Just Cause 2 First Impressions

March 24th, 2010 -

Let’s start off with, WOW! Talk about an improvement. Just Cause 1 was a joke compared to this game. I think I can summarize my experience with Just Cause 2 in a sentence. Just Cause 2 is what I would imagine the GTA series would have evolved into if they kept with the trend they ended with on GTA: San Andreas.

GTA games have made their place in history because they basically pioneered the “go anywhere, do anything” motto for gameplay. The story was never that great, the graphics were sub par, and the voice acting (while a talented cast) typically wasn’t anything to run to the streets about. The first thing someone says to you when you mention GTA is “hey man I found a hooker, I got some lovin’ on and then when she left, I drove over her and took my money back. It was so funny”, Or something along those lines.
GTA has somewhat gone in a “up its own ass with story” direction and somewhat (but not entirely) forgotten what made it such a memorable game. GTA IV wants to be taken seriously, like the Sopranos. Unfortunately, “The Sopranos” it is not. While my experiences with IV may be different than yours, there’s no denying that what Just Cause 2 brings to the table is what made the GTA series so popular, “go anywhere, do anything” but turned up to 11.
The Voice acting in Just Cause 2 is terrible, and that’s being nice. The graphics? In some places pretty good (i.e. water), but over all I’ve seen better. The story… um, I’m honestly not really sure there’s much of a story other than a painful cut scene to justify your next mission. However, as soon as you start grappling to everything like spiderman, pulling off stunts that would impress James Bond, and defying the laws of physics (i.e. standing on the top of a plane going full speed 10,000 feet in the air), you completely forget and forgive any of its flaws. Also, not to mention the map is freaking gigantic, I’m not sure what the scale actually is, but imagine that mostly “tan/green” area in the lower left of the map is the whole GTA: San Andreas Map.
This game is just flat out fun. It’s not great, it’s not “epic”, it’s not revolutionary. It’s the same “smile on your face”, laughing at the ridiculous crashes/jumps/glitches/dialog fun that you used to have with GTA games. As of right now I’m about 4-5 hours into the game and probably about 2 of that is progressing through the “story”. If my calculations are correct on the 30min demo, I played about 7 hours of just dicking off, so for me it’s a justified purchase for a game to just mess around with and not worry about completing a mission or saving the world. To some of you it may not be worth $60 (or in my case $50), but I stress that if you truly enjoyed GTA San Andreas and clocked countless hours base jumping from as high as you can get, shooting stuff with the Harrier Jet, flying around with the jet pack just because you could… and driving around exploring every inch of the map, I can almost guarantee you’ll enjoy Just Cause 2.
More to come in a full review after I’ve beat the game or clocked over 10-15 hours.
Oh ya, and it has a youtube upload strait from the game… lol awesome!

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