Sunday, April 24, 2016

Just Cause 3… reviewed!


This game has enough content to keep you locked and loaded for quite some time.

Rico Rodriguez returns home to the Mediterranean republic of Medici that has been taken over by a piece of work General known as Di Ravello, and his army of course. So Rico’s mission is clear… do what he does best and… kick butt at full throttle! I said clear instead of... “simple” because if you don’t learn the ropes quick enough… you will be taken out soon enough (I’m not kidding).

The story is strong with an action movie-ish quality and it contains an assortment of characters that I found memorable, like Rico’s friend… Mario. Mario is all about good times and freedom fighting action (from an average Joe’s standpoint). I appreciate them adding a character like this in, because he delivers more of a realistic standpoint… almost like he’s the friend of a super hero (which Rico can be considered that). Even if he isn’t as gifted in the way Rico is… he does what he can in a comedic way that breaks up the seriousness, and also gives Rico a friend to joke around with at times. I welcome this to the franchise with open arms because it gives more life to the adventure.

Side note: I'm glad they have a cast, but at the same time... i'm sooooo happy that they didn't do it in a way that requires you to interact with them ever so often to maintain some sort of friend meter. No offense to people that have games with those things incorporated, but in this type of game it would not have worked and would've felt unnecessarily annoying. Anyway (lol)... back to the review.

There is a lot of land, sea and… air to raise havoc in and though sea isn’t exactly the place to be without at least 3 stars when it comes to action (in my opinion), it adds to the fun… especially when you have a weaponized boat. Who am I kidding… all the weaponized vehicles add to the level of awesome this game has to offer because you can save on your ammo and still be able to bring the heat to the general’s army.

Vehicles are extremely enjoyable in this game… the developers didn’t just make them a part of transportation from point A to B, you can stunt hard and be rewarded for it. This includes flying aircrafts low to the ground, hitting land with your boat and riding it on ground for as long as possible, etc. Etcetera include things I’d list as part of the replay value… like the timed challenges you can take on with vehicles.

Replay value is huge, you have a lot to do with the 400 square mile sandbox including:
·     Mission objectives represented by bull logos on the map, so you aren’t just playing from one mission to the next… and you will have to unlock plenty of them (which give you something to work towards). Don’t expect missions to be the same missions started with a different cut scene either… because there is a nice amount of variety that takes advantage of the environment whether you’re escorting, transporting cargo, coming in as a one man cavalry to help rebels fight in various areas… hopping from one battle to the next, flooring it to duck bullets in an SUV to make it in the back of a huge plane before it takes off at an airport, making your way into secret facilities to disable defenses, etc.
      
      Just know you have your work cut out for you… and look forward to enjoying it as you tighten the grip of defeat around the neck of the general. Gwahahaha (cough) ummm… excuse the laugh.

·         Your pursuit to free various locations of Genera Di Ravello’s control gives you a lot to accomplish, though some areas besides the layout of the land feel… similar, it’s not something that really made me frown because there are many locations that vary and aren’t the same, not to mention I can approach them all differently. I can attach a vehicle to a copter, take it above a destination of attack and drop it... or use it as a ram… or jump from the copter grapple myself to the vehicle and let off a rocket launcher (like a supreme bad a**) before jumping inside as it lands on the ground (hopefully not ending with an explosion). It sounds crazy, but… you can actually do that sort of stuff.

·         Challenges… that you have to unlock as you accomplish various missions.

·      Gear Mods… further extend your replay value also. They range from land, sea and air mods, accuracy, tether amount and so forth. In each of those sections you have various things to unlock and utilize, like in the Land Vehicle Mods you have… Nitrous, Turbo Jump, etc. So as you unlock modes by completing challenges… that increases your level of awesome (so take on those challenges as mentioned and get to unlocking).

·     Rankings System… that constantly fluctuates based on people knowing or unknowingly doing specific things to top someone else (which you might find SDGT Ent in the number one spot in a few categories… until beaten). This alone can keep you busy for a while because you just don’t know when you will be notified that a person took your spot.

