Just Cause 3

[Review] - Just Cause 3, the sequel to Just Cause 2, and Grandchild of Just Cause. Modern technology should make for a super kick-ass sequel, right?
The Details
  • Title: Just Cause 3
  • Web: Official Site
  • Developer: Avalanche Studios
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Released: 1 December, 2015
  •  
  • Platforms: PC XBox One PS4
  • Reviewed On: XBox One

I loved Just Cause 2. It’s that simply. It was a great game that you could just sit back, relax and blow some oppressive government forces to smithereens in. Every now and then, I’d accidentally stumble into a mission, which was, for the most part, fun. 

So, needless to say, I was excited for Just Cause 3, anxiously anticipating more of the addictive, explosive action that the second game brought me. Now, this review is quite obviously late, as all of our reviews are here in the corner, but I have owned Just Cause 3 since release date and have waited until now to allow fair time for patches and such things, you’ll understand why later on.

Just Cause 3 starts off in a similar vane to the previous title, being dropped straight into the action. And make no mistake, Just Cause 3 is full of action. Bullets fly, things explode and debris flies past you as you march onward’s towards your first objective. This is one of the most entertaining parts I’ve played of the game (I’ve not completed it, as I’m not suicidal). But the fun is rather quickly bought to an end. I quickly noticed that something was missing in this new endeavour, something I found extremely useful, something that I used on a regular basis in the previous game. Rico has apparently forgotten how to perform his combat roll. That quick little manoeuvre saved my neck more times than I can remember, it was useful. But the developers obviously decided it wasn’t needed. This is were my bitter disappointment began.

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KABOOOM!!!

 

Onward’s I ploughed, shooting many men, women and children to their bitter graves (okay, not children, but there were some women. Score 1 point for equal rights in the oppressive military). During this fray came my next, gut-wrenching discovery; Rico had forgotten how to do something else extremely useful, he’d forgotten how to crouch. No more can Rico hide behind walls and boxes, taking some time to catch his breath in the midst of the “chaos”. No, Rico is clearly suffering from Amnesia or Dementia or some other horrendous, mind debilitating disease.

It doesn’t end there either, for some reason he can no longer use his notorious sticky bombs without first equipping them. Oh no, you want to pop one down? Well, first you better put that gun away young man! Oh, you want to drop one whilst flying through the air in your parachute? Tough luck. You want to throw one at that tank over their and watch it explode and take out all those gits shooting at you?? Think again, pal. Rico can’t simply drop those bombs anymore, or throw them, oh no, you have to stop still, aim at some flat surface within arms reach and then plant them. It’s a slow, boring process that is, once again, a step backwards from the previous game. Oh, and if you perform another action whilst you have your C4 equipped, Rico puts it away and gets his gun out, yeah, you can’t even plan a sneak C4 attack via zip-line.

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Tether! Zip! WHOOSSHH!! Death!!

 

Playing Just Cause 3 feels like a chore, it feels as though your being punished at every step for wanting to enjoy yourself. They seem to have taken everything that made the first game fun and just stripped it from it. Why? I have no idea, but this game is far from being the mind numbingly fun game that Just Cause 2 was.

The only significant addition to this new iteration is the wing-suit, and I’ll be honest, it isn’t that great. Controlling Rico whilst he’s using the wing-suit is okay, but it’s just a slightly faster version of the parachute, with the added con of being able to slap into objects at Mach 3 speeds, killing Rico instantly. It’s a fun little novelty for the first few runs, but after that, I struggled to find a use for it. You can’t do anything whilst flying in the wing-suit, it’s finicky when it comes to controlling it and, as above, if you hit something, it’s gonna hurt. Now imagine if you could drop some of that C4 whilst zooming past an enemy tank, it would be worth while using it, taking that added risk, but you can’t. The parachute is a safer, more versatile and more accurate way of traversing spaces. Though some missions will still insist that you use the wing-suit to do certain parts of it, which brings me to my next moan.

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The parachute, still the best form of transportation in the game.

