Just Cause [***–]

Ok, so the benefits of my Gamefly account are starting to pay off. On the surface, Just Cause looked like a cool game, and to a certain extent – it is. Still, it was $50 at most retailers and I wasn’t ready to take a change when it meant hard earned money – and time – wasted on a game I may not completely like. That said, Just Cause takes the GTA style open-ended mission driven environment and cranks it past 11. Past 20. Past 50. Simply put, there’s too much area and not enough depth to the missions to really keep me hooked.

Content? There’s tons of content… planes, helicopters, cars, motorcycles, guns, etc… See, the problem with a GTA type game in a jungle as opposed to a city is… It’s a damned jungle. Sure, there are small populated areas everywhere, but there are vast expanses of non-navigable terrain (unless you’re flying). On top of that, the moment you land, police are on you. You can’t quite outrun them, and they only pile on more by each moment. Picture starting out in Liberty City with 1 star, and getting an additional star every 5 minutes, and the only way to get back down to 1 star is to complete some baseless cookie-cutter mission that is repeated all over the island.

The graphics are outstanding. One thing I’ll say about this new generation of gaming consoles is that they can make even bad games look great. Honestly though, once you’ve completed a few missions, and gotten tired of grappling on to low-flying helicopters to kick out the pilot and sail through a mission that’d otherwise be frustrating without – all the pretty pictures, weapons, vehicles, and missions just look plain.

The game has potential, but IMHO it’s just too damned big, and not nearly deep enough to keep a gamer like me interested long enough to actually beat it. Maybe I’ll pick it up from the used bin if I go on a tare and beat every game I can get.

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