more and more through earning Chaos. Sadly, some seem a bit more overpowered than others. The small SMG's and the Assault Rifle are the weapons I used throughout my 19 hours with the game. I tried others but none seemed that much different nor powerful. And ammo for my SMG/Assault Rifle combination was plentiful so they seemed to be pushing me to use the same guns.
The voice acting is "terrible." But not in a bad way. You can tell Avalanche Studios knew that the voice work was bad and they embraced it fully. Throughout the game, the many characters (all of which are quite fun to read up on) utter stupid yet joyful lines. Constantly emphasizing words that have no reason to be emphasized. The voice work, for some reason, drew me closer to the characters. And, shockingly, in the end, I actually cared about some of them. I'm looking at you, Bolo Santosi.
If you have been waiting for a very exciting, (sometimes unintentionally) funny open-world game. You cannot miss Just Cause 2. It's a long adventure packed full of smiles that will be had from the player. The story won't suck you in but the gameplay mechanics surrounding it definitely will. And while it more than likely will not win any Game of the Year awards, it's the most fun game I've had playing a game, so far, this year.