E3 2015 – Just Cause 3 Preview: Tools of Destruction

I loved the freedom for destruction in Just Cause 2. It was one of my favorite open world games because of the simple ability to traverse the environment with ease, and of course the ability to destroy nearly everything you set your eyes on. Just Cause 3 expands on its predecessor, taking everything that was great about Just Cause 2 and giving the player even more. 

You now have multiple tethers at your disposal, and they can be retracted on command. So tether two objects together, or better yet, tether multiple objects to a single object and then retract them all for a massive show of chaos and destruction. This added versatility with the tethers opens up the options for creative ways that players can destroy the environment. Oh, and did I mention unlimited C4? Yeah, that’s right, imagine having an endless supply of C4 and a slew of tethers. These two tools alone are proponents of mass destruction, but that’s not where it stops. 

Upping the Arsenal

Rico has an array of vehicles at his disposal, from land, to air, to sea. He can also use his wingsuit and parachute to rapidly move around the island using the grapples to pull himself along. The theater-style presentation we had was fun, bringing us up on an objective and then asking the crowd to vote for how to cause the most damage. You have to take down a statue of a dictator. Do you use your unlimited C4 to blow the statue to hell? Do you drive a car into the base of it to bring it crashing down? Do you tether his hand to his face, and then activate the tether to perform a move that Avalanche calls “Stop Hitting Yourself?” The goal here is to get a reaction and to keep players saying “OMG,” “WTF,” or just plain laughing hysterically no matter which over-the-top method of destruction they come up with.

Just Cause 3

These options that were presented to us, while certainly crazy and insane, in no way reflect a limitation on how you can destroy the statue, or anything else for that matter. In classic Just Cause 2 fashion, you could tether your cable to the statue and the back of your car and drive off. Or you could use the updates to tether a bunch of surrounding cars to the statue, plant C4 on each of them, set everything off, and watch what could be the most spectacular explosions and destruction effects we’ve seen in video games. 

Real-World Physics

In fact, it’s not just the destruction or variety that is impressive about Just Cause 3, but also how everything is based in semi-realistic physics. Destruction of objects looks natural, as bridges and watchtowers crumble, breaking down at the weakest points in their structural integrity and creating a large cloud of dust. Avalanche wants players to blow up their world, and they say that everything is sight is destructible. Even that field of sunflowers will bend and break realistically if you drive through it, or otherwise send shrapnel careening through the beautiful scene. 

The world is designed to break, and from what I was able to see, conveniently placed explosives and buildings can set off chain reactions that would make Michael Bay look like he was just lighting firecrackers. There is a story hidden somewhere beneath this swath of destruction, to give Rico a reason to be there and blowing up everything in sight, but it sounds like it’s your classic “take down the evil dictator” excuse to rain mayhem down on the island. After seeing Rico in action, I can’t wait to see what else I can pull off when Just Cause 3 releases later this year.