The Just Cause series is one of those games that can be a lot of fun to play while also frustrated. That’s how I felt playing the latest entry, Just Cause 4.

I did play a bit of Just Cause 3 when I released in 2015 but the game was very buggy on Xbox One that it made it somewhat unplayable.

Gameplay

If you have played any of the Just Cause games, then you’ll feel right at home in Just Cause 4. You still play as Rico Rodriguez and he looks exactly the way he did, back in Just Cause 3.

Because of all the issues players had with Just Cause 3, developer Avalanche Studios built a brand new engine from the ground up called the Apex Engine. It allows for a more stable frame rate, faster load times, deeper draw distances and more.

Just Cause 4 also has extreme weather which adds things like tornados, tropical storms with hurricane winds, torrential rain and lightning.

Some new gameplay improvements include insane physics and a crazy amount of destruction. The game is set in the fictional country of Solis which includes 4 completely distinct biomes to explore.

Just Cause 4 gives players the choice to approach missions from any angle and in any order. One thing that really bothered me was that even though Just Cause 4 is about destruction, enemies take a long time to beat, meaning you’ll empty your gun’s clip before you’re done the mission.

Rico’s Grapple Hook is back in Just Cause 4 with the ability to have 10 active tethers, boosters and more. It’s a lot of fun to add boosters to vehicles, NPCs or even animals.

 

You can upgrade Rico’s Grapple Hook as you progress through the game. Vehicle handling has been improved but land vehicles take damage too easily. After a few hits and they’ll blow up.

Another thing that frustrated me was the AI in the game. One mission I was on had me escort an ally in a vehicle while outrunning the enemies when they shoot at us. As I mentioned earlier, cars easily get damaged and I had to do the mission multiple times because the enemies kept blowing up my car after a few hits.

The missions in Just Cause 4 can get very repetitive after a while and even though the world is huge, there is only a handful of activities to do besides the main story missions.

Here’s the synopsis for the game’s story:

Rico Rodriguez takes on the Black Hand, the world’s most powerful private army run by Gabriela Morales, a newly introduced character.[4] The Black Hand served as a mercenary group to dictators Salvador Mendoza of Just Cause and Sebastiano Di Ravello in Just Cause 3. When Rico is shown evidence that his late father was working with The Black Hand, he plunges into the South American nation of Solís, the homeland of the Black Hand in search of answers.

If you’re looking for a rich story then you’ll want to look elsewhere. Just Cause 4’s story is fairly weak and all over the place. The main point of the game isn’t the storyline, it’s more about the destructive gameplay.

Presentation

Just Cause 4 is Xbox One X enhanced and playable in HDR. The game can achieve 4K resolution but keeps it locked to 30 fps.

The game does look good from a distance but when you actually stop and look at the world, stuff in the game starts to look worse. I wish Avalanche would have kept the bright colours featured in Just Cause 3 rather than the muddy and dark colours of Just Cause 4.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Just Cause 4 is a fun game but it’s hampered by poor AI and storyline, repetitive missions.

I conducted this review using an Xbox One review copy provided by Square-Enix.

Pros

  • Fun destructive gameplay
  • More toys to get creative with
  • Great physics system
  • Vast open world
  • Extreme weather adds new gameplay elements

Cons

  • Terrible enemy AI
  • Weak storyline
  • Repetitive missions

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