Riding the crest of the go-where-you-want, do-what-you-want wave, it presented players with an island of unparalleled beauty: its glittering seas stretching far to the horizon, its sun-kissed beaches giving gamers a very real glimpse of open-world gaming''s promise. There was one snag though: for all its holiday snap looks, it didn''t give players very much to do. Or rather it did, but none of it was that interesting ? not after the first time, and certainly not after the hundredth. What that game needed ? and practically everyone who played it for even the briefest time remains in agreement with this ? was a smaller landscape and a more tightly focused and varied diet of wanton destruction for the player to feed on. Except developers Avalanche don''t agree. Unlike the first game, where the environment was curiously unaffected by your actions, your activities on Panau have a lasting impact on your progress. For example, taking enemy strongholds for a faction will increase the gang''s influence in that area. Collect hidden vehicle and weapons parts and you''ll be able to upgrade your ever-increasing arsenal of grenades, SMGs and rides for land, sea and air travel. As if they hadn''t done enough, Avalanche have also refined Rico''s controls ? specifically his grapple hook. While certainly handy the last time around, it''s now much easier to use, and much more integral to the game. Locking on to vehicles, specifically helicopters, is now super-simple. You can attach it to any surface to zip-line towards it (allowing you to scale buildings) and the improved range makes it possible to cover distances that would otherwise be laborious on foot ? a godsend, as you''ll often find yourself with plenty of ground to cover if you lose your vehicle somewhere away from civilisation.