Image copyright Square Enix 2017
It’s the middle of November, and all of a sudden, it’s become abundantly clear that we are now in Winter. The nights are drawing in, it’s dark by ruddy 4:30! And, more importantly, it’s infinitely colder than even two weeks ago. So, it’s basically the perfect time of year to settle down and enjoy a good video game. Maybe even whilst in the comfort of your pyjamas. ‘Tis a little slice of Heaven, isn’t it? The only way it could be better would be if it were it was a little warmer.
Thankfully, our game of choice this week takes us to the tropical paradise of Medici, a fictional Mediterranean republic.
Whilst you’re here, feel free to sample the local delights, experience the thrills of the city and the tranquillity of the tiny villages.
Just make sure you don’t disobey the tyrannical dictator, General Sebastiano Di Ravello, or your next break might be your neck!
Fear not, as Rico Rodriquez returns to save the day, and his homeland.
Armed with a small but capable team of rebels and mercenaries, as well as untold numbers of high-tech gizmos and weapons, Rodriquez is more than ready for the revolution to begin.
The beauty in Just Cause 3 isn’t in the narrative – because it’s quite a straightforward, and done to death series of tropes (“hero comes back home, home has been taken over by an evil/mad villain, hero joins resistance to take out said villain, villain is slain, hero’s home is secure”) – instead, the real fun in the game comes in the pure destruction that you are capable of doing.
Armed with assault rifles, handguns, RPGs, heavy artillery, trucks, tanks, fighter jets, and more, Rodriquez certainly has all the firepower to take down an army.
Not that he really needs all of that stuff, either.
(Literally) armed with zip-wires that can be attached to anything and everything, Rodriquez can upgrade his gadgets to include mini-rockets and grenades.
So, you see a tank on the side of the road, and you haven’t got a gun big enough to take it out. Simply whack one end of the zip-line to it, tie the other to a building, and draw that sucker in!
Simple destructive pleasure.
But these zip-lines aren’t just for blowing the world to smithereens.
Medici is 400 square miles/1000km² and has a much more vertically impressive volumetric terrain than its sequel – basically meaning that the map includes steep mountains and deep gorges.
And, of course, not every route can be traversed with a tank or a jeep.
In previous Just Cause games, Rodriquez has been gifted with a parachute, but for his third outing, he’s acquired a wingsuit.
You can see where this is going.
Get to any level of elevation, jump off, get your wingsuit on, and soar through the skies – as soon as you begin losing altitude, just throw out a line and pull yourself up, up and away!
It’s a simple enough premise that takes a short while to get acclimatised to. But once you do, you’ll be using it more than any of the main vehicles available in the game.
Of course, this being an action game, we should probably talk about the action.
Basically, if Michael Bay were to create a video game, it would probably look a lot like Just Cause 3.
Why have one explosion when you could blow up a town with 50 grenades, 12 RPGs, four airstrikes, and a tank?
Why have a simple plane-chase sequence when you could have three planes all careening towards one another before you jump onto a missile and take a ride?
Why have a normal boss battle when you could – wait, spoil alerts!
It’s a great game, with all the silly explosion nonsense out of the way.
Sure, the narrative won’t grip you, and the answer to the question is always “blow it up”, but for an open-world video game, there aren’t as many that could boast as being this fun.
Sure, Grand Theft Auto has the market on proper open-world gameplay, and Saints Row has the humour element to a tea, so Just Cause has to find its own slice of the market to work with.
Clearly, explosions work, it’s why Michael Bay has been around for as long as he has!
Nerd Rating, 7/10 – it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and there are plenty of other open-world-action games out there that perform better with fewer bugs and with much more interesting narratives. But sometimes you just wanna blow something up, jump off a building, and soar away watching the destruction around you. It’s like every action movie you’ve ever seen! Medici is a beautiful place to inhabit – if you ignore all of the propaganda and political woes, and Rico Rodriquez is every bit as manly and rugged as a protagonist should traditionally be. Plus, he’s got a ruddy wingsuit. Whatta guy!
If you like this, try; Far Cry 4, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, InFamous: Second Son