Options for the rankings range from drifting, tossing an enemy in a slingshot manner to get the longest distance possible, kicking an enemy from a great height, longest flight time in a wingsuit, etc. So even though multiplayer isn’t delivered in the sense that you’re running around with other players (though a mode like that would be nice with the main cast of the game for a cool co-op adventure)… the competition is ever present when you’re online.

The cons in this game are the glitches, that’s about the only thing… that I could really point out as a con. Just to give you an idea, I got stuck on the train tracks after jumping off a train, and during other times fellow rebels didn’t jump behind the wheel when I moved to the top of the vehicle. Also another con… at least on the PC side is… the amount of power needed to play the game (most PC gamers don’t have high end PCs which decreases the number of people able to play the game without upgrading their PC), but I won’t mark this as a negative in the scoring because that’s just a part of PC gaming since they aren’t like consoles that only require you to have the unit (that requires developers to make the game based on those specifications).

That’s a completely different story and I know some people will see it as ammo in a pointless debate about consoles vs pc gaming, but… (People… people… people) I’ll end it on our end by saying… game on whatever platform you’d like and keep gaming alive and well.

If you haven’t seen the visuals in this game yet, check out the video below… the game easily gets a 5 in the looks department. Being able to see the depth of the environment, mountains in the distance as you see bodies flying through the air on fire based on the explosive you planted on an enemy’s vehicle… is just so pretty. I had to catch a missile in this game before it killed many citizens of Medici, and you can just imagine how awesome that looked and I really appreciate the developer’s eye for detail. I appreciate the visuals even more because it isn’t just a pretty game… this feels like a true next installment in the franchise (which it is… but sometimes games just are just running with new skins and objectives).


There are other things I’d like in this game. I’d like to be able to have rebels jump on boats with me and even a copter or planes to increase the level of action and strategy (like in Saints Row 3 where you can whistle at NPCs to have them follow you… for example). The ability to physically roll out of the way of gunfire (like in Just Cause 2), and even crouching or taking cover would’ve been fantastic additions also. The crouch and cover abilities would be great because sometimes the gunfire is just too heavy, but the army approaches from all sides and won’t stop until you escape (a good chunk of the time), take them out, you take over the location (if you’re in a location to take over)… or they take you out. So cover may have been considered by the team but it didn’t really seem practical (I’m not sure).
Price wise… this game gets in where it fits at the initial retail price, and I wouldn’t argue it staying there for a little longer if… it included the DLC at no additional price.

Overall, this is a game with a crap load of replay value that can easily fill a summer with game time, has an enjoyable storyline, challenges to conquer, gear mods to obtain… and I thoroughly enjoy playing it. Do not skip out on playing this game with surround sound or a nice pair of gaming headphones because… it has some seriously awesome sound (the headset that I have has a rumble feature and some of the action and explosions really give me my money’s worth when used with this game).

Another side note: It took a while to get this review done because there isn’t a rushed approach to review’s at SDGT Ent… it makes sense to enjoy games as legit gamers and then layout the results. “If it weren’t for glitches, this game would receive 5 out of 5... but I do give them props for actively working towards fixing and updating things. I literally mentioned something... and they asked where it occurred so that they could take care of it.” –BLU

Fun factor: 5
Visually: 5
Replay value: 5
Price: 5
Glitches: -0.5


“4.5 / 5 Cool Points”



DLC REVIEWS


What can I say about the Sky Fortress DLC? Hmmm, its high flying missile dodging... Bavarium wing suit action! Sky Fortress is the first pack from Just Cause 3's Air, Land and Sea Expansion Pass (individual DLC purchases obviously available after pass holders get first dibs).

Outside of the Bavarium powered wing suit (which allows you to take flight without the need of using a grappling hook or jumping from a height to glide), you also get a P.D.D. WTF is a PDD? It's a Personal Defense Drone (that's what), which is listed in the menu as the Eviction Drone... that basically gives you additional support for battle because it attacks from the sky. Now that I've presented you with the duh of the day, I want to sky dive into this a bit more.

