Just Cause 2 is a game that has been on my “buy it as soon as it’s released” list since its initial announcement. Finally we were going to get the seamless large-area free-roaming game that developer after developer has promised and, usually, failed to deliver. The last best attempt was perhaps Far Cry 2 which did an admirable job, but JC2 manages so much more.
Before I get into the praise-singing, could I take a moment of your time to tell you the one thing that has irritated me about JC2? Thank you: Steam’s pricing. I like Steam, really. JC2 on Steam retails for £29.99. A physical box containing JC2 costs £24.99 from Tesco. Tell me, @steam_games, how can it possibly cost more to deliver a game over Steam online than to deal with a physical product?
So I did what I usually do, bought the box set and downloaded the “no DVD” crack. When will you chimps learn?
If you liked Far Cry 2 at all then you are going to just love JC2. It’s all that’s promised in terms of free roaming adventure and when you’re bored with exploring you can deign to follow the storyline. Graphically it’s utterly beautiful though even my fairly high end games machine struggled when I ramped all the settings up to maximum.
The controls are a tiny bit fiddly and driving vehicles with the keyboard is very imprecise. This is especially a problem when flying the jet aircraft. There is support for using an Xbox controller but, crazily, there’s no support for using a regular joystick making a number of the aircraft-based missions decidedly tricky and much less fun than they could be.
Weapon choice is a bit limited and, teethgrindingly, there’s no ammo purchases. You can pick up ammo from departed enemies, if they had the same weapon as you, but your black market dealer will only sell you a whole new weapon with ammo, not just the ammo itself. For some of the missions this becomes expensive but is somewhat mitigated by you being able to pick up certain turret weapons which inherit infinite ammo. The drawback here is that your movement is severely limited when wielding these puppies.
One of the touted features of the game is the double grapple: attach anything to anything. This works less well than it seems it should. Attempting to attach aircraft together seems to work poorly, for example.
Overall, you should buy this game. It’s fun, it’s fast paced, it’s big and it’s beautiful. What are you waiting for?