Just Cause 3 a quality title marred by some gameplay glitches
Just Cause 3
PC / Xbox / PS4
Let's be clear prior to this review, the release of Just Cause 3 has been rocky, to say the least. Glaring performance issues feel like an oily slick rests on the surface of what would be an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable title. At this point, it seems unlikely that even a comprehensive patch could be a solution to this impossibe-to-ignore issue.
What Just Cause 3 does do well, however, is a vast power fantasy much in the same vein as its predecessor that places you in an enormous world brimming with destructible environments. If you can take Just Cause 3 for what it is - a spectacular, engaging sandbox that experience that eclipses its previous namesake in both scope and ambition - just not in execution.
The rather humdrum plot centres around your protagonist Rico Rodriguez arriving in the fictional Republic of Medici during the peak of Sebastiano Di Ravello's dictatorship. You are tasked with finding and destroying dozens of military installations that cover the entire map.
You can traverse this world in a variety of ways, but perhaps the most fun way is by using the combination of Rico's wingsuit, parachute and grappling hook. While the learning curve is a little steep, you will eventually find yourself sailing through the landscape with nuanced tugs of the parachute and pinpoint slingshots made possible through the grappling hook.
This cascading structure of the new gear mods system is one of the huge redeeming features of Just Cause. There are many nice patterns which emerge through taking on the challenges that randomy appear throughout the world: outpost liberation leads to challenges, which leads to gear mods, which leads to experimentation. And more often than not, each tier of this formula is entertaining in itself. That each flows so well into the next makes the overall experience all the more rewarding. Just Cause 3 excels because it adds variety to the equation throughout, making destruction and mayhem entertaining far past the early hours.
Just Cause 3 is a quality title that is marred by a number of gameplay glitches - parachute opening/closing randomly, walk away from 500ft drops without a scratch while dying from much shorter falls etc. - but there lies an undeniably quality title underneath. You may find that the times you are gleaning the most enjoyment from the title are when you are ignoring the dull main story and treating the world for what should always be centre stage in a Just Cause game - its sandbox qualities. But for this, Just Cause 3 would have been close to being one of the year's most exhilerating and replayable experiences.