Have you ever played a game or watched a movie where you really, really wanted to blow up all of the evil villains’ buildings and contraptions? I know I did, and that’s basically what Just Cause 3 is.
The game follows Rico, a resistance fighter returning to his Mediterranean hometown of Medici, which has been taken over by dictator General Di Ravello, who has established a huge military presence across the country, with his main power supplies protected with bavarium-specialised vehicles and specialist defense mechanisms.
One thing I love about Just Cause 3 over its previous iterations is that its setting is much more exotic and feels like a paradise that has been ruined because of the dictatorship presiding over it. While Just Cause 3 features jungles and weather to reflect that attitude, Just Cause 3 instead gives us beautiful beaches, bright vibrant colours and a wonderful blue sky, which serves the game better than previous environments in the series and does a better job of showing off the capabilities of next-generation graphics. Medici looks like a place in the Mediterranean, it looks like a place you’d go on holiday to, and being able to fly around that tropical paradise freely is a lot of fun.
Of course, it would be weird to talk about the game without mentioning how fantastic the main mechanic is: destruction. Unlike Just Cause 2 where you would earn Chaos points to buy items, Just Cause 3’s unlock system is much more linear – you’ve got to destroy military bases and liberate towns to unlock better vehicles and unlocks. In this game, you have to use rebel drops if you want specific weapons or vehicles to attack or infiltrate with, with some unlocking at higher levels the more you liberate Medici. Although the Chaos points don’t do much in this game, it’s quite marvellous to see the points rack up the more you cause explosions and destruction.
Despite the core mechanic of the game being exploding and destroying everything in your way, there are a few missions that require you driving vehicles and shooting enemies with guns. These can be quite tedious at times and sometimes really difficult when faced with a healthbar to protect said vehicles when all you have is your own guns, and trying not to blow yourself up with bombs that also damage the vehicle.
One of the cool, non-story features of the game are the challenges and collectables that are scattered around the world map. You can unlock these special races and challenges that award mods to improve your already existing items through getting a certain amount of gears (think of them like a “out of five stars” system) on each one. There’s also shrines in each region that you can light up as well as tapes from General Di Ravello that give more insight to his personality and his rule over Medici.
The best part about Just Cause 3 is that it’s just really, really fun to play. Occasional annoying missions and sidemissions but on the whole, it’s one of the more enjoyable experiences I’ve had with a AAA game and I’ve already said it looks absolutely beautiful. The fact that this goes on sale for less than a McDonald’s meal very often during Steam sales should be considered daylight robbery. I would suggest paying full price for the game because it’s just that good. Although there are some bugs that can happen, Just Cause 3 is a massive improvement over its predecessor and gives more creativity, freedom and fun than ever before.