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The Backlog Volume # 29 – Just Cause

Just Cause Xbox 360

Just Cause (Playstation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PC)
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Genre(s): Action-adventure
Released: September 27, 2006
ESRB Rating: M – Mature

 

Hello everyone and welcome back to yet another way past due edition of The Backlog. As usual, the real world continues to get in the way of things I’d rather be doing, but such is life for most of us.

So we’re here with the 29th installment of The Backlog, and we’re going to be true to the name here. We’re going to go back to a game that came out over nine years ago, Just Cause. Being that this game is more on the ancient side, gaming wise that is, we are going to keep things shorter than normal. With that in mind, let’s get this party started.

Just Cause

Graphics:

As you might expect, the graphics here aren’t very good. Looked very dated, and a little fuzzy. Perhaps not that bad in reality, but now that we’re on to the PS4 and Xbox 1, it just pales in comparison.

Audio:

A little good and bad here. The exchanges between Rico and Tom Sheldon, and to a lesser extent Maria are fairly well done, but we only get those to begin the main story missions. The side missions and liberation missions lines are decent as well, but short. The in game music was not all the great though, and was very repetitive.

Story:

We assume the road of Rico Rodriguez. Rico is a highly skilled, highly trained member of a group simply known as The Agency.

The Agency has set up shop in a fictional chain of islands known as San Esperito, and Rico’s job is to overthrow the dictator, Salvador Mendoza. Mendoza is believed to have WMDs and is generally regarded as not being a very nice person to the people living in his little slice of the Caribbean.

The story starts on the North end of the islands and works its way South. Completing story missions opens up a handful of territories that can be liberated from government to guerrilla control.

Rico and the Agency have aligned themselves with the guerrilla group, as well as the Rioja drug cartel, who is a rival of a government supported drug cartel in the country.

Liberations occur in towns, cities, and on military bases in order to take over territories. Takeovers of cartel locations do not help with overtaking territories, but moving up in ranks among both the cartel and the guerrillas unlocks more weapons, vehicles and safe houses in addition to the Agency safe houses across the islands.

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Gameplay:

Just Cause is, at it’s core, a third-person run and gun shooter. The controls I did not find exactly smooth, and some things felt rather clunky. The grappling hook, for example, was a great idea and innovation, but it took quite a while to get used to, and even then it never became easy to use, much less master.

Vehicles were hit or miss. Most vehicles did not steer very well in my opinion, though I did find that the dirt bike and several of the helicopters to be more than sufficient for getting around.

Lastly, while the story missions were pretty good, the liberations and side missions quickly became repetitive and boring.

The Good:

Most of the controls are easy to pick up and go and the story definitely has it’s highlights.

The Bad:

Dated graphics, repetitive audio and music, clunky controls and ill-handling vehicles, and lastly, repetitive side missions.

Official Score:

If I had played this closer to the original release, I may have felt better about it depending on the platform I got it for at the time, at least about some aspects. However, this is not eight or nine years ago, this is today, and today, I can’t go higher than 2 ½ stars, but I’m not feeling particularly generous, so I’m going to round it down to 2 stars.

There are worse uses of your time, but there are also a lot more better options.

Until next time, Game On.

2 Stars

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