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Just Cause 3 Review: Veni, Vidi, Vici

/ Dec 8th, 2015 No Comments

Just Cause 3

It’s been five years and one console generation since the release of Just Cause 2. Yet, the game has maintained an interested following thanks to some insane stunt videos published on YouTube. Despite a loyal YouTube audience trying to out-stunt each other, it was beginning to look like the Just Cause series had been abandoned … that is until last year.

Just Cause 3 was officially announced in November 2014, and the adrenaline-pumping franchise has finally brought its over-the-top action to new-gen consoles. Just Cause 3 is more of the same, but there are some new weapons and graphical enhancements that make the third iteration better than its predecessors. Oh, and there’s explosions. Glorious explosions.

Freedom from Fools

Just Cause 3 follows the same plot as previous entries in the series; an evil dictator is acting naughty and needs to be taken down. Luckily, Rico Rodriguez is just the man for the job.

The storyline is linear and shallow, but the game is aware of this. Most of the narrative comes from the atmosphere rather than the actual plot. The tropical locale of Medici is huge and the entire location is simply beautiful. The game’s soundtrack perfectly sets the Latin American beach vibe. However, there are some easily noticeable repetitive elements scattered throughout the world, including statues and billboards.
 

Just Cause 3

Take that, generic dictator! Your oppressive and predictable regime is at an end!

Rodriguez interacts with several characters to gain intel or just shoot the breeze. Their voice acting performances make the world feel truly alive, but many of the people encountered in Just Cause 3 feel as stereotypical as the story.

The cliché plot hurts the game overall. Players will be able to predict the main plot twists, and the false sense of victory and dramatic backlash makes players feel like they’re just going through the motions. The only thing that saves Just Cause 3’s tired plot is the fact that it seems to be a stylistic choice. Developed in the vein of a parody, the game never takes itself too seriously, even with the high stakes surrounding the story.

Grip, Grab, Grapple, Glide, Grapple

Players will utilize a variety of weapons and vehicles in Just Cause 3, but the game’s best feature is its grappling hook. There is a bit of a learning curve when attempting to take advantage of the enhanced mechanic, but mastering its somewhat imprecise controls can be achieved through practice. In-game tutorials and an auto-targeting system help players become familiar with the grappling hook’s capabilities.

Using the grappling hook to speed throughout the island and take out enemies is satisfying, but it becomes redundant over the course of the game. Players who experiment with items in conjunction with the grappling hook will unlock its full potential. There is no doubt that the grappling hook is the driving force of the game. How much fun you have in Just Cause 3 is ultimately decided by how well you use the grappling hook and how much you actually like the mechanic.
 

Just Cause 3

Yes Rico, everything the light touches can be grappled. Truly this is the promised era.

Completing challenges and beating your record times helps you earn upgrades and gear that allows you to tackle the game in new ways. This is where Just Cause 3’s replay value comes from. You can almost see the epic YouTube videos in the making, and players will get the urge to find out how other gamers tackled missions. Yet, this fun is hampered by long load times. As you revisit challenges with new gear, your excitement will be put on pause.

Overall

Just Cause 3 is an amazing marvel of sights to see and vehicles to destroy in the name of freedom. The island of Medici is marvel of graphics coding and the voice acting is substantly better than in previous entries to the series. However, the plot is full of clichés and there are long load times to endure, but it is exactly what video games should be: fun. Just Cause 3 is beautiful, creative madness, and that is exactly what makes it great.

Just Cause 3 was reviewed on PS4 using a copy of the game provided by the publisher.

 

Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Greg is a Nintendo fanboy who would cry if they ever went third party. He writes news, previews and reviews at Gaming Illustrated.
Greg Johnson

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JUST CAUSE 3 REVIEW: VENI, VIDI, VICI

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall81%

GAMEPLAY8

A bit of redundancy here and there, but otherwise Just Cause 3 is a truly amazing experience well worth the play. The grapple mechanic and its corresponding physics have never been smoother.

GRAPHICS9

From the island to the explosions on it, Medici is a beautiful place worthy of any gamer's eye.

SOUND8

Everything sounds good and the voice talent is solid, but nothing that truly blows contenders out of the water.

STORY8

A bit cliche, but mostly in the sense of homage and parody as opposed to outright being poorly written. However cliche is still cliche.

CONTROLS7.5

The grapple mechanic is the biggest part of the game and the tutorial section will get players quickly acclimated to it. It can be chaotic and hard to master, but is ultimately surmountable.