Game Review – Just Cause 3
Just Cause 3
PS4 • XB1 • PC
Major video games seem to take themselves really seriously in 2015. Big budgets, grandiose trailers and city-wide blanket marketing. The fate of the universe is constantly and earnestly in your hands. The course of history always and solemnly depends on you. You are the only single person who can possibly save us all, and you’d best not crack a smile or the very fabric of time and space my shred apart. Even GTA V, lathered in dick jokes, somehow never paid its own humour any mind.
Just Cause as a series has constantly raged against this further and further with each iteration and the third, without even so much as a cheeky knob joke, brings video games exploding back to their ridiculous physics-may-care nonsensical basics.
Starting life at the front end of the Xbox 360’s life, Just Cause was a simple open world GTA clone via ’80s action movies. The story was proudly no deeper than “stop the bad dude from winning” and most objectives revolved around shooting dudes or blowing stuff up to reclaim territory and stop the bad dudes. A sequel arrived with a gargantuan open world, more dudes to shoot and way more things to BASE jump off, or through, as they exploded. On PC, the modding community took to Just Cause 2 like crazy. Implementing their own multiplayer, removing the in-game economy for free item drops and tweaking the scope of the series’ signature grappling hook among many others. It took a fairly non-remarkable single player experience and turned it into a rowdy online sandbox that yielded multiple human lifetimes worth of ridiculous YouTube footage.
Just Cause 3 has taken heed of this grassroots involvement and included these popular tweaks to the game proper, but sadly neglected multiplayer. Which is a shame because every other aspect of this game has realised the potential of the series. It’s production is gold standard, the world is gorgeous, the physics are outrageous, the objectives are challenging and often some of the best action spectacles this side of a Fury Road screening.
Integrated realtime leaderboards track and compare your performance online for everything from furthest jump in a car to longest time spent airbourne after copping an explosion to the face. But they scarcely make up for the game’s massive glaring flaw: the lack of true multiplayer.
As gorgeous as the game is and as many countless ridiculous action movie fantasies as it lets you play out, we’re not short on single-player open worlds right now. Even just co-op might have pushed this to game of the year contention, but it seems like an otherwise awesome game really, badly, missed a trick.
Just Cause 3 is out now through Bandai Namco.