Crispy Gamer

Outlook 2010: Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2
Evan Narcisse

Evan Narcisse:
It's generally not a lot of fun getting around in open-world games. Walk, run, hijack; repeat ad nauseam. But, after expecting very little from Just Cause 2, I've done a few things that made me think it's going to be a whole other level of crazy. In a recent demo, I grappled onto a passing helicopter, yanked out the pilot, got into a ground-to-air gunfight, skydived out, pulled my parachute, floated back to Earth, and kept killing bad guys without a hitch.

Just Cause 2 puts some thrills in its locomotion. The developers seem to understand that moving from point A to point B doesn't have to be busywork. But the grappling hook's also got some combat uses, too. I tethered a bad guy to a pressurized canister and shot a hole in it so it yanked him around the screen. A second shot blew the canister -- and the dude attached to it -- to bits. Those kinds of mechanics make me cautiously hopeful that we'll get the kind of heavily stylized game that gives a shout-out to "El Mariachi" and some of film director Robert Rodriguez's other work.

Russ Fischer

Russ Fischer:
There's a small voice inside me that says, "man, free-roaming gameplay on an island jungle paradise is SO 2009," and every time that voice pipes up I punch it right in the mouth. In much the same way that I'm optimistic for a game like APB, I have to have high hopes for something as Schwarzenegger-iffic as Just Cause 2 because ? well, why not? Why shouldn't a game hero be able to deploy a stunt parachute everywhere? Why shouldn't he have some kind of grappling hook that can be connected to two guys, or to one guy and a tree, or one car and an explosive barrel? If you're going to bother having explosive barrels in 2010, there damn well better be a ludicrous grappling gun to shoot them right up enemy asses.

And that's the thing, really. Gaming isn't documentary filmmaking. I don't want it to be real, or even to make sense. As long as there's some sort of internal consistency, I want crazy and unpredictable and wild. If the artificial intelligence holds up, so that coming up with innovative ways to tie some dude to some other dude with a grappling line before shooting them both is rewarded, then I'm on board. Just Cause 2 looks like it's ready to deliver.

Our Outlook for the first half of 2010 continues...