Xbox One Review: Just Cause 3

I hear Medici is nice this time of year…

It seems like forever since we last saw Rico Rodriguez, it was actually way back in 2010 when Just Cause 2 launched. The sequel had improved upon the original, but was the same high-octane lunacy that it began. The third entry in the series is now upon us, but can it too recapture what was great about the series after 5 years away?
Rico returns to his homeland of Medici as it is taken over by yet another dictator, this time round it’s a sadistic general by the name of Di Ravello. As you would expect, Rico isn’t too happy and does what he can to take back the cities from Di Ravello’s forces in the manner you would expect from a game like this. Guns, explosions and more explosions.

Rico has a few gadgets at his disposal including a grappling hook that can hoist him into the air, then he can deploy a parachute or wing-suit to fly across the island, it looks a bit daft but works well to get you across quickly. He can also use the hook to tether two objects to each other and then retract them, so you can tether an explosive barrel to an enemy or to a lovely positioned oil drum and watch the fireworks.

Besides the main story, there are challenges that can gain you upgrades. These challenges can vary from destroying as much as you can in a certain amount of time to gliding through checkpoints in your wing-suit. These can be tough, but rewarding when you get the maximum score for each…the drawback is if you fail, the load times between replaying these are incredibly long for something so basic in design. But then again, the load times for the whole game are the longest I’ve seen on the newer consoles.
There’s been quite a bit already publicized about the game’s performance issues, more so on the Xbox One…which happens to be the version I am reviewing. Apparently the framerate is worse on that particular system, dropping as low as 20FPS in some areas. Well, having played it extensively I can honestly say that I barely saw any drop and seemed to run smoothly. Of course, that may just be down to luck…I did have a digital-copy of the game, so maybe that only applied to disc versions?While I can’t be certain on that, what I can be certain of is that I was able to play from beginning to end without as many hiccups as those mentioned by other outlets.

Visually, Just Cause 3 is a nice looking game. The explosive nature of the open world is always at the your fingertips and the level of destruction you can cause is impressive, the island of Medici is also pretty to look at. Character models are a mixed bag however and animations are far from glitch-free. Voice-acting is also pretty mixed, but there’s a great sense of humour in the game’s dialogue…especially the radio announcements from an English broadcaster who is obviously under direct orders (probably with a gun to his head) from Di Ravello’s forces.

The Verdict

Just Cause 3 keeps the same level of crazy as in past titles, it’s a great return to the series after a 5 year break…but it’s not perfect. The load times are brutal and the game can be a bit glitchy at times, but despite that it’s still incredibly fun to glide into an outpost and destroy everything in it. Rico’s return may not have gone as smoothly as we hoped, but it doesn’t stop it from being undeniably addictive.

Score: 8.0