Just Cause 2
Rico's relentless over-the-top approach to creating chaos and destroying enemy morale helps keep this game from getting stale
- Missions are action packed, grappling hook and parachute combo is outstanding, memorable stunts and action
- Mission structure is poorly executed, useless Black Market and upgrade system, not a lot of variety for an open-world title, terrible story and characters
While its insane stunts and action-packed firefights ooze their own brand of explosive charm, Just Cause 2 falls victim to an unwieldy mission structure and unfortunate lack of variety.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
The term "open-world" is used far too liberally these days. It's used to describe almost any game that allows players to decide their own progression path within a wide-open area. Just Cause 2 is ostensibly an "open-world" game but that's an incredibly ill-fitting description for what is a very linear experience. Yes, you can explore any part of the multi-islanded region that comprises the game world, but the missions in Just Cause 2 are so rigidly structured that the "sandbox" nature of the campaign comes across as nothing more than an obvious attempt to artificially lengthen the heavy-handed storyline.
In order to unlock missions, players must create chaos throughout the military controlled region of Panau; once a set amount of chaos has been created, CIA operative Rico Rodriguez, who returns from the first title, can take on missions for any of the game's three rebel factions or the Agency itself (the latter progresses the game's story while the former act as mandatory experience missions). This is fairly standard practice in these types of games -- Red Faction Guerrilla, for example, forced you to lower the "control" that the enemy EDF had over a region before you could unlock specific missions-but it doesn't work the way it should in Just Cause 2: there's plenty of fun to be had when you're out sewing dissent but the gameplay in-between missions gets extremely tiresome.
More than a few times throughout the campaign I came just shy of maxing out the game's "Chaos meters," which unlock new missions. The only way to progress the campaign was to randomly destroy military areas until the game deemed me worthy to continue on with the main story. Just Cause 2 has some fantastic moments of chaos, but forcing you to engage in random attacks is an unnecessary chore. And once the main campaign is over-it took me about eighteen hours from start to finish -- there isn't much else to do other than explore the world for hidden collectibles.
Also exasperating is the fact that you face off against the same handful of enemy types throughout the game; these range from lightly-armoured soldiers to Colonels padded out in armour like the Michelin Man. Sadly, every enemy is capable of soaking up bullets like a sponge; the only reliable way to kill them off is with a well-placed headshot. While the game makes plenty of weaponry available, none of the guns in Rico's arsenal does any real damage. Some of the guns are so weak that the message isn't "Die!" but rather, "If it isn't too much trouble, could you lie down and expire at your earliest convenience?" There is also a "Heat Level" which rises depending on how much havoc you cause -- as it increases, enemies grow stronger and become tougher to dispatch -- but the system doesn't do a good job of dynamically scaling the overall difficulty; the game also features the outmoded "monster closet," meaning enemies will literally appear out of thin air. Worse, the game doesn't try very hard to disguise this fact, which makes it all the more glaring.
Flaws aside, the combat in Just Cause 2 can be intense and fun. Explosions beautifully paint the sky with the proper force and vigour you'd expect, even if enemy installations all consist of the same destroyable objects. Utilising Rico's grappling hook I was able to tether enemies to moving vehicles in the land, sea, and air; you can also attach baddies to propane tanks and send them flying through the sky or pin speeding cars to the ground. Playing with the grappling hook is the best part of Just Cause 2 because it unlocks a slew of creative ways to devastate enemy forces.
There is also a Black Market in the game run by a shady character named the Sloth Demon. You can purchase new weaponry and vehicles from the arms dealer, or you can shell out cash to be quickly transported around the islands when you don't feel like taking the long way. But the Black Market isn't a particularly useful feature because ammo and vehicles are so plentiful that spending cash on new gear and upgrades is wholly unnecessary. Rico also begins each mission with the gear best suited for the upcoming task anyway, so it's a little confusing as to why you would even bother to go shopping; you can purchase special (and much better) weapons from the Black Market but once you expend the ammo, your only recourse is to purchase each weapon again for the full purchase price. It's an expensive and unnecessary limitation, especially for a game that revels in ridiculous antics; you'd think they'd want to encourage the use of such armaments rather than make it so prohibitive.
I also experienced a handful of glitches during my time with Just Cause 2. In one faction mission, I was told to attack an oil tanker until a damage meter had maxed out; however, the game failed to register some of the destruction and it was only after I reloaded a previous save that the issue was resolved. Later, during the last boss battle I passed through a solid wall and "fell out" of the world geometry, which necessitated a restart. None of these bugs are deal breakers and I was playing a review build, but it was annoying to say the least.
Rico's relentless over-the-top approach to creating chaos and destroying enemy morale does keep the game from getting stale, even in the wake of flaws and glitches, but the linear storyline and some flawed game design choices keep it from being anything more than a mildly interesting diversion that won't fully fill the void left behind by superior titles like Red Faction Guerrilla and Grand Theft Auto IV. Just Cause 2 does have its moments, and it has enough swagger to entertain for short stretches, but there isn't a grappling hook long enough to elevate it to the heights reserved for the best titles in the genre.
Join the newsletter!
Apple iPhone X
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
cloudandco Smart Cane
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Bose SoundLink Micro
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Xbox One X
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- Australian Destroyer joins in World of Warships
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Nintendo Switch software update: What does 4.0.0 feature and how to install it?
- Robot House announce vacuum-bot adventure game ahead of PAX Australia
- Wargaming launches ANZ servers for World of Tanks
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- PC World 2017 Editors' Choice Awards Nomineees Announced
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTSenior Network Engineer - Incident & OperationsOther
- TPSenior Project AnalystVIC
- FTiOS DeveloperWA
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Digital AdviceOther
- FTAnalyst ProgrammerOther
- FTScrum MasterOther
- FTBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCAutomation Test AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Test Analyst - SiebelACT
- CCNetwork Data EngineerWA
- FTCyber Security Threat Management SpecialistOther
- FTSecurity Business Analyst - $850 per dayOther
- CCMiddleware Developer - IBM WebsphereQLD
- FTDevOps EngineerOther
- FTBroker Support/ Applications SupportOther
- CCReporting AnalystNSW
- FTScrum Master - Digital / Marketing - CBAOther
- CCNetwork Data EngineerNSW
- CCControl Systems SpecialistACT
- TPCommunications & Change AnalystQLD
- FTSolution Designer/ Architect | 6mth ContractOther
- FTSenior Wintel EngineerACT
- TPBusiness Consultant - Dynamics CRMWA
- FTNetwork ArchitectOther