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== Just Cause 2 ==
The first Just Cause game brought both negative and some positive feedback from gamers. I personally never really got into the first one too much and the only thing I was impressed with was the graphics. Lucky for me a second game was released called Just Cause 2. At first I was slightly worried that it would just go down the same path of the first game and I thought it might be yet another flop. I was proved wrong and the main reason I knew that the game was going to be a good one was the fact Eidos had brought in Square Enix to help produce the game. Just Cause 2 is an action adventure video game with a huge open world where you can explore absolutely anywhere. The basic story of the game is actually a really good one and to be honest you don't even need to follow it. The game takes place a couple of years after the first Just Cause and you take the role of Agency operative Rico Rodriguez. Rico is immediately dropped into the island nation of Panau where three rival bitter and corrupt gangs battle against each other in the streets. Also a ruthless dictator named Baby Panay conjures up a plan of oppression and corruption against his own people. Somewhere on the island of Panau your friend and former mentor Tom Sheldon has vanished without a trace with top-secret intel and millions of agency money. Now as Rico Rodriguez you must infiltrate the island and locate your former mentor, setting off a violent and brutal series of events throughout Panau island.
=== Gameplay ===
There is quite a lot of variety in the gameplay to Just Cause 2. The first Just Cause game didn't offer to much in terms of gameplay in my opinion but the second installment has been vastly improved. You only play as Rico Rodriguez but you do meet many allies and enemies throughout your story. There is only one game mode you can play and there aren't any multiplayer or online game modes. Throughout your story you have a main storyline to follow and also loads of side missions. Some side missions can last a long time. Some side missions include things like racing in different vehicles through checkpoints. The different vehicles you can drive in the game vary from cars, bikes, planes, boats to helicopters and even armored vehicles. The Island of Panau is absolutely huge, one of the biggest to any game and you can explore everywhere on the island. You can reach the highest points and jump from them, thankfully Rico carries a parachute at all times so its safe as long as you pull the cord. In the game Rico has a PDA which can be accessed at any time by pushing the back button on your Xbox 360 controller. On the PDA you can view current missions, side objectives, challengers and places like villages and strongholds. Also on the PDA you can see roughly the size of the map and what the game has to offer.
Throughout the game Rico can find many items like new weapons, vehicles and upgrades. There are many packages scattered throughout the island that can be collected as you walk over them. All of the new upgrades, weapons and vehicles can be purchased when you unlock them via the black market. You can access the black market at anytime by positioning a beacon on the ground near you and a helicopter drops off your package. The black market is very useful later in the game. Rico can swim, run, walk, drive and even parachute out of planes. Rico also carries a new weapon that can be used for different things, this is a grappling hook. You can use the grappling hook on enemies, enemy vehicles and you can even use it to zip line to those hard to reach places. Rico can use the grapple hook to take vehicles from other people and it also works on planes and helicopters. One of the best features to the gameplay is the ability to stunt jump. Stunt jump can be used on almost every vehicle. When your driving at high speeds and there is a jump you hit that could lead to instant death from falling from a high place you can use the stunt jump to get onto the vehicle, as the vehicle has hit the jump you can then jump off and use your parachute (almost sounds like a mission impossible movie). You can also do special stunts throughout the game and also hijack vehicles with the grapple hook and by doings stunts.
On the screen when playing the game, is Rico's health meter, a heat meter for police, weapon info, mini map, explosives info, objectives and a few other bits, thankfully all of these don't congest the game screen too much. Throughout the game there are three factions. These factions are Roaches, Reapers and Ular Boys and you do missions for each of them. In the game you acquire points called Chaos points. These points are basically what the game revolves around and as you collect more of these more missions open. You acquire Chaos points by causing destruction throughout the world. Agency missions are the main ones that progress with the main story. Stronghold takeovers are strongholds owned by different factions and you receive missions from them. Overall there are lots of aspects to the gameplay that will keep you entertained for hours on end!
