Loud Noises! Explosions! Ridiculous over the top weaponry! Flying tanks! No, it’s not the latest Michael Bay blockbuster, but Just Cause 4, and it’s coming to a screen near you this December. We’ve already seen a few sneaky peeks of the game over recent weeks, but now developer Avalanche Studios has released a 20 minute gameplay demo, showing us just what we can expect from the next installment in the bombastic franchise.
We saw the extreme weather events in an earlier reveal, showing what destruction a tornado can do and how it impacts on the gameplay. The game’s addition of wind also means that you can perform fancy tricks in the air using your wingsuit, or just use it to get a boost of speed or altitude whilst zooming around the skies of Solis, the fictional South American country that the latest game is set in.
Wind isn’t the only force of nature that's competing with Rico in terms of damage caused, and in this latest show-and-tell, we got an idea of how lightning storms will work. Lightning rods will now form a part of your arsenal, meaning that you can attach them to ignitable objects and let nature create the blast for you. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a new “wing gun”, which can be used in the air for propulsion, or it can be turned up to full power and turned on enemies and objects in the game in a manner not that dissimilar to Half-Life 2’s gravity gun.
Another new feature is tether customisation. We’ve seen some incremental upgrades to this signature weapon throughout the series so far, but this is the biggest enhancement yet. I was a big fan of the upgrades in the last game, where we were treated to multiple tethers and a double ended retractable tether, giving us the ability to tether two people and pull them together whilst screaming “YOU TWO SHOULD KISS!” (Oh come on, we all did it). This time round, those additions are back, but we also get a whole host of optional upgrades to the tether, with the ability to use even more tethers simultaneously, and a bunch of different things that Rico can attach in order to cause damage in the most over the top way. My personal favourite was the ability to attach helium balloons to things and make them fly. Examples of this were shown in the form of launching a flaming propane container skyward, and driving a tank in mid air whilst shooting at enemies on the ground. Yes, we are getting actual flying tanks in Just Cause 4, and I don’t know about you but I can’t wait.
Those new upgrades to the tether can be setup in a custom loadout, with everything just the way you want it. You can then switch between loadouts on the fly, enabling you to pick the best setup for every particular fight. There are literally thousands of different combinations, making the gameplay experience hugely varied for every player. One of the things that we’ve seen over the years in this series is players messing around with the objects and weapons at their disposal to come up with creative ways to cause chaos, and this clearly hasn’t gone unnoticed by the developers. We can expect Just Cause 4 to have more creative ways to make charred corpses than ever.
Thinking of causing chaos, that mechanic is back, and it’s used for more than just online leaderboards this time. With this mission being the most challenging yet for Rico, he will need an army to take down the oppressive government that he’s fighting against. In order to recruit for the army, you’ll need chaos points. Turns out that the people of Solis quite like explosions, flying debris, and everything around them being on fire, so partaking in actions resulting in such things will convince them to join your army. Well, either that or seeing the damage you can cause makes them decide it’s better to be with you than against you, who knows.
The world of Just Cause has always been pretty and this is no exception. Once again we’re treated to lush graphics at UHD resolution for those with the equipment to support them. This time round, we’re not on an island, so the terrain is just a pretty as before, but Avalanche has stated that this is the most varied environment that we’ve yet seen. With lush forests, desert land, sand dunes and everything in between, it’s an ever-changing landscape throughout. This extends beyond the visuals though, with physics affected as well. Driving on sand will feel completely different to driving on roads, and the improved fluid physics makes water behave more realistically as well as looking more lifelike.
So far, Just Cause 4 seems to be shaping up to be the best entry in the series yet. It’s more of the same winning formula but with a little added hot sauce to give it a kick. Sure, it might not be winning any new fans by going in a bold new direction, but if you want more mindless destruction with our favourite freedom fighter then there’s no doubt that you’ll be looking forward to the 4th of December as much as us.