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Just Cause 3 - gamescom Preview

Just Cause 3 - gamescom Preview

As the warm afternoon sun beats down over the majestic Mediterranean, each imperfection of the surface is picked up, resembling a perfect sky of infinite stars. Long shadows spread across the surrounding area of Medici as a small flock of seafaring birds flies overhead and as you look to the distance, a heavily-armed military base receives yet another delivery of troops and weaponry. Rico, a man scorned by the malevolent dictatorship of General Di Ravello, takes it upon himself to stop the poverty, fascism and media control, all created from the mad man’s evil actions. With a flick of his wrist, a grappling hook extends to a nearby cliff face, and Rico is propelled into the air before opening his wingsuit, gliding up and down as currents change, before opening his parachute high above the base and letting hell rain down in the form of RPG ammunition.

That is what happened during my first few minutes of Just Cause 3, Square Enix’s most recent outing with adrenaline junkie-come-mercenary Rico Rodriguez, and it’s barely even scratching the surface of the shenanigans you can get up to in Medici, a fictional Mediterranean-inspired nation. The game as a whole was best described to me by developers, who said they wanted Just Cause 3 to be like “BBC Earth, with machine guns”, or like a combination of The Expendables and The Fast & Furious where everything seems “ridiculous out of context” and with just a small glimpse into the world Square Enix have created, those quotes have much more significance than cheesy soundbites.


Moments of sheer beauty; fields of sunflowers, terracotta buildings and village farms, can in an instant be turned into a scene from a Michael Bay film. Imagine a game created by an enthusiastic eight year-old boy, scribbled in the back of a school book and that’s what Just Cause 3 is, in the best possible way. Want to grapple onto a helicopter circling overhead? Be my guest. Add nitro to an over-worked rusty tractor and jump over an exploding petrol station? Why not. Steal a tank and blow up *everything*? Great plan. Nothing is out of the question when it comes to Just Cause 3 and in fact, Square Enix encourage the more obscene and outrageous. The side missions and challenges, additional trinkets aside from the main story mission, offer a break from the narrative, but also allow you to cause carnage and get rewarded for it through weapon upgrades and new vehicles.

The two side missions on display at gamescom were the wingsuit challenge and RPG frenzy, polar opposites in terms of gameplay and insanity, but both equally enjoyable, balancing engaging gameplay and one of the most diverse, destructible game worlds to date. The wingsuit challenge sees you jump from a helicopter and attempt to fly through a number of rings, all the way to terra firma. It doesn’t just stop at that though, there isn’t just one course of rings to fly through, the sky is abundant of rings, so you can make up a course that suits you best in order to get the highest score. Flying centrally through the rings grants you a greater score than flying through at the edge and as the rings get lower,  you are rewarded as you get closer to the ground.


Of the two, RPG frenzy is much more ‘Just Cause'. Cause as much chaos and damage to a set area within a time limit, the more inventive, the better, as a greater score means greater rewards. The demo on show took place in a small military outpost, armed with your RPG and any number of tanks, helicopters or jeeps you can let release your inner Expendable, unloading round after round of ammunition. Huge satellite dishes collapse, wiping out fuel depots, generators short circuit and sparks rain down from lights; everything is totted up in the most satisfying gameplay points haul you’ll come across.  All objects react differently to how they are attacked, and it’s the perfect opportunity to see the new destruction mechanic in it’s flame filled glory.

Aside from the chaos of RPG frenzy and the beauty of free falling through the skies of Medici, Just Cause 3 offers a compelling narrative as rebels try to dethrone the mad dictator and regain their freedom. It’s a story that is fine for both returning fans and newcomers to the series; the narrative is isolated from the first two editions though there will be subtle hints to past games, with returning characters and themes as well as what I’m told will be “a number of easter eggs”. Every mission welcomes the sandbox of Medici with open arms; a hugely impressive feat means that all can be tackled in a number of ways; from the air, the ground, with vehicles, on foot, or my personal favourite, hanging from a fighter jet while using an RPG!


By the time Just Cause 3 comes out, it will be yet another vast, open world game to add to the list of what has made 2015 both a joy and burden to gamers. This could have a negative effect for Just Cause as open-world fatigue may well be in full flow at this point. In Just Cause’s defense it’s not exactly a high-fantasy RPG or 400-hour campaign with hundreds of dialogue choices; it’s a tongue-in-cheek nod to action movies and shooters, and for better or worse, it’s exhaustingly entertaining.

Just Cause 3 will be released on 1st December of PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.


gamescom 2015
Dom D'Angelillo

Dom D'Angelillo

Staff Writer

Dom is an English Language graduate. How does he make the most of his degree? He plays obscene amounts of Playstation of course!

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