=== Graphics & Sound ===
The graphics to Just Cause 2 are simply breathtaking in all aspects of it. I will start by saying the characters in the game are uniquely designed and look incredible. Rico is designed especially good from head to toe. He looks completely different to what he does in the first game and I feel he looks much better in the second. The best thing about the graphics is the incredible and beautiful scenery in the game. I have been at the top of the highest mountain and the view there is magnificent, words cant describe how amazing it looks and it really makes the game so much better. Also the view points in the game seriously look great and in HD they look almost real, absolutely brilliant. I was very impressed. Another thing about the graphics was the many different weather effects in the game and the way they can change instantly is amazing. You can always tell when its going to rain as you pretty much can in real life just by looking up at the clouds. The beautiful graphics to the game are the best I have seen so far to date for any computer game. Below is a few photos of the basic graphics of the game and they look beautiful. The sound effects are really good to Just Cause 2 as well. I don't really like the music to the game as I feel its uninspiring and doesn't give a great feel to the game. In the GTA games you have the ability to switch radio station, where in Just Cause games the vehicles don't have radios so your stuck with just the basic game music. Other sounds are brilliant and probably one of the best features to the sound effects is the ability to hear the rain thrashing down as you falling from a thousand feet in the air, you can also hear the wind and other weather effects and I feel it does make the game that much more special. The explosions in the game are equally as good as they look and sound explosive. Overall the graphics are beautiful and the sound effects to the game are almost as good.
=== Difficulty & Longevity ===
The difficulty of the game varies all the way through it. Most of the controls to the game are easy to get used to but some of them can prove ridiculous at times. The controls to using a plane can prove somewhat difficult at times especially in races. Other than that the controls are pretty simple but they're are a lot to them. The main story missions are pretty simple and easy to follow but some of the side missions can be really tricky to do as you only have a certain time to do them or you face factions trying to stop you. Also some of the races can be difficult to do but overall you just need a lot of patience for it. Overall the game is mainly aimed at people with patience as it can be quite challenging at times and fairly difficult in places. The longevity of the game is great in my opinion and this is due to the fact you can literally go anywhere and almost do anything on the game and the only thing that will be the same each time you play it is the missions. Also there are 50 achievements to get on the game which can be time consuming and very difficult to get, depends if your like me an achievement hunter! Overall the game can prove difficult depending on how experienced a gamer you are but there are different difficulty levels that you can pick from at the beginning of the game and also the game can last for ages...possibly until Just Cause 3! Its got a huge island and absolutely loads of quests to complete!
=== Good Bits ===
*The game offers lots of different missions and variety.
*Just Cause 2 has the best graphics to a game so far to date and some of them look beautifully designed.
*The island is absolutely huge and you can spend hours exploring all of it.
*You can drive lots of different vehicles ranging from cars to planes and helicopters.
*Lots of weapons and a grapple hook make things a lot more interesting!
=== Bad Bits ===
*The game can feel quite repetitive in the missions.
*There isn't any mutliplayer options or any online modes in the game which is a huge disappointment.
*The music in the game is plain and boring and doesn't really inspire.
*Just Cause 2 can be quite difficult at times and can become really annoying and frustrating!
*The instructions manual offer hardly anything in terms of help/info.
=== Other Bits & Final Thought ===
Just Cause 2 is one of the biggest games that has millions of places to explore and offers lots of variety in its gameplay. The game is literally non-stop action all the ay through it and this is what games should be like. The graphics are by far the best to a game, they offer so much and bring the game to life. I do feel the second game is a massive improvement from the first one in all aspects of it. The instructions manual to the game is really poor, the game has lots to offer but the manual doesn't tell you the half of it. Its far to short and doesn't have enough info. The game offers no Xbox live modes or online features but there is some downloadable content available. The content that is available is a few items for in game and also a couple of items such as clothing for your avatar and other bits. Just Cause 2 is action packed and has a rating of 15+. Its a 15+ because it does contain strong language and lots of weapon usage and explosions that may not be suitable for the younger gamers. There are a couple of different versions of the game available. There is a classics version which is a best selling one. There is also a limited edition and a collectors edition. Each edition has a few different bits added to it that you cant get on the normal version of the game. My mum bought me the game as a gift and it cost her £25 but that was from her catalogue. The game is going much cheaper now and its on Amazon for an incredible £9.71 for the classic version and roughly about £12.99 for the normal version. The limited edition is going for about £13 second hand which is brilliant. I would say the game is incredible value for money and I do believe its worth every penny. The game offers so much. I would recommend the game to fans of the GTA series or Mafia games or any other games like that. I would also recommend it to fans of action games or adventure games. Overall Just Cause 2 is a massive game and I would give it a very solid 8/10!
