Just Cause Hands-On Preview

The man of the hour is Rico Rodriguez, and that’s probably not his real name. Rico stars in the upcoming game (for many consoles) called Just Cause. He’s a top secret operative, secret agent, action hero and more. To catch everyone up, Just Cause is an over-the-top game that makes previous over-the-top games seem under-the-bottom. At its core it’s just a third person shooter with multiple modes of transportation and game play; its own twisted sense of humor and excessive action puts it above the competition. With car chases, explosions galore, skydiving and miles of wide open spaces to do it all in, this could be worth looking into.

As stated earlier, you are Rico Rodriguez, who is reminiscent of several action stars rolled into one human being. That being said, he’s really not that interesting of a guy – its more about what you can do with him that makes this game interesting. This, apparently, is the manliest man ever, as nothing – not even the most dangerous stunts in the world – seems to faze him. But before I go on about that, let’s talk about the beautiful island setting where this all takes place. The developers at Avalanche have worked hard to put over 250,000 acres of playing field here. No, no, you read that right: 250…THOUSAND acres. Yeah, the playing field is big, and your ways to traverse it range from airplanes, cars, jeeps, helicopters, and para-sailing. No joke. With the multiple styles of play and lush island settings, the closest approximation I can make is Grand Theft Auto meets FarCry.

To be more specific, you are dropped on this island paradise and immediately forced into action. While running around in a third person perspective, you’re immediately required to skydive onto a moving car, then disable the car and kill the man inside. One thing that impressed me is that you don’t necessarily have to go about it in this fashion; the game is pretty open ended. After mangling the parachute landing, I ended up far short of the targeted vehicle, but in GTA fashion, I stole a motorcycle and chased the enemy down, then leaped to his vehicle to get back on track. Couple this with a graphics engine that makes Grand Theft Auto look like the previous-gen title that it is, and you’ve got a feel for this game. 

I’m not sure how long this game will go on, but for a large portion of the demo you’re constantly being shot at by a seemingly endless horde of machine gun wielding maniacs, and while very few hits actually land on you, its so much overload that its hard to focus on what you’re doing. Some of the controls feel sluggish or unresponsive, and I did notice some frame lag even on a top-of-the-line computer, so lets hope that they spend their final days before launch optimizing these small issues.

In most cases you take the devil-may-care and damn-the-consequences (read: action star) approach to almost everything. Whether you simply leap from your moving car, or climb onto the wing of the crashing plane just to skydive to your destination (or into another car), the sheer lunacy of the gameplay seems like it can carry this title to some sort of cult status. With the PC and Xbox 360 demos recently available – and the game slated for release at the end of this month – you won’t have to wait a very long time to see whether or not this game about action hype is worth any hype at all.

However, as I make Rico jump from a plane through a massive explosion and land guns blazing, I can say that I am looking forward to it.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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