PS3 Review – Just Cause 2

March 28, 2010Written by Josh Fernandes

At any point during the game, even during missions, you can access the Black Market. Just call in a helicopter to resupply you with ammo and vehicles. There are roughly a dozen different guns and vehicles available for purchase. Black Market items are bought with actual money, that you will amass in addition to chaos points throughout the game. As long as you are not in the middle of a mission, you can order an extraction. This will take you to any location previously visited, which is very handy, especially since the island of Panau is gigantic.

To call Just Cause 2 big is an understatement, the explorable are is one of the biggest in a video game. The Island of Panau is littered with civilian cities, bases, harbors, airports and variety of unique locations. In total, there are 368 locations for you to discover. Every location contains destructible property and collectibles. Collectibles consist of weapon parts, vehicle parts, armor parts and cash boxes. Parts are used to upgrade your Black Market vehicles and weapons. Armor parts increase your maximum health. Cash boxes are appropriately named since they are boxes with cash in them. If you manage to find all collectibles and destroy all government properties in a location, you will receive a cash and chaos bonus. Which makes a good incentive to be thorough in as many locations as possible.

Understandably 368 locations sounds like an unrealistically high amount of places to travel to. Getting around the island of Panau is fairly painless. Using your parachute, you can grapple hook to pull yourself along the ground to increase the lift. This allows traversal of large distances quickly. There are about a dozen conveniently located airports scattered around the map. Wherever you are, it doesn’t take very long to get to an airport and find an airplane. Once airborne most places are accessible in minutes. Planes are also available from the black market if you don’t mind paying for it, or just use extraction to take you to your destination. I didn’t find extraction very necessary, getting around the map with planes and parachutes is a fun way to travel.

The grappling hook is a major feature of the Just Cause 2. Grapple hook to just about anything in the world. Grapple to the side of buildings and you will hang there until you let go. Grappling to cars will automatically put you on the roof, while grappling onto helicopters will hang you from the bottom. Feel free to hijack the vehicle after a short quick time event. But wait – it doesn’t stop there as you can also grapple two items together. A person grappled to a car will allow you to drag them. Grapple them to a gas tank, then shoot it and watch the person fly away. Cars attach to helicopters and once two items are grappled together, a tap the grapple button will cause them to disengage. This is a useful strategy, strapping an explosive barrel to a helicopter, flying over a target, and then releasing the barrel on some unsuspecting fools.

This title is not without a few hiccups. All of the characters have their own unique accents, but sometimes the voice actors mysteriously drop their accent. It happens a lot more than it should, with characters being so ridiculous, it’s very noticeable. Occasionally texture pop-in happens, Rico will sometimes clip into the ground after falling from an explosion. Considering the map size and draw distance, these issues don’t detract from the fun of the gameplay.

Just Cause 2 has a ton of great content, the main story took me 16 hours with only 27% of the game completed. Anyone who wants to find every collectible in the game is going to be busy for a while. Someone who wants to just play through the main story line won’t be disappointed either. The game is a good length and the sheer vastness of everything keeps things fresh and interesting throughout the story. Missions never get stale and different locations will require a variety of approaches and strategies. Just Cause 2 is a must play for any action fan and not just those that enjoy open world games.

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PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Huge, Immersive world

Fun Mission Variety

Intense Action and Gunplay

9 out of 10

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