 

The missions are boring. I mean, they’re tedious. They give you arbitrary goals, forcing you to complete some basic task in a stupid way that you don’t find fun at all. Why can’t I just take this tank I’ve got and blow the enemy up in it? No? Oh, I see, I have to leave this tank behind just ‘because’ and then fight it out on foot simply ‘because’. Why give me all this freedom just to pen me into a linear, boring checklist of mission requirements? Just say “go there, blow that crap up”. No need to make me do it whilst performing a hand-stand in a poor attempt at creating a “challenge”.

Also, escort missions. I mean, come on devs, have you learnt nothing from the past 2 decades of video games? Nobody, and I mean nobody, likes escort missions. They’re tedious, boring and your success in them relies on wonky AI that half the time can’t navigate a simple straight line. Again, it’s not fun, it’s rage inducing. And that’s about all I have to say about the missions in Just Cause 3. They honestly don’t deserve more than those few lines. They’re that bland and boring. I honestly think the mission design was left for an intern, it’s the only explanation. 

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Moar KABOOM! (Okay, i don’t have many pictures…)

 

Up next, the final deal breaker; performance. As stated above, I have this game on the XBox One, I’ve had it since release day, which was 9 months and 4 days ago at the time of me writing this. Upon its initial release it took an average of 17 minutes to load into the game. Yes, I timed it for the original review, but I postponed that review until now to allow for patches (because I’m nice). So, upon dying you was looking at no less than 15 minutes of loading. failed a mission? Wait 15 minutes for it to load. Well, you can see how frustrating that would get. So I decided to shelve it for a while, let the patches come, you know? Well, I picked it up again when the first major DLC was released, I mean, what sort of shitty company would make DLC for a game that doesn’t function, right?

The loading situation is better, I’ll give them that, it now loads in an average of 5 minutes, a massive improvement, but still abysmal. Now though, we have a new issue! The game runs at under 30 frames per second for the vast majority of the time. It’s noticeable (maybe because I’m a PC whore? I don’t know). But, if you start driving a mildly fast car, oh sweet Jesus, the FPS plummets down into the single digits. The game, quite literally turns into a slide show, not only that but the controls become unresponsive too. It’s magical! The same applies to fire fights that include more than one explosion.

Now then, think back to what I was saying earlier about the missions giving your random, annoying tasks and arbitrary ways to complete missions, yeah? Well, try completing one of the various vehicle based missions whilst the game runs at less than 15 FPS and whilst the controls don’t respond. Good luck with that buddy, because I found it more than impossible. None of this would be so bad if the devs acknowledged the issues and pledged to fix it. But they haven’t and it’s been 9 months since released. This isn’t acceptable for a beta, never mind a £50 Triple-A game. It’s a joke, a sick joke.

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Wing-suit! Yaaay! Though you’ll probably never use it…

 

Right, I’ve rambled enough, lets round this up. The game is worse in every single way possible from the previous game. The graphics are beautiful, but the game is an unplayable, buggy, un-optimised train-wreck. Putting it simply, this game isn’t worth your time or hard earned cash, not even for £5 in the bargain bin. Sorry, Avalanche, but you’ve dropped the ball here, and then took a massive dump on it and you don’t seem to want to clean it up.

Judgement
Pros:
  • It's quite stunning to look at.
  • There's lots to look at.
  • The explosions can be entertaining.
  • Tethering things together is amusing and deadly.
Cons:
  • Absolutely abysmal performance on the XBox One.
  • Missing character abilities that made the previous game fun.
  • Loading and saving issues still present.
  • Frequent crashes. Still.
  • Awkward controls that make no logical sense.
  • Automatic actions that can't be turned off often leave you frustrated and dead.
  • The story and 90% of the missions are a boring grind.
  • Upgrades can only be unlocked by grinding through boring side quests.
  • Annoying pop-up leader board notifications that cannot be turned off.
  • It's just no fun... At all.
  • It's sub-standard to the previous game in every way imaginable, except graphics.
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NaytoE
Web Master at CoupesCorner
Nathan is lumbered with all the technical stuff behind CoupesCorner. If stuff breaks, it's always someone else's fault, but he'll fix it, because he's a pretty awesome guy.

Nathan loves tactical shooters, RPG's and Bro-Ops games. Some all-time favourites of his are Black and White 2, Postal 2, the Rainbow Six series and Pokemon. He also loves playing guitar and fishing with his dad, when Lozzy isn't busy making him do stuff...
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