Just Cause 4 Xbox One Review

September 14, 2019 by  
Filed under Xbox One, Reviews & Features, Xbox

Publisher: Square Enix  Developer: Avalanche Studios  Genre: Action  Players: 1 

Age Rating: 18+  Other console/handheld formats: PS4

Just Cause 3 disappointed in a number of ways, chiefly in how the game performed technically, with a framerate that wasn’t able to keep up with the action at times. Straight away I can tell you that Just Cause 4 is a major improvement in this area (at least on the Xbox One X), with action that rarely ever slows down.

Rico Rodriguez once again returns, and the story once again has him being a freedom fighter and bringing about a revolution, this time in the Latin American state of Solis. One big difference in the story through is that your enemy is able to control the weather, which brings about some exciting set-pieces. Even though it is passable with some entertaining dialogue, the story unfortunately remains largely uninteresting.

Something that definitely isn’t uninteresting is Just Cause’s varied brand of action which =gets better and better with each new game. We had the introduction of the wingsuit in the previous game, which was an excellent addition that slotted in perfectly with the rest of Rodriguez’s tools, and it returns here along with the parachute and grappling hook. Developer Avalanche didn’t stop here though, with the addition of the balloon. The airlifter instantly reminded me of Metal Gear’s Fulton Recovery system, although here it can be used against your enemies, attaching balloons to them or their vehicles, elevating them into the air, and then dropping them from a height. Should you decide to, you can even use the airlifter against innocent civilians, and even animals. It’s a guilty pleasure, if ever there was one. The airlifter is a new tool that deserves to be experimented with, and experimentation with this, as well as the returning retractor and boosters, definitely makes the explosive action all the more interesting. There’s driving and shooting as well, so there’s definitely plenty to do.

You are able to experiment with different loadouts, altering different things to make Rico’s equipment behave differently. There’s a vast array of things that you are able to do, such as toggling the height the airlifter will carry something, how long the boosters will take to burn out, and so on. These mods are unlocked as you progress throughout the game, and they are a lot of fun to make use of.

The visuals can hardly be called spectacular, but they do the job and hold up when the action gets heavy.

Just Cause 4 has a similar structure to the previous game, in which you unlock story missions by accomplishing key tasks. Again, some of these tasks are rather repetitive, although you no longer have to do as much in order to unlock a story mission. You’ll be hacking things, protecting things, and blowing things up, which, while repetitive at times, are a lot of fun thanks to Rico’s tools and weaponry. The gargantuan explosions also don’t bring the game to a near standstill now, and what action fan would grow tired of witnessing such sights? Certainly not me.

As mentioned earlier, story missions now have a lot to do with the weather, and these missions look excellent thanks to swirling tornadoes, atmospheric thunderstorms, and blinding sandstorms. These weather events definitely set the game apart from previous instalments in the series, and are always exhilarating to be in the midst of. Perhaps a future game in the series could stretch the engine even further and give us such extreme weather randomly? Maybe it’s a little too much to ask, but that would definitely be interesting.

Solis is also an environment that adds appeal to the game, and Avalanche has long been dreaming up excellent and varied environments. Solis is very well put together, and it’s certainly varied in the way that there are desert areas, dense jungle environments, and snowy mountains, as well as plenty of greenery. The Just Cause series has always allowed you to soar to great heights, and the fourth game certainly is no different; you’ll be seeing things from above, while diving, sailing, and zipping into the action, and just travelling around the place in a manner which makes the vehicles seem that little less interesting to drive. It’s all an absolute joy.

Just Cause 4 is definitely an improvement over the third game in the series, although if you had a disliking of the structure of that game, then this one is hardly going to change your mind too much. The exciting and explosive action is once again centre stage in a beautifully constructed environment, although the story remains bland, and mission design can be a bit repetitive from time to time. Still, its flaws are somewhat offset by extreme action with a parachute, a grappling hook, and a wingsuit, with surrounding explosions that are some of the largest that you can currently find in a game.