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Brutality: My Issue With Just Cause 2

Welcome to Brutality. In the first ever edition of this new BG feature, Aaron kicks Just Cause 2 upside-down. It’s ain’t gonna be pretty.

In todays brutality I’m going to go to town on Just Cause 2. You could say this is a risky move as the fanbase is quite large. And while I’m well aware how well received and how loved this game is, it’s simply one of the worst games in existence to me. Now before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, remember this is just my opinion. If you like the game, you carry on. I’m just here to throw in my 2 pence.

I have a fair few issues with this game, so much so I’m not really sure where to start. To roll it all up into one ball, my issue is that it’s one big world for you to do naff all in. Sure the game looks pretty, but there is literally no content. Let’s elaborate.

Issue #1: The Story (or lack thereof) and Missions

Being a primarily single player person, a story in a game is very important for me. This is probably Just Cause 2’s weakest point. Every mission is exactly the same, and only 5 minutes long. Four minutes of that being travelling to your destination. Even the cutscenes are the same for all the missions. Even going to the point where the script is pretty much the same, with similar dialog. Oh, and after the 2nd or 3rd mission all factions randomly throw out the “it would be unfortunate if you were a spy” line. All at the same time.

The main missions themselves aren’t really anything to be impressed with either. So much so, that I couldn’t even give an example of how boring they are as I can’t remember a single one. All of the faction missions are as simple as “go here and destroy this”.

Unfortunately, after the 20th time of circling something in a helicopter and barraging it with rockets, it does get rather stale. The Agency missions are a bit longer, but still leave no lasting impression other than “I paid for this?”.

Now I’m not going to say there’s no mission variety. Of course we have races. How better to convince super, evil, nasty people that you’re not a spy than to run around town participating in races?

But seriously, the amount of races in this game is beyond ridiculous. I think there are more races in Just Cause 2 than there are in actual racing games. It’s almost like they used the entirety of the development time making all these races, then made the rest of the game during the crunch period.

And again – the actual missions themselves are all just “go here and blow this up”. That could be a lot of fun all by itself, but Just Cause manages to ruin even that. Which brings me to my next issue.

Issue #2: Your Arsenal

Just Cause flaunts a massive weapon arsenal and all the vehicles of destruction you could wish for. Sounds like fun right? Wrong.

While yes, Just Cause does have all the items of mass destruction one could ask for, it really does make me want to never use them. Let’s start with the weapons. To obtain a new gun you simply open your PDA thingy and order a new gun. Then a helicopter swings by and drops it off for you. Simple as simple can be.

Oh wait, did I forget to mention the two cutscenes it takes to get this weapon? Yes, that’s right. One cutscene when you first throw the beacon and another to drop your order. Although these are skippable, it doesn’t make the whole ordeal any more enjoyable.

To top it off you can only buy one thing at a time. So say you want a new machine gun, pistol and grenades. That’s 3 separate orders and 6 cutscenes. Bored yet? I was. Then, to top off the topping off, ammo crates DON’T EXIST!

So you want more ammo? You gotta sit through all that again. Don’t be thinking you’ll be picking up ammo from fallen enemies either, no, no, no. They only carry about 4 different weapons and you can only get ammo from the same guns. So very quickly, I got tired of all the cutscenes and stuck to the 3-4 weapons that the enemies used.

On to the vehicles.

Issue #3: Vehicles and the Game Punishing You For Using Them

Just Cause, still to this date, has one of the largest maps I’ve seen in a game. It is very impressive. The size I mean, not so much what they actually filled it with, but we’ll get to that. However, having this large map, the game gives you several ways to traverse it. Land, sea or air.

Or my personal favourite; fast travel. Because parachute and grappling hook got real boring. I’ll begin with my biggest problem, the cars. To say “the cars handle like s#!t” would be an understatement.

It’s a sliding, rolling and crashing simulator. It felt like whenever I got in a vehicle, the game tried it’s hardest to throw me out of it. I’d hit the smallest rock in the road and lose control then swerve and roll for a good 18 miles.

Sure, this looks awesome, but becomes a real problem when you’re trying to get somewhere. As a result, the majority of my time was spent very slowly getting around via parachute and grappling hook.

Issue #4: Destruction. HA! and the World we Cause it in

I think one thing I saw this game brag about more than anything else was destruction and causing “chaos”. That must have been an in joke that we weren’t included on. At no point did I really feel like I was causing any chaos. At most I felt like a minor nuisance.

Now we all know if we see something red in a game, then it explodes. It’s been a thing since the dawn of games… more or less. You see a red barrel and it will explode. This is not new to us. Well brace yourself, Just Cause 2 has you wreaking unimaginable havoc by… blowing up red barrels. Oh, and bigger red barrels.

Sure, there are a few things inbetween like antennas and statues. But when I hear the word “destruction” I think about Bad Company or Red Faction. Blowing up a barrel is not destruction, blowing up a building is destruction. Which leads me to the world part of this issue.

Again, Just Cause 2 has a stupidly huge map. Yes, yes, round of applause, very impressive. However, within this ungodly sized map (that you won’t see because driving is where the real “chaos” is at, so you’ll be fast travelling everywhere), is nothing. Pretty much nothing.

You’ll come across the occasional town, hell, maybe even a city. But 90% of the map is trees, sand and mountain. If the trees were destructible, then maybe it’d be a bit more fun. But given that the game doesn’t like it when you drive off road, this would be a losing battle either way.

Issue #5: Collectathon 9000

This is a very common issue with games nowadays, but Just Cause 2 takes it to a whole new level. Not only is there not really any substance to this game, but they attempted to fill it out with enough collectables to keep you busy for the rest of your life.

The annoying part? You will need these collectables as they’re used to upgrade the weapons and vehicles you’ll never use. Then there’s also the armour upgrades, which you’ll definitely need as you die faster than a childs hopes and dreams after being left at an orphanage.

Issue #6: My Final Issue

My last issue is pretty much a collection of all of the above. This game had the ability to be great.

Lots of weapons and explosives. Weaponized vehicles capable of taking you across land, sea and air. A grappling hook. Parachute. Grappling to the side of a car and being able to move around it while shooting the people inside. It should be such a good game. But it’s not.

Somewhere along the way they managed to make it one of the most boring games I have ever played. It should be a really fun time. It has everything in there that’s fun. To be perfectly honest, the only thing that it’s missing to be awesome is a bow and arrow.

And that’s my Brutality. I don’t imagine future ones will be this long but I had a lot of nits to pick. If you agree with me let me know I’m not alone down in the comments. Or if you simply want to hurl abuse at me for hating on your favourite game that’s cool too.

About Aaron Chester

Aaron Chester
Massive game and movie enthusiast. In any free time I'm always playing something or watching something. I didn't choose the hermit life.

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  • Jay

    I enjoyed the original, but I was in save point hell with JC2. I kept respawning in a place where I would instantly get killed. It was pretty far along in the game too, so that -as they say- was that.