Just Cause 2 – A Man’s Game

THIS GAME IS SO GOOD. I’ve been playing it a lot and enjoying every second; but until now haven’t been able to pinpoint WHY it’s so good. Sure it’s got amazing graphics and a better draw distance than even Xenoblade Chronicles, but there’s something else that sets this game apart from all other open world games. It makes me feel LIKE A MAN. IT MAKES ME WANT TO YELL SHIT AND TYPE IN CAPS. It taps into my male primal urges to dominate the land. All I’m doing in Just Cause 2 is finding new areas and blowing stuff up until I get a big fat 100% “Settlement Complete” medal. What now? Next area. Find some packages, blow stuff up, “Settlement Complete”. Next area. The game is so MASSIVE that I can do this and nothing else. Your influence increases the more chaos you cause; the game REWARDS you for running into an area and beating your chest.

The grappling hook is a godsend, you can do ANYTHING with it. The developers really struck gold when they decided to make it the most exaggeratedly unrealistic item it could possibly be. It can tether random objects together, grab PEOPLE, grab flying helicopters to hijack in midair. More importantly, the freedom it gives you means you can go somewhere just by aiming at it. Just look at something and press L and you’re there. Such freedom, such control. The game doesn’t waste time explaining it with a superhero costume either.

Story? Forget it. It’s awful, makes no sense, and the dialogue is painfully bad. A character will start the next line before the previous characters line is even finished. It sounds like each character is trying to squeeze out a shit rather than communicate something. You can tell every voice actor just wanted to get their line over and done with so they could play the game.

The feeling goes deeper than going from one area to the next: there’s strategy involved in which places to target. A huge island with a million silos to blow up isn’t the best target at the beginning of the game; you’ll run out of ammo and won’t have enough powerful explosives. Going around causing chaos in the little towns is essential to build up your supplies. Sometimes a skirmish in a small settlement will end up inviting helicopters with rockets and mini-guns – just grapple it and it’s yours. Now THAT is a weapon you can take anywhere. Even without the guns, dropping a helicopter on a town is hilarious and effective enough, and you get a great view if you parachute out. Once I was flying above the clouds in my helicopter and decided to jump out. The helicopter plummeted down to the ground, and I casually parachuted down and enjoyed the view. About a minute later I got a notification that my kill count had increased and reached a magic number. THE HELICOPTER LANDED ON SOMEONE – AND KILLED THEM – HOLY SHIT. I was so high up I couldn’t see a thing, but it was amazing to know I was still causing chaos on a leisurely glide.

I sound like a savage describing how I play this game, but it’s not like that. I don’t play the game naked, with a lambs heart dangling from my mouth. It’s a giant playground, with hugely exaggerated movement that lets you fly through the air with your grappling hook, and cover huge distances quickly just by grappling things over and over. In fact I think that endlessly grappling things and parachuting is quicker than driving. Cars are best used as surfboards. It’s not a realistic world like Grand Theft Auto tries to be. Rather than blowing up ambulances and running over innocent pedestrians, you’re blowing up towers and generators that are only used as weapons in the first place. It’s a world full of military bases, so not only are you destroying everything in your path, but you’re doing the right thing by liberating the island.

There are innocent civilians around, but they just give you even more opportunity to be a hero. Often when you have to pull down a structure or blow up a gas station, there are innocent people you have to get out of the way first. You don’t have to, but that’s how I roll. They might get annoyed when I grapple them to my truck, but it feels good to keep them alive. Firing your gun in the air unfortunately doesn’t get rid of them and only attracts a military shitfight. Civilians’ gut reaction when gunfire goes off seems to be to cower in fear next to the nearest explosive gas pump. This is why they need to be happy.

The best thing about Just Cause 2 is how easy it is to get distracted – there’s TOYS everywhere. Getting in a plane for the first time wasn’t an opportunity to do a checkpoint race, oh no. The first thing I did was tether objects to it and fly off. Then I got the plane stuck in some trees, and went back to get a helicopter to drag it out. Then I ended up flying above the ocean with a plane dangling from my arse; it exploded and I tried to drop the hanging fireball on a boat (and failed). Somehow after all that I ended up driving a boat up a cliff on land and doing a jump. Just typing this is giving me a boner.

Did I mention the aiming cursor? It’s somehow very accurate over long distances. You can pull of headshots with a handgun from hundreds of meters away. It’s a really small dot that lets you line it up smoothly, and the detail of objects remains clear from far away, so you can still see the head’s perfect outline. I think this is a key reason why it’s so enticing to take on an entire military base on your own – because you’re that good. The game gives you amazing aim, plenty of weapons, and lets you fly through the air whenever you want and grab anything. Landing right in the middle of an enemy base might feel intimidating, but that feeling quickly subsides when you rip one of their turrets out of the ground and use it as a mini-gun.

This is just the beginning really. I don’t want to make this writeup too long. If you want more information – the web is full of it, the game is two years old. This is one of the few games that has enough YouTube gameplay videos out there to do it justice too. Any man looking for some meaning in their life, play Just Cause 2. It will teach you that you don’t need meaning or purpose, just do whatever the hell you want and enjoy every second of it. Why?

here it comes…


Just Cause

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