Things Are Not looking so bright on the Central American island of San Esperito. A corrupt dictator is developing illicit WMDs. Guerrillas roam the countryside, fighting running battles with the neo-Nazi army. Drug cartels control whole towns and villages, drinking, whoremongering and generally leading enviable lives on their marching-powder profits. And to make matters worse, the Americans are about to send in one of their agents to effect a one-man regime change. San Esperito may have thought it had seen its fair share of violence, but wait till it sees what the Agency can do.
Your first involvement as special agent Rico Rodriguez sees you being tossed out of a plane at 5,000ft. Once mild panic has receded, you work out how to deploy your parachute and come floating down to be briefed by your Agency contacts. From here, in true GTA fashion, where you go is completely up to you. This war-torn, white-sanded, jungle-covered island is your oyster. Go anywhere, take any mission, steal any vehicle: GTA, you have been robbed again, but this time at least the muggers have had the decency to spend their takings wisely.
Big Is Beautiful
San Esperito is a huge, sprawling land of opportunity. You haven't seen a gameworld this big before, at least not one where there are no load times and missions are to be found at every village, every T-junction and every jungle clearing. Do the Agency's dirty work, help the guerrillas liberate villages or assist the drug cartels in their turf wars. It's more dangerous than Rochdale town centre at throw-out time, with policemen battling drug barons and fighting freedom fighters. But while San Esperito may be a brutal cesspit of wanton violence, it sure is a beautiful one.
The lush, shimmering greenery, the lingering sun coating everything in gold -just cruising the highway is an eyeful. But it's those staggering vistas from 10,000ft that really bring a tear to the eye. And not only is there not a load time in sight, but the horizons have the draw distance of a flight simulator. It's such an appealing sight it makes you want to volunteer to swallow condoms full of crack, just to be allowed to join a Colombian drug cartel.
If there's scant attention paid to the laws of the land, there's even less given to the laws of physics, as it turns out Rico is something of a bionic man. In one mission, he found himself careering off a cliff on a dirt bike. He managed to let go of the bike mid-air, at which point he assumed that psychotic-looking head-first skydiving position. A quick key bash convinced him to flip open a parachute, with which he then glided down to the road in the valley below. Seeing as he was just returning from dynamiting a police station, his 'wanted' level was still pretty high, so no sooner had he heeled someone out of their Buick than a squad of police vans turned up, together with a rocket-spewing helicopter.
One major road accident and at least 12 fatalities later, his Buick was belching fire. Another keystroke got him standing on the bonnet, and another saw him leap 150ft into the air to grab hold of the tail of the bombarding helicopter. Executing a rather unfeasible but majestic move, he tlien delicately swung into the cockpit and pushed out the hapless pilot, and a minute down the line, having worked out how to fire the rockets, the remaining police vans were burning. I swung the mouse round to watch the glorious sunset as we flew home.
Where's My Chopper?
Just Cause is like a bunch of rudimentary arcade games Ixolted together. Ridge Racer one second, Silent Scope the next, then a of Crazy Taxi followed by Air Combat. Eveiything is easy - hijacking a car, jumping frotn one speeding car to the next, latching onto a helicopter with a grappling hook, then parachuting out once hit by a SAM. Sometimes too easy, as you can fall 100ft and not take a scratch, or ram a car into a tree at 150mph without the paintwork even flaking. A little more simulator-like sophistication in the driving models wouldn't have gone amiss.
With a super-abundance of high-powered civilian and military hardware strewn carelessly around the place with the keys still in the ignition, San Esperito must resemble what Jeremy Clarkson dreams of as heaven. It's one big unruly racetrack. You can hot-wire overpowered sports cars and hurtle them off clifftops. You can drive tanks through jungle, villages and oncoming traffic. You can get under the canopy of a supersonic fighter jet and strafe the countryside indiscriminately. And for the first hour or so of playing, of course that's exactly what you'll do.
At which point you'll well and truly lost up some hillside dirt track fist-fighting some farmers whose cart you just totalled. Where the hell am I? What am I supposed to do next? These are questions that will blight your first hours in San Esperito. It's only after microscopic scrutiny that the interface - especially the mapping system - reveals its secrets.
Once you've wrestled with the mini-map and kick-started your insurgency career, the next hiccup turns out to be the mission balancing. It swiftly becomes apparent that the side-missions - liberating towns and running errands - are as hard and often harder than the main missions for the Agency. Consequently, you find yourself ploughing through the game ignoring the annoyingly difficult unnecessary stuff, meaning that, despite the impressive size, the game is over sooner than you know it. And when you hit one of those bastard-hard missions that take eight goes to get right, you'll feel like you're commuting to work from some faraway respawn position.
According to the popular spiel, Just Cause combines the open-plan game structure and madcap carjacking of GTA: Vice City with the intense action and exotic locales of Far Cry. Well, it kind of does this in its own enjoyably shambolic way. In building an arena so vast, the developers have baked themselves a mighty big cookie to take a bite from, so yes, the result is a little rough around the edges. The driving model isn't exactly precision-tuned; cutscenes take place at the opposite time of day to when you trigger them; approaching helicopters sound like horseflies. But in injecting regime change with such sheer raggedy-ass size and balls-out bluster, the developers I we joined Rico Rodriquez in pulling off something of a coup.
Processor: PC compatible,
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode