jdub_xl's Just Cause 2 (Xbox 360) review

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Crazy fun in an impressive game world

Just Cause 2 has one of the most impressive open worlds of any game I have ever played. It's big, really really big. While most games with open worlds skimp on the details and often graphical fidelity Just Cause 2 fully delivers on both respects. Avalanche Software has taken great care to fill the island of Panau with an incredible amount of varied sights to feast your eyes on. You will visit vibrant jungles, snow covered mountains, arid deserts and gigantic expanses of open water. All this comes at a price however, as just traversing the games world sometimes feels like a game in itself. Thankfully every location you discover acts as a fast travel location so many great journeys will be a one time excursion.
It's a good thing that Just Cause 2 gives you some very fantastic ways to get around. Aside from the planes, cars, helicopters, and motorcycles, You have your two most useful assets; A grappling hook and a parachute. These two instruments will be your guide to the wanton destruction that you will cause. The grapple hook can be used in so many ways and the Achievements/Trophies start you off on experimenting with some basic concepts that lead to some pretty entertaining death animations. The parachute is what you would expect but it's worth noting that when used right with the grapple can be your best method of short to medium distant travel, even better than motor vehicles. 
There is much, much  more to JC2 than the actual story missions as of this writing I have spent about 22 hours on the game and have only completed about 23% or so of  the various optional goals the game has to offer. To the dedicated, this is a game that will last quite a while and that is a very good thing. OCD gamers will go nuts trying to destroy every sabotage target, finishing every challenge race, and collecting every resource item.
My only problems with the game are that the controls can be a bit wonky at times, specifically with equip and switching weapons, and the health system is not well implemented at all. The recharging health bar only refills to a portion of your lost health and even on the easiest difficulty, enemies destroy you. You will drop to almost no health in an instant. This is mostly due to every enemy having deadly accurate shooting skills. During my play time I was on the lowest section of health most of the time. You do find health upgrades but the affect is almost un-noticeable. These two issues did thankfully not stop me from having a fantastic time with the game however.  JC2 is an amazing experience that I highly recommend. 
4 out of 5 stars 

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