Sunday, 20 January 2019

Just Cause 4 ★★★☆☆

Just Cause 4 is the latest open world game from Square Enix, a series that has been known for its over-the-top hilarity and action-packed fun. Rico Rodriguez cannot seem to stop himself from getting tangled up in resistance movements, this time around fighting against the latest group of enemies, The Black Hand. There’s not really anything new story-wise, with a very similar structure to other games in the series – instead, the developers have focused more on the gameplay that we all know and love, and the performance of the game that has greatly increased since the last one.

At its core, Just Cause 4 is very iterative in terms of gameplay and, if you played 3, you’ll know exactly what to expect. Rico still has wingsuit to fly around and his trusty grappling hook that provides some great fun, from grappling people together to tethering them to explosive canisters which lead to a rather exciting end for them. Of course this can become slightly dull over the course of the game if you have played the previous entries, however, there are some new weather systems that have been added, such as tornadoes and lightning storms, which certainly liven it up a bit. I’ve found the tornadoes to be the most entertaining due to some adrenaline-inducing flight sequences (unfortunately ending up in my demise most of the time), but it does add something a combat system that is becoming slightly stale otherwise.

There’s one other new feature as well, which is that you can now modify your grappling hook with features such as the grapple balloon (straight out of ‘Metal Gear Solid’) which can lift objects up in the environment, and these can be switched between on the fly.

As mentioned before, performance has now improved, stepping away from the insufferable frame rate issues of ‘Just Cause 3’. You can tell that a lot of effort has been put into improving this as I’ve experienced a little issue with it and thankfully not much has had to be sacrificed, which is surprising given the map size and detail within the game. The graphics are stunning, especially the beautiful vistas that we can view from a height.

I’d say this is more of a ‘Just Cause 3.5’ than a ‘Just Cause 4’, an issue I’ve seen in a few games like Call of Duty and FIFA where they are more iterative than innovative. Even with the additions described, it doesn’t quite make enough meaningful changes to distinguish itself from the others within the series, leading to the gameplay and storyline feeling too familiar at points. Although it’s still fun for the first 20 hours or so, what I really want to see from the next one is something different – it does what it does well, but its repetitive nature is the one thing really holding it back. 

Hannah Read

Just Cause 4 at CeX

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