Review by PokeyBanana

Reviewed: 04/05/10

Just Missed

Just Cause 1 was a decent game, nothing special. It was fun for a while but eventually became stale and repetitive. And Just Cause 2 is no different.

The game world is huge and stunning, and that is not an overstatement. It beats San Andreas’s map by quite a distance. The mountains, rivers, desert and cities look fantastic. It is a pleasure just to slowly fly about in the hot air balloon looking at the scenery.

There are tons of places to visit. Over 300 towns, villages and military bases to visit and all with plenty of things to pick up and blow up. Plus the ability to upgrade guns is nice as you can really feel them getting better as they level up. That sawn-off shotgun you like so much goes from a pea-shooter into a hand cannon. Very satisfying indeed.

Whilst there are many places to visit, they are all essentially the same. Blow stuff up, collect upgrades, kill police, leave. That really is as complex as it gets. Yes it is lots of fun for a while, but soon it becomes a laborious chore. Eventually you are just searching for the next upgrade or tediously looking for a hidden generator to blow up. It all gets very repetitive.

The gunplay, while reasonable, isn’t particularly good. It never feels quite as satisfying as it should. This leads me to the ammo problem. It seems strange that a game which encourages you to destroy everything in sight would give you about 3 bullets to achieve this goal. The game is incredibly stingy with the ammo and doesn’t help by making the Black Market (your gun store, so to speak) ridiculously expensive.

Whilst you do get plenty of money, it will still run out very quickly if you buy a few things. For example, it takes 8 cash pick-ups just to afford the basic pistol once, and you have to pay for it every time. It’s like the developers don’t want you to actually use any of the fancy guns like the sniper rifle of grenade launcher. A bizarre decision.

The missions, too, are a little lightweight and lack gravitas. They are generally pretty brief and are rather a by-the-numbers fare. Drive here, kill him, protect that. That’s pretty much what you get here. The police are a little too aggressive as well, if you sneeze near one they send in the choppers, after a while you just get sick of it.

The much hyped grappling hook is a bit hit and miss too. It’s fine for getting to the tops of houses and getting to cars, but tethering things together is only of very limited appeal and usefulness, and climbing tall buildings is a long winded pain.

The game, as seems the be the case will all games nowadays, has its fair share of glitches which take a bit more shine off.

In Summary.
Great in the short run, decent for a while, tedious in the end. The fantastic world just isn’t filled with enough interesting things to do. It’s a good game dragged down by poor missions, samey locations and odd development choices. The voice acting will make your ears weep, too.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Product Release: Just Cause 2 (EU, 03/26/10)

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