Review by Raganork10
"I guess Just Cause 2 couldn't afford competent voice actors"
I don't understand why a game company would make a sequel to a game that was very unpopular and glitchy. But alas, Just Cause 2 is one of these sequels. Thankfully, Just Cause 2 has made some major changes from the original to make it a much better game. Though what lacks in story and voice acting (more on that later) is remedied in the gameplay department to make Just Cause 2 an entertaining sandbox game.
While this game may not be a beauty to behold, the visuals are above average. You got great particle effects from explosions (of which there are a plethora of) and fire. Each building looks sharp and detailed. The vast terrain is extremely varied. When swimming underwater you can see seaweed and other underwater plants. The developer really put some effort into making this game extremely detailed, which is not an easy feat considering that the map is enormous. I'm impressed that for such an immense landscape, the level of detail is superb. There are a few slow loading textures here and there, and some character animations are awkward (especially death and falling animations). Plus the characters' faces don't exactly look that great. But for the most part, the game looks very detailed.
Explosions sound nice, and does gun-fire. Pretty much all of the sound effects are what you'd expect from a game nowadays. But the voice acting is another story. I don't know if the voice acting was intentionally supposed to be bad, but I must say that this game wins the award for the worst voice acting in a video game. It's so bad that it's laughable. You really have to hear the conversations for yourself to understand me when I say that a 3rd grader could do a better job acting out the voices. Every time I heard the word "hombre" or "kee-mo-sa-bey" I couldn't help but laugh. I can't tell if the voice actors were insulting Asian peoples' accents or if they were just fooling around. I'll just say that the voice-over work for this game is...unique.
A cliched story at best, but the game at least tries to keep you interested. You're an agent sent to the fictional island of Panau to find out if one of your fellow agents has gone rogue. To find out his location you do missions for 3 of the island's major factions. Along the way you find out more about the island's corrupt leader: Baby Panay. The ending is exactly what you'd expect. Thankfully, this game wasn't made with an engaging plot in mind...
I'd be lying if I said that this game was boring. One of the major aspects of this game revolves around causing Chaos. How do you cause Chaos? By blowing up any kind of crap your eyes can find. You can blow up gas stations, guard towers, tanks, vehicles, water towers, power plants, antennas, and more. There are over 100 different types of vehicles in this game that you can drive that range from helicopter, to boats, to cars, to jets, and more. You also have a trusty grappling hook and an unlimited supply of parachutes (oh joy). The most fun you'll get out of this game is just doing crazy stunts and jumping out of a vehicle a mile in the air. There are a few glitches here are there that caused me to restart the console, but not often enough to be a major issue.
The shooting mechanics in this game are...sub-par to say the best. There's the standard pistol, magnum, sniper rifle, rocket launcher, assault rifle, machine gun, etc. Killing enemies with guns just doesn't feel as rewarding as other shooting games. You lock on to enemies and hold the fire button until they die, with no strategy involved, making the game extremely easy. The game attempts to remedy this by throwing in a "wanted level" type system that sends more enemies your way if you cause a lot of chaos. Unfortunately your health bar depletes very slowly (and health packs can easily be found in most if not every city) and you can easily decimate every single type of enemy in the game in seconds with an enemy helicopter by shooting rockets at them. If it weren't for the grappling hook and infinite parachutes, this game just wouldn't be fun.
As for replayabilty, there really isn't a need to start a new game after beating this game unless you care for the story (which, in my opinion, you probably wont care about at all). Like I stated earlier, the best thing this game has to offer is the freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want. The map is enormous, and chances are it'll take many hours to explore every nook and cranny in the game. There's also a black market in this game where you can purchase weapons and vehicles. You earn money from causing chaos, so you don't necessarily have to complete the main story to purchase items from the black market. The only problem is that items from the black market cost a lot of money. So if you save up $30,000 to buy a jet, and accidentally crash it before it lifts off from the ground (which happened to me on numerous occasions), then you have to resort to money grinding (causing chaos, repeating races, finding money crates, etc.) to purchase another one. On the other hand, you can pick up weapons and ammo from dead enemies and just steal any vehicle you want, rendering the black market unnecessary.
Just Cause 2 is fun, but it's just not polished enough to be amazing. It's a good purchase if you can get over the many little flaws.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 06/21/10, Updated 07/19/10
Game Release: Just Cause 2 (US, 03/23/10)
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