One of the genres that the Xbox 360 thus far has had its success in is in the action genre. With games like Dead Rising, which may not be all that similar to the game we are talking about today, managed to really use some of the new physics possible with the new hardware and to use their environments more fully to their advantage. Now with today’s game, Just Cause from Eidos and Avalanche Studios, we are seeing a game that takes place all in one location with more going on than I have seen in a long time. But does it translate into a great gaming experience? Read our full review to find out!
So let’s jump right into this. Just Cause is a game that has had a lot of hype surrounding it, mainly for its true lack of reality. The game had a demo placed up on the Xbox Live Marketplace over a month ago, and I believe as much as people criticized the game definitely commanded a good amount of interest. In Just Cause you play Rico Rodriguez, one of the most stereotypical main characters of a game I have seen this year. Rico is just a run of the mill crazy hero that is fun to watch on screen, but his charm quickly wears off being a typical knockoff from many stars we have seen in the past.
The story really isn’t a big portion of Just Cause, even though it should have been. The game however is one that never takes itself too seriously and the purpose and the idea behind Just Cause is that you shouldn’t do so either. The game does use the open-style environment that we have seen successful in the Grand Theft Auto series. In fact you will be doing a lot of things like in GTA here, like steeling cars and being able to take on missions when you please. But the style and the feel of Just Cause is a completely different experience.
In Just Cause you have your story based missions and then you have side missions. The side missions are extremely simplistic activities that usually involve killing and delivering something. They are extremely simple and once again aren’t really made to be the most in depth experiences. However the depth doesn’t come where it needs to, and that is in the main story missions.
The story based missions are obviously much longer in length than the side missions. These missions usually involve several parts to them, but as you continue through the game the stunts and the high flying action looses a lot of its punch. At first you will get this overwhelming sensation of being able to jump from planes straight onto a car and then to a motorcycle and then into a speed boat. I mean the action at first is overwhelmingly impressive, but then it just begins to feel like a lot of flash without a whole lot of anything else.
Just Cause is not a very long game, one in which starts off with just an amazing over the top feel that ends up coming across very hollow and repetitive. The game doesn’t have a whole lot in terms of replayability as once you have gone through the game once I never found the need to play any of it again.
One of the biggest upsides that Just Cause has going for it is its visual style, which is carried throughout the game in beautiful fashion. Just Cause is set on one island, and let me tell you it definitely looks the part from all angles. The island is lush with plenty of detail and an overwhelmingly vibrant atmosphere. The action doesn’t have much in the way of slowdown issues, in fact even during the higher traffic portions of the game, Just Cause holds up well. From start to finish, the one thing the developers really did right was the graphics.
Just Cause is one of those games that really sucks you right in after you put it in the console. At first I was just so very impressed with this game, but as you play it you will realize several things. First off, this is a game that really lacks a lot of depth in a number of areas. The story-based missions are good, but become repetitive after a while. The side missions too are not really worth sitting down to play. The initial action in this game is extremely entertaining, but from there on out it is really a big disappointment.
I had high hopes for Just Cause, mainly because it looked like it had the potential to be one of the mid-year next generation stand outs. While the final product looks great, unfortunately it’s more of the case of more flash than substance, as the gameplay is nowhere as next-gen as it needed to be.
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