GameSpot Reviews - Just Cause 2 Video Review

Uploaded by gamespot on 23.03.2010

Just Cause 2 is an absolutely ridiculous game, but I mean that in the best possible way.
This is a game that lets you grapple to a helicopter; beat up the pilot; hijack the
chopper; shoot up a military base; set the helicopter on a collision course for a fuel
tank; and then parachute away from the bird right before it crashes and burns in an enormous
explosion. There's a lot of crazy fun in here, and when Just Cause 2 gives you freedom, it
soars. Unfortunately, targeting issues drag the gunplay down, and many of the missions
simply stink. There are a lot of little glitches and annoyances that might get on your nerves,
but when you're soaring over the mountains in a fighter jet or leaping from the roof
of one vehicle to another, the frustrations are easily forgotten.
The game's best asset by far is its gargantuan size. Just Cause 2 takes place on the island
nation of Panau, and it's just enormous. You could spend countless hours in the capital
city alone, and that's just a tiny corner of map. From snow-capped mountains to hidden
forest villages to sun-drenched beaches, the game's got an incredible variety of areas
to explore. And it gives you a ton of vehicles to do it in. Motorcycles, helicopters, speedboats,
firetrucks, passenger jets, and loads more. There are over a hundred different vehicles
to use, though if you want to make a quicker trip, you can extract quickly to a location
you've already discovered. The vehicles handle mostly fine, though the crazy physics and
loose aircraft handling can make some race challenges a frustrating hassle. The most
fun way to get around, however, is to use your parachute and grappling hook in tandem,
which makes you feel a bit like Spider-Man, swinging around without a care in the world.
Just Cause 2 is at its best when you're just tooling around looking for items like money
stashes, upgrade kits for your weapons, and generally causing havoc. You earn chaos for
blowing stuff up, and it works like a sort of currency, unlocking new missions and new
weapons and vehicles you can order up from the black market dealer. Besides, blowing
stuff up is what Just Cause 2 is all about. Fuel containers, SAM installations, oil refineries,
antennas--it's all there for you to destroy, and since your goal is to undermine the government's
influence over the people, there's even a story reason for making things go boom. Besides,
if you want to get 100% completion credit for any towns and bases you explore, you're
gonna have to tear things down.
Of course, blowing stuff up draws the attention of the local authorities. You'll deal with
them a lot, in and out of missions. At first you'll feel like ammo is much to scarce, but
once you get into the swing of things, you won't be scrounging too often. The gunplay
is loose and the autotargeting is forgiving, which is in keeping either the broad and ridiculous
nature of the game. When you're just running around and mowing down the cops, the action
can be fun. When you try to pull off more specific stunts, however, you'll realize how
broken the targeting is. It's awesome that you can hang from the front of a speeding
vehicle and shoot the passenger as he leans out the door. It's not awesome at all that
you can aim directly at his head and unload multiple clips and not register a single hit.
If the auto targeting doesn't want you hitting a dude, you aren't hitting him, making this
one of the few games that punishes you for being a good shot and rewards you for being
a bad one. Still, as long as you're playing loose and spraying bullets, you'll have fun
with the shooting. And thanks to the grapple hook and parachute, not to mention how easy
it is to steal a vehicle, you'll have even more fun making a quick getaway.
There is a throwaway story holding all of this together. Like in the original Just Cause,
you play Rico, a gun for hire working for a US agency called, simply, The Agency. To
get to the bottom of some shady business you'll gain the trust of Panau's three gangs, which
will send you off on various missions. The story's pure fluff, more interesting for the
so-bad-it's-almost-good voice acting and so-offensive-it's- almost comical accents, than for any plot
Some of the missions are sort of cool, like one that sends you into a Bermuda Triangle
type zone. Others have time limits or make you escort AI characters that do stupid things,
which leads to some trial and error restarts. The free-and-easy mechanics that make free
roaming so awesome aren't so fun when the game wants you to be precise. For example,
jumpy physics lead to awesome stunts. But they also lead to a mission failure when hitting
a little bump causes all the important cargo in your truck to fly out. Or make your speedboat
go careening everywhere in impossible ways during a race that forces you to cross land.
Some bugs might also get in the way of the fun, from sound stutters to crashes, but these
issues aren't overbearing, just occasionally annoying. But in spite of the drawbacks, Just
Cause 2 is a fun and attractive game that gives you a lot to do and a huge playground
to explore. It's crazy and silly, so you'll spend a lot of time grinning and not so much
time cringing.
Besides, this is a game that lets you grapple to a moving motorcycle, throw the passenger
onto the street, drive off a cliff, parachute down to a military base, get in a tank, and
blow more stuff up. And sometimes, that's all you need to have a good time.