Crispy Gamer

Initial Impressions: Just Cause 2

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I'm not sure it's fair to say the first few hours I've played Just Cause 2 can really be called "initial impressions". I've been playing the demo, off and on, for a month now, sometimes multiple times a day. So today is about the furthest from "initial" as you could get. That said, I'm still giddy with excitement to jump into this open world. So without further ado, it's now time for a Just Cause 2 stream of consciousness. 

  • Pro - The islands of Panau are beautiful; there are no two ways about it. Everything, from the lush green jungle to the wind-blasted snowy peaks, is hyper-real, as befits a game as over-the-top as this one.

  • Con - Control issues are a minor nuisance. Flying an attack helicopter is downright annoying with constant camera bobbing interfering with gun turret aiming. And is there a good reason why a game released in 2010 won't let me rebind my mouse's thumb buttons? Unacceptable.

  • Pro - Duel-wielding two different guns in a blast. It takes a unique bit of twitch gaming in order to master a combination like pistol/SMG since the former is only one bullet per left click and the latter is many bullets when you hold down right click.

  • Con - No Windows XP support. It's a shame that on a platform that has become relatively niche (PC), even more potential customers are excluded. If there is a silver-lining, maybe this will be the motivation that people need in order to upgrade. Windows 7 is worth it.

  • Pro - Auto-aim, usually the bane of a PC gamer's existence is, thankfully, present here. Normally a forced auto-aim ruins the tactical precision that the mouse and keyboard are capable of, but Just Cause 2 isn't a game about precision. You are always running at full sprint, or diving out of helicopters or car surfing; there just isn't time for anything save for generalized "kill everything in that direction" aiming.

  • Con - There is no "hair on fire" mode (at least so far). If there was ever a game that needed a mode that literally lit your hair on fire while you pulled off insane stunts, this would be it.

  • Pro - The grappling hook mechanics in this game make Batman's grapple gun in Arkham Asylum look downright stiff and restricting by comparison. And my new favorite way of killing guys is by grapple-tethering them together and watching as they rubber band into each other in midair. Saves on bullets too.

  • Con - The James Bond theme music doesn't play when I open my parachute after base jumping off a cliff to escape an enemy army compound. I know it wouldn't make any sense from a continuity perspective, but I swear that musical cue plays in my head every time.

  • Pro - Finding hidden bonuses (the most boring part of any open world game) is made mercifully easier thanks to a built-in "hotter/colder" visual proximity aid. If I had to hunt for every gun upgrade stashed under porches and wedged between sewage pipes, I would scream, "Fine! Peashooter pistols for the rest of the game it is, then!"

     As you can see, even some of the cons are disguised pros. This game is Grand Theft Auto with a heaping helping of "America! F**k yeah!" thrown in. The only thing I'm fearful of at this point is that the game might devolve into repetitive missions. But even then, there are so many ways to have fun outside of missions (plane surfing, anyone?), I might have only my lack of imagination to blame if I get bored.

I'm coming for you, Tengku Baba!