Just Cause 4

Rico’s en­e­mies are about to have a thun­der blun­der

Games Master - - Contents - Os­car Tay­lor-Kent

Rico can never catch a break. When­ever he goes some­where new, things start ex­plod­ing around him.

“Some­thing un­ex­pected ends up hap­pen­ing. but it al­ways makes sense within the rules of the world”

Dur­ing our hands-on ses­sion with Just Cause 4 we sit down with the man him­self, the game’s di­rec­tor, Francesco An­tolini. As he shows us the game, he’s con­stantly talk­ing about his love of open world games – Just Cause 2 is the one that got him to join Avalanche Stu­dios, af­ter all. He speaks with pas­sion about some of his re­cent favourites: The Leg­end Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild; Me­tal Gear Solid V; and As­sas­sin’s Creed Ori­gins (the man him­self used to work at Ubisoft). “There is ac­tu­ally one thing I’m see­ing, where all good open worlds are go­ing,” An­tolini notes. “It’s this at­tempt at mak­ing the world it­self more plau­si­ble and more able to com­mu­ni­cate about sta­tus and what’s hap­pen­ing with­out the need for an in­ter­face telling you. We’re go­ing in a di­rec­tion of try­ing to get rid of the hand of the de­signer.” That’s the big­gest take­away you’ll have from your first sit-down with the game. You just ex­plore, ex­per­i­ment, and mess around in the sand­box, and ev­ery­thing just feels right.

Dark Solís

There aren’t huge check­lists of ar­eas to lib­er­ate. In­stead Solís feels like one con­nected space, with the war Rico and his army are fight­ing sweep­ing across it, push­ing for­ward lit­er­ally as he pro­gresses with the front­line sys­tem. Rico’s no longer fight­ing his way through a col­lec­tion of small con­flicts, he’s tack­ling one big one, on a grand scale, and it’s filled with things to blow up and mess around with. Rico’s three-in-one grap­pling hook al­lows him to link ob­jects to­gether, add boost­ers to things, and at­tach bal­loons to them – all at the same time if he wants. And that’s on top of just us­ing it to pull him­self to­wards things,

em­ployed in tan­dem with the re­turn­ing parachute and wing­suit to al­low him to glide ef­fort­lessly over JustCause 4’s huge map. It’s all about giv­ing you op­tions. There’s plenty to do to gain Chaos, and un­lock­ables can be ac­quired to cus­tomise how you play by com­plet­ing chal­lenges. And they all have a rea­son to be there. All of Just Cause 4’s sys­tems are folded into the game. The way each type of grap­ple works can also be mod­i­fied and cus­tomised — for in­stance, you can set ob­jects with air lifts to fol­low Rico around (keep red bar­rels around and drop them for ex­plo­sions), or you can set a booster to only pro­pel ob­jects hor­i­zon­tally or ver­ti­cally if you want.

Weather man

“There is a cer­tain de­gree of ran­dom­ness,” An­tolini tells us of the world’s physics sys­tems, “just be­cause the things that in­ter­act with each other are so many that your brain can­not just com­pare the pos­si­ble out­comes, so what hap­pens is that some­thing un­ex­pected ends up hap­pen­ing. But it’s al­ways some­thing that makes sense within the rules of the world.” That’s what makes play­ing around in the world so fun. You want to see what you can make work within the rules of the game.

For us, pick­ing up the con­troller for the first time, it’s the sim­ple joy of just see­ing what can hap­pen us­ing the grap­pling hook. We’re sim­ple and easy to please: we see a goat, we at­tach a passerby to the goat, we put a bal­loon on the per­son, we put a booster on that bal­loon, and watch the show. Hav­ing learned some­thing there, we move ef­fort­lessly through the fol­low­ing mis­sion, where in­stead of just shoot­ing our way out (which is still fun), we blast through en­e­mies us­ing the power of physics.

And what bet­ter way to throw real span­ners into the works than with the new ex­treme weather — per­haps na­ture’s ul­ti­mate physics de­railer. With real weaponised wind in the game (watch out for tor­na­does), what hap­pens when you put boost­ers on a mounted wind-fir­ing gun, and let it spin wildly? The four biomes’ ex­treme weather con­di­tions can be learned and mas­tered. Go too high dur­ing a thun­der­storm, and light­ning will strike you. If only you had some bal­loons that could lift your en­e­mies into the air and… ah… we love the smell of bar­be­cued bad guys in the morn­ing.

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