Review also on Ciao under username: MrBrightside1987!
An interesting member of the free roaming genre, Just Cause 2 provides an enthrallingly unique gameplay set amongst a captivating back drop. Set amongst the mountains and plains of fictional Panau in Southeast Asia, the player takes control of Rico "Scorpio" Rodriguez, a superb and ruthless contract anarchist. Utilising simple yet impressive tools the player zooms, dives and shoots their way through Panau performing missions for a variety of factions set on toppling the ruling Dictator.
Just like its predecessor, Just Cause 2 is a free roaming game with focus on the single player mayhem. Yeah there's a good set of missions in there but they take a side line to the exploratory joy that can be achieved. Though there are cars, bikes and planes, the main way for Scorpio to travel in through his combination of grappling hook and re-usable parachute. This interesting game mechanic really is a fantastic addition, providing all sorts of cruel and unusual methods of slaughter, as well as for transportation. Ever wondered what fun it'd be to hog-tie a guy to that jet liner leaving the runway? Unless you're a sadist i doubt you have but now you can and more! The missions you perform are at times exciting and unique but mostly follow a simple structure. Often these missions seem a side note; a way of opening up new areas and additional black-market items to purchase. Nevertheless, the gameplay of Just Cause 2 can be stretched for many hours or condensed into a few by doing nothing but the storyline missions. Just like most other free roaming games, Just Cause 2 can provide endless and boundless fun.
From the moment you take control of Scorpio atop an outcrop looking over a staggeringly beautiful view, you can see that the developers had aimed for a response akin to pure wonderment. Even the barren plains have been lovingly textured and rendered, and with the detailed forests and beautiful mountains, Just Cause 2 provides the player with an almost unrivalled setting for a game. Perhaps the only area where additional work could have been focused is on the vehicles and population, where they can look almost archaic in comparison to the beauty of the landscape.
The voice acting in Just Cause 2 is good enough to maintain the standard the rest of the game sets, preventing it from sounding tacky and amateur. However, the best audio aspect of the game is the ambient noises and sound effects. After bailing from several thousand feet and hurtling towards the ground, the sound of air rushing past you and the crashing of branches as you hit the treetops is superb. Coupled with the high quality sound effects of weapons discharging and motors running, the audio of Just Cause 2 certainly adds an extra element to the game, one that would be sorely missed if it wasn't to the same high standard.
As a sequel to Just Cause, a game that matched the standard when it was released, Just Cause 2 can hold its head high and walk with a swagger knowing that it is undoubtedly one of the best sand-box style video games available. Combining unique game mechanics with stunning graphics, the game provides boundless fun for those who can enjoy a game without needing to do missions, but for those that need the fix of a storyline then Just Cause 2 will just not provide enough depth to satisfy such a gamer.
a big action game about a secret agent sent to over through a cruel fascist government this game has one of the widest spectrums of action going for it of all games out. if you seek a thrill when playing a game then this is probably the game for you. every possible mode of transport and adrenalin pumping activity you can think of is probably in this game.
The skydiving and hand-gliding aspects of this game are very original and well excited but the game designers. these allow you to fly around the sky and reach anywhere on the map. and i mean anywhere. In most games i have played there has always been a mountain that was too big or too steep to get to. not on this game. the map is enormous and apart from getting inside buildings you have free reign of the islands.
With countless vehicles from plains to boats and busses to bikes. there is something for everyone. the only thing that matches the number of vehicles you can drive is the number of ramps and jumps you can do in them, there is a decent range of guns that you can use to cause chaos, if something on the game looks like it could be shot over or exploded it probably can (and should be).
the campaign on this game is lengthy and thoroughly entertaining. with interesting if a little strange story lines that will keep you interested at all times. The real entertainment though comes from just exploring and causing chaos. there is hours of fun to be had trying out ridiculous stunts and general mindless destruction.
if i had to sum this game up in one sentence it would be the best of grand theft auto if you were playing it as scorpion from mortal combat.
