by: Lachlan Charles Stevens
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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Just Cause 2 places players once again in control of CIA operative Rico Rodriguez and will have the opportunity to create plenty of havoc as they blast their way through a explosive and not entirely serious game.
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Storyline - Just Cause 2 PS3 Review
Players will find themselves on the case of Panau, a formerly US-allied island which, following the usurpation of power by authoritarian dictator Baby Panay, becomes a battleground, with three rebel groups fighting against the government to free the island, each with their own reasons and motives behind them.
Rico is tasked with investigating these groups, but also must face off against his old mentor, Sheldon, who has dropped off the CIA’s radar.
Just Cause 2 brings nothing new to the typical plot employed by the genre, but regardless Avalanche Studios have executed it well, adding elements of humor to an otherwise boring plotline.
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Just Cause 2’s big draw card is the sheer freedom of its gameplay. Players don’t have to jump straight in to the story missions. They can sit back, cruise the countryside for a few hours, working on causing chaos across the island before jumping into the storyline. In fact, players are under no obligation to even start on the storyline missions.
The controls are easy to use, with the one exception being the game’s lock on feature. Awkward during close firefights, the system has the tendency to penalize players wanting manual aim, with sluggish crosshair movement.
Players will find great joy in Rico’s grappling hook. Truly a jack of all trades, players will find delight in experimenting with its many uses as they play through the game. Grappling along the terrain with your parachute as a method of transport? Yep. Grabbing that guard with your grapple and pulling him away from the weapon he’s using? You bet.
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Despite rumors which have circulated many games discussion groups and forums of an upcoming DLC which will add a multiplayer mode to the game, there is no planned multiplayer feature for Just Cause 2’s PS3 version. The rumors have been refuted by Director Magnus Nedford.
However, there is a third party modification in the works for Just Cause 2’s PC version. While nowhere near completion, the mod will allow multiplayer modes of varying types to be used on the PC version.
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The graphics in Just Cause 2 are tidy and well constructed. The models are varied, with cars ranging from ancient to the latest high powered sports cars. The models themselves, whether they be cars, buildings or people are not drawn to any particularly high standard, but they get the job done.
Where the graphics of the game really are in a league of their own is the landscape. Players will find themselves in awe of the sheer scale of the graphics they will see. Flying up high above the island of Panau, the sheer beauty Avalanche have managed to capture in the many land features on the island, from forests, to deserts, to mountains capped with snow. One of this reviewer’s favorite moments of the game was parachuting down from a high altitude, and simply observing the nuances of the terrain.
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Avalanche has done an excellent job of filling out the variety with a variety of sounds to keep the player interested. Travelling through the desert, players will hear the hot wind in their ears. When they move on to the cities and towns, the sounds of people going about their daily lives can be heard all around.
The sounds of the weapons are acceptable. While very generic, they do give an accurate description of what a real life weapon in the category the game gives might sound like. There is also a good variety of sound in the vehicles, which range from the unrefined roar of older cars to the purr of newer sports cars.
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Just Cause 2 is a must have addition to the PS3’s growing games library. With the strength of the gameplay alone the game would be worth purchasing. But Avalanche Studios has managed to pack tidy graphics into the package as well as good quality, varied sound.
The game is also able to expanded with a small amount of extra content available on the Playstation Store, both free and paid, with more no doubt on the way in the coming months.