Just Cause Review

I think back almost three years now to a private booth showing from Eidos.  They had a then-untitled game that featured an incredibly large island that players could travel across in a Grand Theft Auto style while they instigated and orchestrated an uprising against the local government.  The game was as serious as the subject matter, and it looked pretty fantastic for a work in progress.

Fast forward to the release of Just Cause for the Xbox 360.  Something has happened in the years since I last saw the title

The easiest way to determine what the graphics for Just Cause look like is to simply download the demo from the Xbox Live Marketplace.  When I fired up the game I immediately flashed back a few years to the demonstration that I saw

Halt! Policia!  It makes sense when you hear it in the middle of a firefight with police in tow.  It doesn

The controls in Just Cause are fairly simple.  Your left trigger throws grenades, the right trigger fires your weapons.  The face buttons allow you to jump, use items, or activate items in the various game menus.  Thumbing the D-Pad left or right selects weapons, including mines and the grappling hook.  It is also a sore point with the controls as the menu does not wrap, meaning you have to backtrack if you need a particular weapon.  You can only hold a few weapons, so you won

There are a total of 21 missions in the primary plot thread of the game.  They can be as simple as delivering supplies to a drug lord, or as complex as assaulting a military compound defended by surface to air missiles and tanks.  You can go on a metric ton of side missions to help fund your liberation campaign with weapons and vehicles, but they are not required to complete the game.  In fact, very little is actually required in Just Cause.  The game purports itself as a political uprising game, but in short it is a giant sandbox with a mission thrown in here or there. 

The island of San Espirito is huge.  It can take literally a half an hour to go from one tip of the island to the other if you are flying a prop driven plane.  A jet is a little faster.  Getting to the other end in a car?  Forget it.  There is an expansive world for you to explore, and there is literally no boundary beyond taking the time to get there.  You can As I mentioned above, there are 21 missions in the primary storyline.  You can knock it out in roughly 6 to 7 hours.  The side missions are fairly simple and fall into a few categories.  Most of the side mission threads start off with a revolution, meaning you have to kill some people, blow up three roadblocks, and then change the flag in the area.  Other missions have you performing FedEx duties with packages.  Speaking of packages, you can also do collection missions that involve picking up drugs, chips, or the like.  They show up as blue dots on your map, so it isn

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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