Just Cause 2 sees players step back into the role of suave "agency agent" Rico Rodriguez to bring third person chaos to the islands of Panau, a land that has recently been taken over by a vicious and oppressive dictator and it's up to you to make so sure that the islands fall back into the hands of it's people while you track down criminal mastermind, Tom Sheldon.
As you can probably tell from the title of the game, the story isn't exactly the biggest component to keep players coming back. Instead it is the huge open world full to the brim of things to blow up or crash into that is the main selling point behind the game. Much like the first game in the series, emphasis is put on ridiculous and unrealistic game play. From ghost riding a multi million dollar jet to jumping on the hood of a car and shooting in all directions. Something that was added to this sequel was the grappling hook. This addition virtually makes the game as not only is it a new form of a weapon, it also becomes a new from of travel. No longer will players have to steal cars or planes to get around, they can now jump into the air, shoot their grappling hook into an object in the distance, open their parachute and sail the skies. Should they run out of momentum all they have to do is should the hook into the ground again and pull down, creating some momentum to keep the parachute in the air.
It's a feature that has really changed the game for the better but it's not done with just helping the player escape a stick situation. It can also act a dual grappling hook so the player can shoot it into one object, then while keeping the action button pressed, release it into another object and the two will be joined. For instance, if a player is being chased by the dictators guards, he can always grapple hook on of their cars to the ground and watch as the car slams into the pavement. Or he can grapple hook an enemy soldier onto a car and have him get dragged behind the vehicle, it certainly does lead to some interesting scenarios.
Over all Just Cause 2 is about one thing and that's fun. It might not be the prettiest game of the best made but what it lacks in finesse it more than makes up for with pure, unadulterated fun.
Developers: Avalanche Studios, Eidos Interactive.
Publisher: Square Enix.
Platform: PC, PS3, XBOX360.
The game see's you take control of an American agent named Rico Rodriguez, who is flown in to Panau, which is a south-eastern island in Asia that once was allied with the US but has been taken over by a Dictator.
Your overall mission is to oust the regime by causing chaos wherever you can, whilst trying to track down and eliminate a former agent the goverment believe to have gone rogue.
To do this you have to gain the help of the different factions based around the island. This will help you earn money to buy the equipment you need of the black market and most importantly the infomation on the whereabouts of the rogue agent.
One neat feature in this game is the "CHAOS METER" which charges up with every goverment building, vehicle or soldier you destroy. When charged you unlock new weapons and missions to help the game progress.
The best feature of all though is the duel grappling hook. ever fancied grappling someone to a vehicle and watch it drive away? or bringing down a whole building with a car? good, because you can.
The downside of this game is the repetative nature. It gets boring after a while when all you seem to be doing is liberating towns and taking over military compounds. It doesnt help that the map is so huge they are able to fit over a hundred of these so called "side missions".
The size of the map also gives you ample opportunity to get lost. I suggest sticking to the roads until you get used to it.
This game is amazing. I couldn't think of a way I could get that across any better than letting you all know in the first line.
I was tempted to buy this game anyway after the demo was on a PS3 at work and I thought it was brilliant. I was not disappointed!
After purchasing the game I took it home and unfortunately realised that my HDMI cable for my XBOX was broken, so I had no other choice but to play via standard scart. The graphics were still pretty crystal.
I find it hard to find a way of describing the game other than its technical term of Action - Third Person Shooter. I suppose you could say it's a cross between GTA (free roaming/chaos causing), Gears of War (Third person) and Far Cry (General Gameplay).
Cut scenes can get slightly annoying from time to time but without them you wouldn't be able to follow the story. (To anybody that is wondering why I am not revealing the story it is because I believe it ruins the game, I will allow you to purchase it and find out for yourself).
But I think the story is exceptional so far, and the graphics are immense. So to all readers that are verging on purchasing the game but need that extra little push, I hope this is it. Seriously, you will not be disappointed!