Just Cause 2

In between doing all sorts of daft shit in World of Warcraft, I’ve finally managed to get stuck into Just Cause 2.

Just Cause 2 is a game in which the following things are guaranteed to happen (and not necessarily in this order):

  • You see a car go past, and with one button press your character leaps magnificently from the road to the bonnet of the car, which lets you shoot at your pursuers whilst moving away from them at speed.
  • An ememy soldier is shooting at you, whilst stood next to a gas canister. You tie the soldier to the gas canister, put a bullet in the canister, and giggle as the canister rockets into the air with the hapless soldier in tow.
  • Whilst systematically demolishing an army barracks, an enemy helicopter is sent to shoot you down. You grappling hook your way to the underside of the helicopter, flip onto the front of the windscreen (whilst shooting the gunner on the side of the ‘copter), smash the pilot’s face into the dashboard, throw him out, get behind the controls (all this while the ‘copter is still moving forwards), and then use the ‘copter’s guns to finish demolishing the barracks.
  • You’re driving a car, and there are enemy jeeps following you. In those jeeps are gunners, hanging out the sides and shooting at you.  You need to stop the jeeps without slowing down. You jump out of your car and land on the roof of your car, which is still driving in the direction it was pointed at, and at the same speed. You use your grappling hook to tie one of the jeeps to the road. It follows for a short while until the grappling hook rope goes taut, and the jeep gets tugged backwards. The other jeep that was following ploughs straight into the side of the first jeep, and falls off the cliff on the other side of the road. You climb back into your (still speeding) car and drive away.
  • You’re at one end of the game world, on a long empty beach. You want to go to the other side of the world to see what is there. You call your mate up, who owns a really big helicopter, and buy a little jet off him. He delivers it to you, right there on the beach in front of you. You get in the jet and use the long stretch of beach as a runway and fly to the other side of the world, parachuting down to your next target.
  • You’re at one side of a massive mountain, and your target is on the other side. You jump into the air and get your parachute out, and use your grappling hook to pull yourself forwards whilst using the parachute to gain altitude. You repeat this all the way up the side of a miles-tall mountain until you cross the peak, and leisurely float down to your target.
  • You are on an oil rig in the middle of the sea. Whilst trying to detonate the bastard, the game keeps spawning tons of enemy soldiers, who shoot you. You use your grappling hook to tie all the soldiers to the side of the oil rig, where they just hang around looking grumpy. No more soldiers; you then proceed to blow the oil rig up.
  • You’ve arrived at a new enemy military installation, but this one has a runway about half a mile away from you. On that runway is a jet fighter, which is about to take off to turn around and blow you the fuck up. You need to stop this. Solution – fire your grappling hook at the jet just as it’s thrusters kick in. Grapple your way to the cockpit, whilst it is taking off, and throw the pilot out. Get in the cockpit, turn the plane round, and blow the fuck out of the installation.
  • You are attacking yet another enemy installation, and you realise you are bored of attacking enemy installations. This installation is on the side of a mountain. In front of you is a big troop carrier truck. You get in the truck, aim for the side of the mountain, and floor it. As you go over the side, the camera zooms out and shows the truck hurtling to impending death below. You get previously unknown “stunt points” for doing this, and as you think “ooh I’m doing that again!”, you realise the ground (which was previously miles away) is now hurtling towards the truck you are in. You quickly jump out the side of the truck and deploy your parachute, casually drifting away from the massive explosion that occurs behind you.

I’ve been trying to think of a game which this is similar to, and the only one I can think of is Crackdown on the Xbox 360. You get the same feeling of freedom, the same ability to propel your character across the map at ridiculous speeds, and the same ability to blow the fuck out of everything at any given moment. Just Cause 2 has more though. More of everything. It’s a game that gives you tons of toys to play with (and pretty much straight away, too), it demands you experiment with them, and it recognises when you do something creative or clever. It’s a game which looks nothing like a toybox, but that’s exactly what it is. And it is fucking huge too, so you can always go exploring when you get bored.

Recommendation – A few reviews recommended that the game should be played on “easy” to get the most out of it. Having tried it on medium, I definitely agree.

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