If you want different… trust me, this DLC delivers just that. It delivers a breath of fresh air, in addition to being the "AIR" expansion that will be followed up by "LAND" & "SEA" expansions. I didn’t think this game could get any better, and was pleasantly surprised when I took to the skies. The sky fortress is just that… a sky fortress with drones, and walking mech tanks and soldiers/employees of the new enemy. You also get a different approach in regards to the cut scenes… because they give the 2D (concept) artists a chance to shine a bit more instead of scenes being 3D animations like in the main game.

I literally took off in my wing suit without an air craft… which does not nullify planes, jets, and copters… just consider it another option if you choose to use it. In this mission flying around battling it out in the skies using homing missiles… while dodging the enemies’ missiles… just really added an extra level of cool to the overall package.

The adventure pulls you in and... I can't say it enough, it just takes you to another place, even if some things are familiar. Combine the old with the new and kick butt. You can lock on to enemies with your missiles and spray up enemies with your wing suit mounted machine gun, which added another notch to it because you don't have to break out the parachute in order to shoot.

You're able to do things like slow up your flight in order to make a smooth landing, make turns, barrel rolls, wall jumps and... you can even take off out of the freaking water too as you take on eDEN on the ground, the sky fortress and in between. After playing the air expansion... is it worth $11.99? Yes, but i'd prefer them all to be $9.99/each because it rounds things out, and if someone wants to save $5 they can get the pass. You're not just taking on soldiers, drones, and mechs up there... but I won't spill the beans. Each expansion delivers new story missions, challenges and... "toys" so if you want something to enjoy in between taking on the General, this option is worthwhile. One thing I wish was different, was the durability of the drone... because one moment it can be kicking butt, and then you turn around only to see it crash into a building. That's not always a bad thing when an enemy is in a tower and the crash saves you from being taken out.

Whether you're taking on eDEN or the General...  once you get your new toys, it's party time!

Fun factor: 5
Visually: 5
Replay value: 5
Price: 5





Mech up so you can wreck up... some baddies in this Mech Land Assault DLC adventure.

You're back on solid ground in this one, after soaring to new heights in the first DLC adventure that sends you among the clouds. There is plenty of action in this one with a good overall story that takes place on a secret prison island of Lacrima (that was supposedly abandoned).

The point where you initially get your hands on a mech is... satisfying, and I looked forward to seeing what I could do with it. You get two mechs in this DLC that are able to do things like jump and ground pound enemy vehicles, uppercut copters out of the freaking sky (say... what?!), pick up vehicles like tanks by manipulating gravity with the Mech's... GRIP gravity weapon, etc. You can even pick things up and throw them making the GRIP gravity weapon extremely useful.

I will say that while... I used the mech to get me out of tough spots, I didn't rely on it heavily because it was just a little too slow for my play-style. I give it a 4 because of that, so if you feel that it's a 5, that's fantastic... because the game is open to playing in different ways to get the job done. One very awesome (saving grace of a) thing about the mech is that you can call in a rebel controlled mech to have your back in sticky situations. (That's more appealing than me using it personally.)

By the way... if you want to jack an enemy's mech, they also include a new power core gun that disables vehicles with an EMP blast (it can be a mech, a car, a fighter jet, etc.). Just imagine what you can do with that, you can disable a fighter jet and send it crashing in to a location you've been trying to take over.

I won't spoil the story missions for you, but I will say that they made this DLC worth the purchase. I think I may have taken a step back from the mech also... thinking that it would be a cake walk based on the power it has, and I didn't want to rush through it. They know what they are doing though because there are areas where you aren't going to have access in a mech. I think the battles were fantastic and I think that they should drop a surprise DLC on us delivering more stories like that, because the triumphant victory was awesome.

They maintained the 2D art in the Land adventure, so you know what content your getting into versus standard missions. I'm not saying that's the reason they did it, but you will know it's a break from the norm. A really good break from the norm.

The price is okay, but... $9.99 would've been best.

Fun factor: 4
Visually: 5
Replay value: 5
Price: 4



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