Just Cause 3 Review
I'm a bit late to the party with this one, but what you will find out about this blog is that I will be reviewing games from the past and present.
I want to start with Just Cause 3 because believe it or not it was actually my last game purchase a month ago. What's the verdict? I wish I hadn't bothered...
Now I have played the entire Just Cause series so I knew what I was in store for. Open world run and gun 3rd person shooting with an eccentric edge and rubbish cheesy story line featuring our favourite revolutionary Rico Rodriguez. A series that's always been broken, but has enough charm and fun to keep you coming back to it. Quite a rare thing in games. A sandbox of destruction where you can blow up and destroy anything you want, and this premise has always been what makes the series great.
Just Cause 3 is not fun, it's not enjoyable and it's more broken that any of it's predecessors have ever been.
I was sold on Just Cause 3 from the numerous youtube videos of people doing crazy stunts and set pieces. It always seemed to pop up on my social media timeline sporadically, which made me thing after 2 years of being released it must be incredibly playable. But that illusion was quickly shattered when I loaded up the game and had to restart the first mission 5 times before completing it.
I wanted to attached rockets to a cow and send it flying off into the atmosphere, but I never even go to the point of obtaining the rocket boosters.
Anyway lets start on the look of the game, perhaps the best part about it.
Just Cause actually looks beautiful...the frame rate doesn't
When I first set my eyes on the beautiful island of Medici shining away in the sun, it amazed me. The world graphics are brilliant and the island looks and feels real, a sort of Italian/Greek/...European? setting.
There is a great sense of depth and it's great to explore the different areas of Medici, and there is lots to explore! I didn't really explore a lot myself (I will come on to why later) but the Map is huge! It's littered with Mediterranean towns and farms, beautiful coastline and a ton of army bases!
Characters look pretty good (for 2015) and there is a variety of them. The character graphics obviously don't compare to some of the other games available at the moment but they aren't too bad. Animation leaves a lot to be desired, but it's Just Cause 3! Who cares about animation?
Explosions and effects look meaty and real just like they should do in a game about destruction.
The frame rate on the other hand isn't great. When there is a lot going on, big battles etc.. be prepared for lag and frustration.
Anyway I don't want to dwell too much on graphics as there is a lot I want to complain about...
The plot is about as Just Cause as you can get
It can't be Just Cause without a dictator trying to force his will on an unsuspecting population, and guess what...? The plot is centred around a dictator again.
Listen... I wouldn't have minded if they had tried to go with a different angle on the dictator plot line, but it's literally the same plot as the last two games, just with a different character and country. The only difference this time is that Medici happens to be Rico's country of origin, so it's a little more personal...
This should have been the perfect opportunity to change up the standard plot, but once again they played it safe and it just makes the game look weaker. You could say once again, 'It's Just Cause' who cares about the plot? Normally I would agree, but when you are creating a single player game that has used the same plot line in the two previous games it just gets boring.
Anyway, this time we have Di Ravello a dictator hell bent on keeping his iron grip on Medici by using his never-ending army of minions. Seriously though the amount of people you kill in the game you would think that it's more than the population of the island...
Luckily there is a rebel army led by Rico's old best mate, (who is incredibly annoying) and a few other people that I can't really remember. Basically it's reds v blues, and you have to try and take back the island one base at a time.
I think I progressed 5% into the story so I can't tell you what happens, but I can say that *Spoiler alert* the rebels probably win.
So the plot isn't great but I think we knew that. What about the gameplay? A big plus normally for Just Cause.
The gameplay sticks to the old ways but it doesn't pay off
I knew when I bought this game that it wasn't for the story, or the graphics, it was for the gameplay.
A sandbox of destruction and delight, where anything goes. Or so I thought.
The start of the game has you parachuting into Medici under fire quickly joining your best mate and helping the rebels grab a quick win.
My immediate first thought after shooting my first group of bad guys was, 'Wow this is clunky'.
I found the controls throughout the game to be quite unresponsive, and it cost me a few deaths.
One of the best things about this instalment is the grappling hook and wing suite. It was refreshing to be able to grab onto a wall and fling yourself around the map flying like a Flying Squirrel. You can also use the hook to bring down structures too even though I opted to use explosives more than the hook. You feel more like a superhero in this version compared to the others. There is a an extensive skills tree that you can unlock. I never got to unlocking any of it, but it looks good...
Attacking bases is the bread and butter of JC and it hasn't changed much this time around. You go in and blow up as much as you can and earn xp. This is by far the best part of the game as it's where you get to cause the most havoc, but still I found it, well... lacking.
For one, it's easy to die in the game, really easy! The loading screens are ridiculous it can take well over a minute to load, and the saving feature is terrible! There isn't a mid mission autosave so you end up having to do everything from the start of the mission every time you die. This wouldn't be so bad if there weren't so many objectives but when you have one more thing to blow up and you die it can be controller breaking stuff.
There are missions of cause that you have to undertake to progress the story, but unfortunately once again they consist of, 'protect this convoy' 'follow this guy' 'escort this dude'. It's boring, nuff said. There are side missions as per usual, and they offer a little more fun, lots of challenges and killing spree things. Not enough to make it interesting though.
The bugs... oh my god the bugs! There are so many in this game, I actually can't believe they classed this as a finished product. The amount of times I had to restart a mission just because some characters script didn't run properly, or someone got stuck behind a wall, or the terrible frame rate kills you. It just makes the experience infuriating.
Let me sum this section up for you. The gameplay is good when you are blowing up things, but that quickly becomes repetitive. The game is broken and will leave you very angry when you die constantly.
Quickly concluding this abomination
As you can tell I didn't enjoy this game, which was annoying because I wanted it to be as amazing as all of the youtube videos I had watched. It was a false hope.
I probably spent around 6 hours playing it and it was 5 hours too long. For me the worst thing was the loading screens. When you die which is very often, you are left sat there for ages waiting to get another chance. It just loses any flow you had within the game. I could probably forgive a few of the flaws, if the loading sequence was like 5 seconds, but it wasn't. You are just sat there waiting to play a broken game and it's not fun.
I get the feeling that Avalanche studios the games developer, just can't be bothered anymore. I don't understand why they can't just step it up for once. Their games are always half finished, and always slightly broken, and I can't tell if this is now on purpose to add a weird broken charm to the game or if it's just because they stopped caring. It would be refreshing to see them pull something amazing out of the bag, but I just can't see it happening. Some companies are just happy with mediocrity, but this obviously shows here.
I wanted to enjoy JC3 but I couldn't. If you have the patience to sit through the glaring flaws then you may get some enjoyment out of it, but if you are after a really solid enjoyable action game then this isn't the one for you.
• World graphics look incredible
• Blowing up stuff is fun to begin with
• Wing suite and grappling hook
• The game is broken
• The gameplay gets repetitive quickly
• Loading screens are long and tedious
• The plot is the same as the other 2 games in the series
• Bad autosaving system