If I could sum up Just Cause 3 in one word, it would be: explosions. Enormous, spectacular explosions that while it may be the cool thing to not look at them in movies as you’re walking away, in Just Cause 3 you might want to grab a lawn chair and some popcorn, because blowing stuff up is a sight to behold in this game. In fact, I spent more time in my session blowing stuff up than doing anything else, and guess what, it never got old.
Developed by Avalanche Studios, Just Cause 3 is an open world sandbox action game where you take control of Rico, an all-round badass mercenary who is on a mission to retake and save his homeland. The section I got to play was more of a free-roaming slice where I could tackle pretty much anything that caught my eye, whether it was a hostile convoy getting away or the sheer desire of wanting to wingsuit over majestic mountaintops.
All of Medici, Just Cause 3’s fictional Mediterranean setting, was my playground, and it was a feeling that many open-world games fail to capture. Equipped with Rico’s super versatile grapple hook and an arsenal of weapons, I was essentially unstoppable, but the traversal mechanics took a little getting used to. Rico can essentially grapple to anything just as long as it’s in range, as specified by a helpful reticle that spins to let you know you’re good to go.
It’s instant gratification when you’re chaining and landing all of the traversal mechanics, like lifting yourself from the ground with your grapple and chaining to the parachute. Only to then grapple to the side of a hill or mountain to propel yourself further and then ultimately let go as you glide with your wingsuit. You won’t do it perfectly the first time you try it, as I saw myself face-planting and crashing headfirst into trees, but it looks damn cool once you get the hang of it and it really is the best way to travel in the game.
Just Cause 3 is a very good-looking title, with crisp, vibrant visuals, and the draw distance is quite impressive as well. Avalanche Studios has managed to make an immensely fun game look as good as it plays. It’s also incredibly dynamic, as after a failed attempt with the wingsuit, I collapsed in the middle of the ocean where a boat full of baddies were doing some shady business. I climbed onto the boat and all hell broke loose. It was the most intense firefight I’ve ever had in such a small boat in the middle of the ocean, and it was just mere happenstance. I elbowed some guy in the face, took control of the machine gun and started mowing them all down, and I had the biggest grin on my face while doing it.