Just Cause 3 on PS4
Just Cause 3 is an interesting thing. Here is a game with a story to tell, one about tyranny and injustice in a country far removed from the rest of the world. A country that Rico Rodriguez, the series’ protagonist, calls home. At the same time that this is all going on, there is tons of mayhem that a wayward mercenary can get into. That creates an issue of balance that games have struggled to deal with for a long time. The question is, does Just Cause 3 ever resolve that balance? The answer is, kind of.
As soon as you begin the game, you’re thrust into an exciting mission that involves you standing on top of an airplane while firing rockets at missile placements. Things naturally go south as you’re hurled to the ground where you must break your fall using your slick parachute and grappling hook skills before taking to the ground to ward off military forces. This is how players are introduced to the campaign and world of Just Cause 3. No long introductions, no need to explain what’s happening, just get in there and shoot and eventually you’ll figure out why you’re shooting.
Pretty much all of the missions play out this way, too. Rico will make his way to a location, speak to his contact, then wreak some well-organized havoc on the unsuspecting enemy forces found in whatever place you need to get to. There are story bits cast in to keep it all glued together, but it doesn’t ever get in the way of the gameplay. It’s an interesting way of keeping the player in control as much as possible, and the developers did a good job of making the characters entertaining so that when you do have control stripped away, you can get a few laughs.
One major issue, though, is the loading. Just Cause 3 has some seriously long load times every now and then. The fact that it isn’t consistent is what makes it even more frustrating. You may trigger a mission and be subjected to a 30 second load time, only to restart that same mission and have to wait five minutes for it to load up. This occurs when you trigger a challenge, die, and fast travel. At times, it seemed as if the game froze for minutes on end and led to me dreading load screens.
Luckily, when loading does eventually come to an end you’re greeted by some of the most unadulterated fun gameplay released this year. Just Cause 3 is a third-person action game that does its best to let players do anything their hearts desire, as long as that anything has to do with explosive chaos. Destruction is not something that should be limited. There is no one way to destroy a vehicle, and the same holds true for buildings and other tall things. That’s where Just Cause 3’s method of fun comes in. The game tells you what to do in certain instances, but it doesn’t force your hand.
Causing a myriad of explosions, pulling off impossible vehicular feats, and tethering literally everything together (if you haven’t used a cow to knock out a soldier, you just haven’t lived) is unquestionable fun. Figuring out creative ways to go about breaking down a military encampment that could simply be taken out with a rocket launcher allows the player to put their own touch on the adventure. Want to use varying weapons? Go right ahead. Want to go through it all using nothing but your grappling hook and your fists? Suit yourself. It’s the moments where anything can happen (usually with explosive results) that make Just Cause 3 what it is, and that’s just a game where things explode in magnificent ways.