Just Cause 3 has finally been unleashed upon us, and judging by the trailers and previews leading up to the games released it seemed like third time the charm, but sadly, Just Cause 3 is riddled with the same problems the previous games encountered, glitches, game breaking bugs and repetitive gameplay, however it is still a whole lot of fun blowing up stuff though
Just Cause is a series of action-adventure games set in an open world where you play as protagonist Rico Rodriguez with an arsenal unlike anyone else and a love for blowing stuff up and causing havoc just 'cause, however, as the title suggest he usually has a just cause for his actions. The series first saw light back in 2006 when Just Cause released on PC, Playstation 2, Xbox and later on Xbox 360 developed by Swedish game studio Avalanche Studios who some of you might also recognize from the Mad Max game that just released a few months ago.
Back in 2010 Just Cause 2 released and it is, to date, the most recognizable of the two so far, in the series as it was the game that really set Just Cause on the map simply because it gave birth to a whole new way of playing around with an open sandbox game like this and also gained a lot of publicity because of gamers making videos and showing of the madness that could be had in the game. Although the game was praised for its madness and “bring your own fun” mentality it got some heat for lacking in the story department but the game managed to sell over 6 million copies by September of 2013, giving birth to the idea of a third game in the series.
And here we are, the year is 2016 and we have just rung in the New Year with a new Just Cause on the shelf. This review is of the Playstation 4 version of Just Cause 3 for anyone wondering.
After putting numerous hours into Just Cause 3 I had to personally wait to write up and release this review simply because it was plagued with a lot of problems since release. Before the game released our review copy was withheld by our publishers in wait of the launch patch so how the game preformed before that patch we do not know but judging by how it played after the launch patch I am glad I didn't get to experience the game back then. But here we are, not one, but two patches later and the game froze up on me again today, even after the latest patch, and I am talking game breaking bug where the game booted me back to the dashboard. This has happened to me 5 times since I started this review and it is getting annoying and frustrating.
The reason I am angry at Just Cause 3 is because it is so much fun when the game is running smooth and not breaking, it is so much fun blowing stuff up and causing havoc, but sadly the game is haunted by the problems that seemed to be haunting the previous games in the series, the story becomes repetitive rather quickly and most missions mixed with the rag-doll physics is not a good mix. I'll be honest here, there has been missions in Just Cause 3 that has literally made me rage quit, not because they are too hard but because the game has been constantly fighting against me. For example, at one point I was fighting on top of a plane trying to keep jet planes off it, which is fine until the ammo runs out, now you tell me, how am I supposed to find more ammo, on top of a plane racing through the sky being chased by jet planes?
Another example, and one of the more frustrating one is later on in the game you are set with defending a base, don't worry I don't put spoilers in my reviews, from hordes of enemies trying to destroy certain objects that you need to defend, and it is one of the worst missions in the game simply because the game mechanics kept fighting against me with everything it got, but after quite some time, and numerous retries I finally managed to complete the first 4 or 5 parts of the mission, and the game had me then racing up a mountain chasing a plane which I then had to try and get onto, which again, is fine, but when the game freezes up on me and blue screens and puts me back to the dashboard, only to have me reboot the game and starting that mission all over again, that was almost the last straw for me. So I basically did the worst Just Cause mission I have ever played numerous times before I finished it, twice! Not fun.
So why am I still playing it? Why am I so eager to see the game through and finish the campaign? Well, to be honest I don't have a good answer for you, but then again I don't have a good reason as to why I finished both Just Cause and Just Cause 2's story either, its just … cause... It is fun, it is addictive and fun! And I want to play it all the time, but load times, and frustrating missions, and clumsy A.I mixed with rag-doll physics and awkward controls at times the game is really trying to make me hate it.
Now don't get me wrong, Just Cause 3 looks absolutely beautiful, and even though it suffers from some frame-rate drops here and there when larger explosions occur, but the texture and the overall feel of the different areas of this huge open land feels and looks absolutely stunning. Speaking of the explosions, Avalanche Studios has created the most amazing realistic looking pyro I have ever seen in a game before, and in a game that consists of 90% blowing up stuff it is fitting and makes for a much more enjoyable experience. Just Cause 3 is a bring your own fun kind of game, as I had much more fun while not doing missions, just flying around trying to find spots to preform crazy stunts or buildings to tear down. Also later on in the game you encounter areas where you get to take down these giant machines and when they start collapsing it is by far some of the most amazing looking stuff in the game, and that is saying a lot.
The story, as mentioned before, isn't all that noteworthy and at times I even wanted to skip the cut-scenes simply because I just didn't care that much and just wanted to get back into the action. As you progress through the story you quickly realize just how repetitive the missions are, and at some point you start to get story missions that are locked behind a wall, meaning you have to free X amount of areas before you can progress with the main story. Now don't get me wrong, this is fine and all if this wasn't what you basically do in 90% of the game, and towards the end I just wanted to be done with everything and see how the game ended. And I think personally, that last mission you get is incredible boring and tedious and could have been handled a lot better, but then again you might find it the opposite.
So what do you say to someone who asks you if they should pick up Just Cause 3? First off, I would tell them to read this review, and after they finished reading it they would still be eager to try it out I would gladly give my thumbs up, but if something I wrote in this review put you off the idea then wait, wait for more patches to come in, because I am certain Avalanche Studios wants this game to run smooth, but are hard at work trying to patch it up and have it working full time for you, but I am personally tired of this kind of mentality. If your game doesn't work at launch the wait. Don't launch a broken game or half broken game, wait and take your time, fix the problems that you know are going to be addressed and you will have more people buying your product the next time you release something. But if you keep this up, release half broken games and forcing patch upon patch down my throat, like most games released on these latest consoles then I will think twice then next time you release something and will probably advice others to do the same.