By Kevin Shaw
Crazy, stupid, awesome, fun: “Just Cause 3” makes no attempt to hide its ridiculous nature. It is what I would consider “Explosion Simulator 2015,” and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Like in the game’s predecessors, players control the protagonist and antihero, Rico Rodriguez, in his epic quest to topple militaristic regimes around the world. Set six years after the events of “Just Cause 2,” Rico finally returns home to aid the rebellion in the liberation of Medici, a fictional Mediterranean island under the control of dictator General Sebastiano Di Ravello.
Also similar to its predecessors, the game’s storyline falls short of making a significant impact on the gamer. It is mainly a sweep-and-clear game where you clean out enemy bases and occupy them with friendly rebels. But where it lacks in storyline, “Just Cause 3” triumphs in visuals and gameplay.
The game is stunning to watch and it utilizes the specs of the next-generation consoles very well. There are incredibly bright colors and dazzling fireballs that constantly fill the screen. You’d expect significant frame rate drops whenever you drive your tank through a gas station, but the game handles it surprisingly well — there is hardly any lag.
Rico can be thought of as a cross between Batman and Spiderman. He is well-equipped with an arsenal of cool weapons and gadgets, like a grappling hook, a rapidly re-deployable parachute and a wingsuit for quickly getting around the map. Rico also carries your standard-issue video game guns, such as assault rifles, rocket launchers and sniper rifles.
The grappling hook and parachute work together to allow you to slingshot yourself like Spiderman and float around the map. It is difficult to master, but very worthwhile. I haven’t seen anything like this in other games and it makes for some spectacular gameplay.
There is also an impressive lineup of vehicles, ranging from pedestrian scooters and sports cars to attack helicopters and tanks — all of which can be driven around the massive, open-world map.
The freedom of “Just Cause 3” is where it pulls ahead of similar games on the market. You can do anything you want in this game and play in any style. Need to clear that enemy compound? You can take the stealthy approach, snipe the guards from afar and be in-and-out like a ghost. Or you can strap a bunch of bombs to a plane and crash land it right on top of everybody for maximum carnage. No other game out there has the variety of gameplay that “Just Cause 3” offers.
In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed this game. Sure, the storyline was lacking, but I was having way too much fun to notice or care. With some of the best gameplay I’ve ever experienced, explosions that could teach Michael Bay a thing or two and the massive scale of the in-game world, I definitely recommend this game for anybody who enjoys having fun.