Name: Just Cause 4
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PC
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided by a publisher for review purpose
Just Cause is an interesting and respected franchise known for being fun, fast-paced, and lets you be creative with your gameplay!
I’ve only played the third game briefly but I did really enjoy it, and now I got to review the fourth one.
This will be the view of a newcomer to the series of some sort since I am not completely familiar with the games, but my experience was really mixed on this… even going into this with excitement that fell down a bit quick.
The story is following directly after Just Cause 3
Starting off in the South American country called Solís, which is home to extreme weather. Rico Rodriguez takes on the Black Hand, the world’s most powerful private army run by Gabriela Morales, a newly introduced character.
Rico travels to Solís to discover the truth about the circumstances of his father’s death. Also related to the Black Hand. Solís is the homeland of the Black Hand, who rules the land with a strong military outlook on things. The Black Hand has also become an even more powerful enemy as they have obtained advanced weather-manipulation technology.
Starting his own resistance group called “The Army of Chaos” Rico takes on The Black Hand in Solís, Simple narrative, but yet a strong one on most points
The graphics really feels like a downgrade or somewhat a washed out version of what could have been beautiful.
Just Cause 4 doesn’t look terrible by any means but I sometimes feel that the development team didn’t take their time with optimizing the graphics completely, and I wasn’t the only one feeling like this. I went to various social media and youtube videos to see comments from other people also sharing the same thoughts on this.
Besides that, the custom weather effects in this game looks amazing, and the world is not terrible looking at all, it could’ve been way better, but it’s at least somewhat pleasant to look at.
This was of course on PC but it feels like a rushed port of a console version if anything. the quality has significantly fallen from the third game as well since it looks almost identical except some minor graphical updates
The UI when you’re roaming is completely fine, but your map and the menus you navigate are horrendous and it is hard to find what you need. Whether it is your hook mods you need specifically or navigating around the map, it feels like it was optimized for console and not PC.
Now, this is where it’s a hit or miss as well!
The gameplay is pretty fast paced and is enjoyable to some degree, but the story missions + the side missions feels like a dull chore to do. I felt like I was kinda “whatever lets do it” instead of feeling excited about exploring the world.
A good redeeming quality though is the fact that you are pretty open when it comes to switching weapons, the only thing I had wished for is that the main weapons (SMGs assault rifles, etc) had more ammo capacity in general, cause I always feel like I run out of ammo way too fast. Even when hitting enemies perfectly, I run out of ammo constantly which is really annoying in the long run.
The whole traveling is pretty ok in general, you have the glider (like a flying squirrel basically lol) and then the parachute you can use with your hook, however, the glider you got is really wonky (will get into that in controls)
Overall the gameplay is “Solid”. It checks out and at least I can enjoy it.
So for a game like this, you would expect controls to be airtight right? Well, guess again. Rico moves like a stiff snail when he uses both the parachute and the glider he has.
Without them, he moves pretty openly and freely and I can understand why they have more chunky controls to make for realism, but when the game is literally about blowing stuff up etc and it falls short.
There is also no easy way to dismount from the glider either, you need to hook to something to do it properly. At least I found no other way to do it.
Aiming was also a problem- If I hadn’t rebinded my keys, you aimed with the shift key (Christ) and used hook with right click, which was so annoying at the end that I had to rebind it.
The flying vehicles were also really bad to control, it was like getting a Vietnam flashback to Battlefronts vehicle controls, which made me almost feel the physical pain from back then.
Besides those flaws, the controls were pretty ok.
Replaying this game is not something that is really viable. You can, of course, do all the side missions and exploration stuff, but unless you’re a completionist this will not appeal to you. The open world is huge and amazing in its own right but it feels like every open world sandbox game, empty and nothing to really do in the giant areas, and as much as I appreciate exploration it doesn’t reward you for exploring as much as it could’ve.
Not much to say here.
Story - 6/10
Graphics - 6/10
Gameplay - 6/10
Controls - 4/10
Replay Value - 4/10
The game is really a hit or miss. This might appeal to some people but overall, I had the most fun not doing the main missions and just playing around in the sandbox world by destroying property or killing NPC’s like a watered down GTA or a watered down Tom Clancys Ghost Recon Wildlands, without the teamwork.
If you like the open world games in general, this is for you, if not you might regret this purchase.
I would recommend to wait for it to come on sale nonetheless
Huge and great looking open world to explore
Creative freedom on how to approach most missions
Doing side missions and exploration doesn’t feel rewarding
Graphics looks washed out, but could’ve been worse