Home > Demo Impressions, Gaming, PC Games, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 > “Just Cause 2” Demo Impressions

“Just Cause 2” Demo Impressions

What makes an open-world game good? Is it the variety of things you can do? The size of the world you can explore? The ease of traversing that world? Whatever the special secret is exactly, Just Cause 2 seems to have found it, because I haven’t had this much fun with a sandbox-style game in a long time.

Story in these types of experiences is always expendable, but Just Cause 2 forces you to sit through a couple cutscenes at the beginning of the game nonetheless. They are a little awkward and don’t do much to grab your attention, but you learn that you are a man hired to wreak havoc on the oppressive government of a massive island. From there, you are let loose to run around and do whatever you want. All of this is made an absolute blast with Just Cause 2‘s main “hook” – an extremely versatile grappling hook. Aim it at anything within its range and fire, and you’ll be pulled up to that spot. When I say “anything”, I really mean it. Towers, mountaintops, helicopters… you name it, you can stand on it at the push of a button.

Of course, this great way of traversing the world wouldn’t mean a thing if that world wasn’t interesting, but Just Cause 2 seems to have that covered as well. I say seems because while the area available in the demo was huge on its own, the full game will supposedly have a much greater variety of environments. I know the full island is insanely big – just one trip to the pause menu will show you that – but what I really hope is that the full island would have many different types of places to go to. The demo took place primarily in a desert, but screenshots I have seen of this game reveal snowy places as well as skyscraper-filled cities, among other locations.

Luckily, there is much to do in each singular environment. The map points out government bases that you are expected to destroy, so naturally I headed out to destroy them. Upon arriving in seconds due to either grappling hooking my way up to a mountain above one and then base jumping/parachuting off of it or jacking some random car GTA-style and speeding on over, I found a collection of buildings and people waiting to get blown up. As far as weapons go, you start with a standard pistol, but more powerful machine guns can be picked up from fallen enemies. In addition, there are grenades and your grappling hook, which can either grab and pull people up into the air or be used as a sort of whip if you’re up close. You get a sense that the weapons pack a real punch when each shot sends people catapulting into the air through a shower of blood.

Realistic? Not really, but I’m glad Just Cause 2 didn’t opt for a realistic route. There are already enough Grand Theft Auto clones out there that it’s refreshing to see an open-world game ditch realism and instead go for providing the most fun it possibly can. That’s the feeling I got playing this demo – that the developers just wanted to make the funnest open-world game they possibly could.

For the most part, they have done a fantastic job. The freedom of movement provided by the grappling hook is great, and many of the objectives let you utilize it quite well. Though I must mention that the objectives that restrict your grappling hook usage, mainly ones involving driving, are fun as well thanks to the excellent vehicle mechanics.

If there’s any real annoyance I had with the objectives, it’s how thorough they expect you to be. You can’t check off a base as destroyed until you have gone and shot every last explosive object in it. It’s a little annoying to take down a giant tower or generator in an intense, grappling hook-filled fight and leave the base feeling like you’ve pw3ned it and then realize you have to turn back because you forgot to shoot one red barrel. On the other hand, exploring the island is a very appealing task on its own, so searching around a base a bit more is ultimately probably not all that different from what you were going to do next anyway.

There are a lot of great games coming out around now that will undoubtedly overshadow Just Cause 2, but this is definitely a title that doesn’t deserve to be ignored. If you don’t believe me, go play its fantastic demo. After its 30-minute time limit has expired, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to start it over right away.

By Josh60502

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  1. t3h NuWbZ
    March 26, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    You wrote this because of me. I feel ‘honoured’. I love this game, I don’t honestly know if I should get the full version or just extort every last bit I can out of the demo, it’s lulz. Just keep shooting bodies flying through the air and they go almost forever.

    Your parachute practically turns into a glider because of how far you can go ;D

  2. March 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    If playing through the demo 8 times still leaves you wanting more, I’d say buy it. But I have a feeling that this will drop in price in a month or so, so you might want to wait.

    Also, sorry to burst your bubble, but I had already started the draft for this post before talking to you about the demo…

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