Just Cause 3 – Review


Just Cause 2 was one of those breakout games that just took everyone by surprise, effectively a huge open sandbox where the goal was to cause as much destruction as possible. Sure, there was apparently a point to it all but most of the time you blew it up… just ’cause? Horrible puns aside, it was a fantastic time sink that would have been near impossible to finish 100%. Fast forward a few years and low and behold we have a shiny new sequel, aptly named Just Cause 3.

The star of Just Cause 3 is our infallible hero Rico Rodriguez, and fresh from his holiday on the Island of Panau, he has come home to a Mediterranean paradise. Well, it’s a paradise for Rico because it is full of things to explode and helicopters to steal and towns to liberate. Sadly for the people of Medici, the Mediterranean chain of islands Rico calls home, their ruler is neither just or fair, in fact he’s a bit of a douche.

Lucky for Rico, his good pal Mario is part of a rebellion, whose only goal is to overthrow the evil Dictator Di Rivello. Now Mario and his pals gets points for effort, but their methods could probably do with a bit of a re-think. See, the rebels feel the best way to cast off the shackles of oppression is by.. well by getting Rico to blow it all up. Mario briefly mentions they will rebuild it, but to me – and remember I am not the leader of any sort of rebellion – wouldn’t it just be easier to just remove the bad men running these power plants and put nice people in their place? Nah, that would never work. Let’s blow it all up!


To help Rico blow everything up, he gets a few upgrades to his already impressive arsenal. Back is the magical parachute and grappling hook which result in you never needing to touch the ground, but to up the ante, and possibly appeal to the extreme sport enthusiasts, Rico gets a wingsuit which he can deploy pretty much anywhere. The addition of the wingsuit to an already extremely nimble Rico has him zipping about where ever you want him to go, because baby where we are going we dont need roads. Wingsuiting takes a bit getting used to, but once you have ploughed Rico’s face through enough Mediterranean soil, you’ll get the hang of it and be challenging the #1 wing suiter to their 10 minute 50 second record.

The tracking is also a new feature to Just Cause 3, where anything and everything you do in the game is tracked. Whether it be the longest time wingsuiting, or highest altitude climbed in a single parachute, or even number of enemies killed with a single grenade, Just Cause 3 tracks it all and rates you against friends and strangers. It’s a nice competitive addition to the game for those of us that just like to take the game to its full advantage.

The casual mantra behind Just Cause 3 is by far the game’s biggest strength. Sadly the story is very forgettable, the car driving mechanics are pretty terrible, you either get too much understeer or too much oversteer. The enemy AI is laughable, most of the time you can ignore them while you go about activating override switches to make reactors blow up, or lowering security gates to let your rebel brothers and sisters into a police station. In fact I think I am yet to die to enemy fire. Most of the time I go balls up a wingsuit grapple and grapple my face to the bitumen.


Please don’t feel that the previous paragraph was a damning statement on the game, the poor driving and terrible AI go hand-in-hand with a Just Cause game. Personally I think it adds to the charm, and it also helps strengthen the concept of Rico being an unstoppable grappling-hooked juggernaut of the rebellion. Jump onto the roof of a passing car and its driver will loudly exclaim “Oh my God, Rico is on my car!!?!?!” right up until you start shooting rockets at other motorists.

One major change from the previous game is the upgrade system. Gone are the days of searching for weapon or vehicle parts scattered amounts the island paradise of Panau. With Just Cause 3, once Rico ‘frees’ a settlement from the forces of Di Ravello you unlock a heap of different challenges. They might be a vehicle race, blow up as much as you can in X amount of time, wing suiting from A to B.  You get the idea. Based on your performance, you are also awarded ‘gears’ which you can then use to unlock new skills and upgrades.

Vehicle drops have also changed from a set roster of vehicles. It turns out your good mate Mario also runs a chain of successful car garages throughout Medeci. Thankfully these are all fronts for the rebel alliance, and any vehicle you take to one of these garages can be air dropped to you at a moment’s notice. This is very handy when you need a farm tractor air dropped to the top of a mountain. I mean, why do I want a farm tractor on the top of a mountain you ask? Just ’cause.


If you found yourself playing Just Cause 2 to death, then you will absolutely adore the crap out of Just Cause 3. It’s had a graphical facelift, there’s new gadgets to play with and the world is populated with bugs, birds and wildlife. Personally I am not a fan of the challenges as I felt that really made you want to explore in the previous games, but I can see the appeal. The tracking system brings a competitive edge to a game that I didn’t think it was possible – but it works great. The only people I wouldn’t recommend Just Cause 3 to, are the people that played Just Cause 2 and didn’t like it or got bored.


Rating: 7.5/10

Just Cause 3 was reviewed on PC using a publisher provided code.