This is probably one of the few big games I’ll preview at EGX as the queues are pretty bad. A three-hour wait to play the division? No thanks. I did however swallow my pride and wait in line for Just Cause 3, After a forty-five minute wait I was ushered into a small square area in which two Marketing & PR graduates shouted jokes at our group, whilst trying to sell us Just Cause 3. Rather than just let us play the game and you know, actually gage whether we like it. After a further twenty minutes of shouting and being forced to watch videos, we were finally allowed some actual Play time with Just Cause 3.
So right off the bat, the game world was completely open to me. I could do whatever I wished within the fifteen-minute time slot we were granted. The first thing I did was jump in a car as the developers had emphasised how much they had changed it. Has it changed? Yes. Does it control better? No
The driving honestly felt a lot weirder than it previously did on Just Cause 2; I am not sure what they’ve done to it, but it just feels off. It almost felt as if I was dealing with input lag during the driving segments, but it responded fine while on foot. To be fair to the developers I tried a selection of different vehicles starting with a car, then a bike and I eventually ended up in a helicopter. The helicopter controlled unnaturally. I could rotate the helicopter left and right using the right analogue stick, but up and down still only changed the camera view. All of this is pretty pointless though as you’ll likely spend most of your time as I did, switching between parachute and wing-suit.
The parachute and wing suit are a brilliant combination together; they build on the already fun mechanics of the parachute by adding a high-speed equivalent. I honestly can’t see why anyone would ever use vehicles other than the missions that require them. I spent a good five minutes just using the grapple hook and wing-suit to see how hard I could face plant Rico into the side of a mountain. The answer is pretty damn hard.
Just Cause is definitely known as THE game when it comes to a huge open world sandbox, but it isn’t all that impressive anymore. There have already been several big sandbox games this year, with more set to release. It’s hard for me to say if the world of Just Cause 3 is going to measure up to the other worlds we have visited this year, but from what I explored it seems like more of the same. Large islands built up of smaller villages and a few big cities. I have no problem with this though as it seems they have made more conscious effort to improve the choice that players have. This new world is also much more built up than the tropical paradise of Panau in Just Cause 2. This is instantly evident during the night-time as you can see individual city’s lights and aura from across the map.
I had attempted one mission before I was booted off the game; I had to drive a muscle car rigged with explosives to an enemy base. Then I would jump out just before the car careened into the enemy communications tower. I didn’t get the chance to finish it, so I instead drove the car into an oncoming enemy vehicle killing myself and the enemy in the explosion. This is the kind of stuff that Just Cause does perfectly, these types of missions that might not make a whole lot of sense but are still fun none the less.
I do have to mention how stunning the game looks as well; it looks damn nice. Some of the individual objects like cars and people seem a little cartoonish, but the environment is beautiful. Just Cause 3 is definitely going to take the most colourful game of the year award. I hope there’s a little more variation in some of the landscapes you encounter, but there usually is in the Just Cause universe.
Just Cause 3 probably isn’t the big step forward that people were hoping for, but it provided me with enough laughs and enjoyment to keep me happy. I imagine a lot of people are going to feel the same, but that’s what Just Cause is at its root, a silly happy game where nothing makes sense.