In the same vein of Pandemic’s Saboteur and Mercenaries, Avalanche Studios’ Just Cause 2 is an open-world battlefield in which destruction plays a major role. Just like these two titles you are given a large-scale map, in this case the vast fictional Asian country of Panau, to explore at your own free will. Panau is quite possibly one of the biggest maps ever seen and equally stunning. Just Cause 2′s best feature is it’s incredibly beautiful landscapes, showing surprising detail even at great distances. It’s other most noteworthy feature is in how Panau is mostly traversed, the ingenious usage of a grappling hook and parachute in conjunction with each other to seamlessly propel you great distances.
Just Cause 2 is basically just a playground. Main story missions are few and the story itself is almost nonexistent. What Just Cause 2 does have in excess are collectibles and destructible targets numbering in the thousands. Panau is in fact so vast that it will easily take the average player well over one hundred hours to complete the entire map. Some players may feel overwhelmed early on or at some point even lose interest entirely due to the game’s monotonous nature – enter a new area, find all collectibles, sabotage all military installments, rinse and repeat. Eventually it begins to run thin and feel rather futile with the hundreds of locations to cover.
Just Cause 2′s combat mechanics and character models are equally serviceable but aren’t very memorable. Corner cover is nonexistent so JC2 is all about running and gunning. Standing and fighting is rarely a strong option though as Panauan troops will quickly grow in numbers as you defeat them, calling in multiple choppers at higher heat levels to ensure your demise with a well-placed rocket.
Just Cause 2 is recommended to fans of The Saboteur and Mercenaries and to completionists with the stomach for games with dizzying amounts of content. Just Cause 2 is available on disc and as a digital download from the PlayStation Store.
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