For a Just Cause
Just Cause 2 is an open-world game, but it can be surprisingly hard at times. Rico is always out-numbered by the Panau army and is often out-gunned as well. Fleeing is often a better option than fighting, and when Rico does fight he has to fight smart. This guide covers some basic strategies which Rico can use throughout the game to survive Panau.
How Heat Works
Here are actions which will increase your heat level:
Firing a gun in the presence of or at any Panau military officer
- Firing a gun at a civilian
- Using explosives near civilians or military officers
- Running into or over a Panau military offer or military vehicle
- Entering a Panau military base
- Being spotted by the Panau military after you already have a heat level
- Attacking objects with the Panau military star
Whenever you take these actions your Heat level will rise. It can raise all the way up to level five, although at the very beginning of the game it is limited to level three. When are outside of the sight of the Panau military level your heat goes down. You’ll know this is happening because your heat bar will be orange rather than red.
Note that while I used the word "sight" there is a maximum detection radius for the Panau military. For example, if you are in a helicopter being pursued by a Panau military chopper you will almost always be "in sight" but once you gain a decent lead on the military chopper they will no longer detect you.
How to Escape Heat
There are a few tried-and-true methods for escaping the Panau military.
One is to use your hook to sail off into the forest. The Panau military is very good at tracking you on roads, but extremely bad at tracking you off them. Simply running of into the forest will allow you to easily outrun Panau infantry and vehicles. The only exceptions are of course helicopters.
Speaking of which, hi-jacking a helicopter is a great way to get rid of a high heat level. The military helicopters which come after you are not very good are pursuits. If you hijack a chopper and then high-tail it away the Panau military will never catch up to you. They will send more helicopters, but they have such a small detection radius that you can shake them even when you can still see the military helicopter on your mini-map. A jet, if you can get your hands on one, is also a great way to escape heat. You’ll be up, up and away, and the Panau military will never catch you.
How Not to Escape Heat
Cars often don’t work because of two things. One is that most cars which are readily available are extremely slow, so unless you already have a decent, fast car in mind you’ll have a hard time outrunning the Panau military jeeps. The other problem is that new jeeps seem to constantly spawn ahead of you. Even if you shake your immediate pursuers you’ll run across another, new military jeep before you heat level wears off, and then it starts all over again.
Boats are also usually terrible with the exception of a few speedboats. The Panau military boats are common and fairly quick. Helicopters can also easily track you on open waters. Worse, there is no cover if you do need to abandon ship. Avoid the high seas as much as possible when you’re being pursued.
Fighting on Foot
Just Cause 2 doesn’t have a cover system of any form. Rico is basically just hanging out whenever he is in a gun-fight, free to be shot from any angle. And he does end up being shot at from many angles.
Fighting on foot against the Panau military requires caution and bravado. Caution must be used to make sure that Rico doesn’t end up in a situation where he is surrounded, which is surprisingly easy. But bravado must also be used because Just Cause 2 isn’t a game about accuracy. If Rico is firing, he should also be on the moved. Charging from one building to the next with two sub-machineguns blazing is what Rico is all about.
Remember your grappling hook. Not only as a means of escape, but also as a means of offense. You can do all sorts of crazy things, such as tying enemies to the ceiling and to each other.
Fighting against military jeeps is surprisingly easy. Rico has many tools available for taking them out.
One tool is the grappling hook itself. Want to make a jeep flip? Grapple it and then grapple a tree. When the jeep comes to the end of its cable it will suddenly flip upwards and then back towards the tree. You can also tie two military jeeps together so that they collide, or you can shoot the tire of a moving military jeep to make it flip.
You should also get used to surfing vehicles. Unless you are on a bike you’re defenseless when driving. In order to defense yourself you’ll need to stunt jump out of the car and onto the roof. The vehicle will keep moving forward, however. Practice jumping on top of your vehicle, popping out the tires of enemy vehicles, and jumping back in.
Panau military helicopters can be a huge pain in the butt, but they’re pretty easy to deal with. No special weapons required. Just hook it with your grappling hook and glide up to the chopper’s underbelly. Kill the passenger of the chopper, who will shoot with you, and then enter the chopper and complete to quicktime event to take over the chopper. You can then pilot the chopper or simply get out, which will cause the chopper to crash.
You can also deal with military helicopters by hooking them to things. They will still fly and will shoot at you, but they won’t be able to chase you.
If you do take over a helicopter, you’ll find that the Panau military will soon deploy more helicopters to chase you. Running from them works fine, but if you want to or have to fight you are best taking the high road. Increase your helicopter’s altitude and fire from above. It seems that the military isn’t very good at shooting up. In 90% of cases you can take out a military chopper with your own chopper’s machineguns without any return fire if you are firing from above.
This post is part of the series: Just Cause 2 Guide
- Just Cause 2 Xbox 360 Missions Guide: Another Escort Mission?
- Dual-Wielding SMGs for Fun & Profit in Just Cause 2
- Just Cause 2 Guide: Vehicle List
- Just Cause 2 Xbox 360 Guide: General Strategy