Just Cause 2
Just Cause 2 is the sequel to 2006’s Just Cause by Avalanche studios. The first one was plagued by bugs and controls issues, though it had a certain charm to it, with its b-movie acting ability to blow lots of shit up, and attitude to it. The game took place on the fictional Caribbean island of ‘San Esperito” run by pretty generic South American dictator. The game put you in the shoes of a black ops agent Rico who works for an organization simply know as “The Agency”, Rico is put in the pursuit of overthrowing the country and putting in a more U.S friendly one. Helping you in this quest in your boss, a man named Tom Sheldon (think Bruce Campbell in Burn Notice) and blonde named Maria Kane (think Jenny McCarthy in Red Alert 3), these two frequently give you story missions as well as Intel. To achieve the goal though you must also work with a two factions to bring down the government, a cartel and a guerilla force. Though promising, the game lacked polish and felt rushed into the market.
Just Cause 2 once again puts you in the role of Rico as you once again attempt to overthrow a dictator but this time on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. This time around you’re given the task of first finding your old boss Tom Sheldon who was on the case previously, but has since disappeared. The story once again keeps the B-movie charm feel that the first one had. Given this task you must work with 3 factions who give you missions as well as Intel, a Che-Guevara-esgue guerilla army called the Reapers, a criminal cartel called the Roaches, and the Ular Boys who stem from the Ular tribes on the island who wish the island to be isolationist. The main story at times can be quite humorous complete with Ninjas, humorous stereotypes, a floating whorehouse and even WWII area super weapons guarded by 100 year old Japanese solider (who for some reason have modern tech). The game takes itself seriously thought which makes it even more enjoyable to play. The main story is kind of short all in all, but it makes up for it in requiring you to play side mission and earn X amount of “Chaos” to continue which you earn by completing missions as blowing stuff up. You have a lot of tools at your disposal, from a multitude of vehicles too a arsenal of weapons, and even a grappling hook that returns from the original. Though this time around you can grapple to anything not just vehicles, you can do walls and even people which you can then grapple to a wall trapping him for a few second or your car and drag him along. A fun thing to do is when you’re on a mission to protect a car you’re not driving is to grapple any pursing cars to the road and watch as they flip.
All of Panau looks impressive, they managed to do quite a fine job with it and the entire island’s local ranging from snow capped mountains to the lush jungles and even hot dusty jungles. All of which look amazing and crisp, and there are plenty of stuff to blow up, from military, naval, and air bases to towns and cities, all of which have a variety of explosive materials for you including fuel tanks, radio towers, generators, and satellite dishes, all of which explode in spectacular form, with and nice looking fireball and a loud boom.
The game does have faults though. The controls can be finicky at times, as sometimes you wish to grapple an enemy to wall, and you end up on that wall. The size and multitude of things to do can be a problem to someone who is not used to sandbox games, as it can be overwhelming.
Just Cause 2 is a massive step up from the original while still managing to keep the charm. The graphics are better, as well as more detailed. Though a little big to some people, it feels more complete and fulfilling though out then the first.