Wow, I only bought Just Cause 2 a few days ago and I have already clocked 16 hours worth of B-grade, Michael Bay EXPLOSIONS. In recent years, 16 hours would be ample time to finish a new release, but for JC2 I’ve only explored a mere tenth of the Panau Island. I’m impressed.
This third-person action adventure plucks the best from GTA and Red Faction: Guerrilla. Essentially, you’ve been tasked with assassinating an American and to unlock new Agency missions for the main narrative you have to cause as much CHAOS as possible. The most effective methods of bolstering your chaos counter involve completing missions for any of the three criminal factions in the game. In between these scripted assignments you have the freedom to explore the vast island and collect weapon parts, vehicle parts, drug and money stashes. And then there are the EXPLOSIONS. Wreak havoc on Government property (fuel tanks, broadcast towers—anything that goes boom). The point of all the destruction and mayhem is to topple the dictator of Panau from his position of power.
In addition to carrying rifles, pistols, shotguns and sub-machine guns, your protagonist—who goes by many names, but mainly Scorpio—travels with a grappling hook and a parachute. You can grapple to houses, trees, walls and slingshot yourself high into the sky and to glide gracefully in the air you can unfurl your parachute and let the wind take you. When the fighting gets tough, and it does, you can escape imminent death with your grapple and parachute skills.
Also, you can fire the grappling hook at guards in towers to fling them to the ground and if an enemy helicopter is blazing its chainguns at you, you can use your grappling hook to commandeer the vehicle.
In addition to helicopters you can drive cars, motorcycles, boats and planes. Handling, in general, is easy—and by easy I mean if you try to land a helicopter you should be ok as there are separate controls for manipulating the attitude, speed and yawing (unlike GTAIV where most landings involve crashing). Fortunately, even if you are about to stack it in JC2 you have a parachute and the option to stunt jump. Stunt jumping can be performed on any vehicle and means that you jump out of the driver’s seat/cockpit and stand on top where you can grapple for something else or shoot at the baddies like a bad arse.
There are no shops but there is this chopper dude who you can call on to upgrade your weapons, enhance your unlocked vehicles and extract you to any known location on the map (the map is huge and you will eventually rely on the express service to complete missions).
Initially, after reading PCPP’s review, I wasn’t too keen to purchase JC2, let alone play it. After a few days of playing GTAIV on Xbox 360 and Red Faction: Guerrilla on PC the novelty of the sandbox environment wore off quicker than my bruised cheek. So you can understand why I didn’t procure this game upon its release. The PC game market is a little dry at the moment (an artistic drought?) so I did resort to playing demos. Just as well I did play this particular demo because JC2 is a lot of fun and like Shania Twain before she aged, JC2 is a beautiful. The draw distance seems infinite and this doesn’t affect the frame rates too severely. Don’t be surprised if you take to the clouds just to admire the landscape and everything in it. I did.
The system requirements are high (Nvidia GeForce 8800, dual core processor, lots of HDD space … 10Gb) and you must have Vista or Windows 7 in order to be able to play it.
JC 2 is the perfect antidote to boredom during this mid-year break. Forget the story and the dialogue because according to the back of the case the focus is on ‘relentless adrenaline-fueled action’.
I rate this game 8/10.