Crispy Gamer

Double Shot: Just Cause 2 Aerial Pack

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I just got my grubby little hands on the $2.00 Black Market Aerial Pack DLC for Just Cause 2. Apparently, developer Avalanche will be releasing a few of these in the coming months, each containing about three equipment and vehicle additions a piece. This pack includes a new rocket launcher, fighter plane and parachute jets, all purchasable from the in-game black market. Is this first entry worth the price of admission?

Going with the aerial theme, the rocket launcher is primarily an anti helicopter weapon. It gives you the ability to lock onto 4 separate enemies (vehicles or people) by holding down fire and dragging the cursor over your targets. Once they are cued up, simply release the button and watches as a volley of pure destruction homes in on your victims. I say that it's mostly useful for choppers because on the ground, there are just too many obstacles, such as buildings, civilian cars and trees, that can get in the way of the missiles, resulting in a wasted round. And since this launcher holds half the ammo of the standard one (to make up for its potential 4 count volley), each time you let loose with the rockets they need to count. I really can't recommend this weapon for anyone except those tired of playing the hijacking mini game when the attack copters start circling. The regular rocket launcher is much easier to use and has twice the ammo, once fully upgraded. 

KABLAMO!
 

The new fighter plane is probably even less useful. As much as fun as is to strafe a base with rockets and bullets before skydiving into it, most planes just move too fast and bank too slowly to be effective in any sort reliable way and the F-33 Dragon Fly is no exception. To make matters worse, it's only a slightly more nimble version of an easily stolen Panauan plane: 

Brothers by another mother
 

At a cost of 100,000 dollars, there's just no need to waste your money on a plane that you can find for free at most airports in the game. Plus, the standard black paint scheme, while adhering to the motif of Rico's other black market toys, is pretty bland and boring to look at while flying.

*Yawn*
 

The final item included in the pack is probably the most interesting and handy.  Once you buy the parachute jets, you can then switch them on anytime, mid-float and be propelled forward for a brief time. A meter appears at the top right corner of the screen telling you how much juice you have in the tank; don't worry, it refills automatically after about 8 seconds.

I'm like a crazed, gun-toting Mary Poppins!
 
There are two fairly large caveats attached to this device. Firstly, while the game makes you order the parachute through the equipment screen of the black market, it is most certainly a type of vehicle. Unlike equipment, you will lose it if you die and respawn or if you save and reload your game later. What this means is that if you become dependent on the jets in your gameplay, that $50K you spend each time you boot up the game or resurrect  will really start to add up. Secondly, the jets are activated by the shift key and cannot be rebound. This is a real headache for me since my jump/parachute open/close button is tied to shift (as it is for every game I play). I can hold shift down to open my chute and get a quick burst from the jets, but if I press shift again once my meter is refilled, instead of kicking on the jets again, I end up closing my 'chute and free falling. I'm not sure why Avalanche has such trouble with this key binding concept (they won't let you rebind "pick up" or your mouse thumb buttons, either), but it's such a simple fix I'm baffled as to why this sort of things keeps slipping through their quality assurance.
 
I have one last concern about these DLC add-ons. Each piece of equipment comes fully upgraded since the developers didn't want to make people search for upgrade crates after having just spent money on their new toys. While I'm glad I don't have to pay for my items twice (once in the real world and then though in-game searching), it seems like game balance might be a bit thrown off for newcomers. If I have a fully upgraded rocket launcher right at the start of the game, won't that give me a pretty huge advantage, akin to cheating? Then again, in a game as silly and over-the-top as this, maybe "balance" is a distant second priority after "fun".
 
This intro DLC gets a solid "eh" from me. The weapon and the plane are both entirely forgettable but the jets will probably be pretty fun for most players. But are you willing to pay $2.00 for that unique parachute? That's really the decision you must make when considering this purchase. And Flying Spaghetti Monster help you if you use the shift key for anything important.