Blowing things up is so much fun in games. Seeing the mess you’ve made in a virtual world is satisfying to not only cause but to watch. In Just Cause 3, this is where they excel. There is no other game you’ll play this year that will give you the satisfaction of explosions like the ones you find in Just Cause 3. The only problem is: Does the enjoyment of blowing things up made a complete game? Well, honestly, that’s up to you.
Just Cause 3 offers you 400 square miles of the beautiful island nation of Medici where protagonist Rico Rodriguez comes from. The land has now been overrun by a dictator and Rico’s return is to cause a revolution to overthrow him. You do this by destroying everything with red on it including billboards, fuel tanks and vehicles. There are dozens of towns and settlements to reclaim and you could easily spend a few dozens hours simply doing this.
The story though isn’t particularly interesting. The missions give you the opportunity to do some fun set pieces but it all takes places within the sandbox of the world so for the most part, you do things in a more linear fashion than what you can do in the open world just exploring.
It all comes down to how much fun you can create for yourself in the world. All the tools are there to create some incredible stunts using the parachute, wingsuit, grappler, and tethering items as well as your traditional weapons.
As you liberate areas, you unlock challenges in which your aim is to earn up to five gears. These gears are used to obtain new abilities or “mods” that are used to add further fun to the world. You will only obtain mods for the type of challenges you do so you will only get upgrades for your driving for doing driving challenges. This means you are not forced to do challenges you do not want to do in order to get the mods you want.
Visually, the game looks great and considering its 400 square miles, it becomes even more impressive. Unfortunately though, it’s not flawless, especially on consoles. If you play the game on Xbox One or PlayStation 4 expect the frame rate to take hits during intense combat situations and moments when mass destruction is caused. It never breaks down to a crawl but it definitely detracts from the overall experience. This is something that will be probably be improved over the next couple of months through patches but for now it’s worth mentioning as it does impact the enjoyment of the game.
In the open world, you will do the same thing over and over again and it can honestly start to feel like a grind. It’s then up to your imagination to how you can cause destruction. However, there are so many tools in the sandbox that your imagination is the limit to what you can do in the game. I’ve crashed vehicles into things, I’ve turned cars into wrecking balls by tethering it to helicopters and so much more. The core objective may get boring but how you do it definitely doesn’t.
You can easily sink 30 hours into Just Cause 3 and even more if you just want to mess around in the world Avalanche Studios have created. It may only really do one thing by it does it so well that it’ll well worth playing. At times it just feels like an updated just Cause 2 and in some ways it is but it’s just one of the most unique open world action games out there. I just wish there was an opportunity to play the game online with friends like the PC mod already allows. Then the game will get a whole other layer to it that would make it an essential purchase. As it stands, it offers explosive fun.