JUST CAUSE 4
Rico Rodriguez’s new career: weatherman with a vengeance
Rico Rodriguez has always been a free soul. After all, he’s the master of chaos, wreaking havoc in each game’s progressively more detailed sandboxes as he chases liberation. But in Just Cause 4 he’s able to go where the wind takes him more than in any of its predecessors, thanks to the enhanced weather of Avalanche’s brand-new Apex engine.
And by “enhanced weather” we don’t just mean something like the awful heatwave we were forced to deal with in OPM Towers last month (the effects of which are still being felt as we’re still finding discarded ice-cream wrappers around Oscar’s desk). No, we mean the dynamic weather systems that define the environments of Solís, the fictional South American country Rico must liberate this time. On the lighter side of things the enhanced weather means Rico can more accurately highjack the literal airwaves with his wing-suit as he glides effortlessly through the canyons, diving, rising, and grappling to propel himself further. For an action-packed, gun-toting game about full-on conflict – which is now represented contextually in the space by an actual front line that shifts as you retake more of the country – these moments of soaring can be quite serene. Being playful is Just Cause’s forte.
But it isn’t always calm. On the other side of the coin the Apex engine allows for devastating acts of natural destruction. Sandstorms, blizzards, forked lightning, tornadoes – Solís can be dangerous if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. The demo we see has Rico taking on a mission requiring him to herd a tornado using weather tech. The wind physics at play are beyond impressive, sucking up all the little physics objects and the big ones too – passenger airliners are dragged in, as are any helicopters. A rocket is launched at the tornado and it swirls upwards around the outside before colliding and exploding. Just Cause 4’s weather is wild and unpredictable like nothing else before it.
We’re a UK mag, so you can forgive us for blithering on about the weather; it’s our national obsession. However, while the forces of nature are the most bombastic addition, tons of changes have also been made to Rico’s trademark grapple, letting him turn Solís into a better playground than the one that has the big roundabout.
Now fully customisable, you can mod different effects to its various functions – for instance, a pulse that occurs when you retract objects together. The ability to add jet boosters to objects makes a return, but now you can fire them from your grapple. The new air lift mode allows you to float things up in the air permanently. Add a mod that makes the floats follow you, and you have a permanent air-platform that’ll mosey on over to you at all times. Whack boosters on that bad boy and… well, you can see where we’re going with this. Making mayhem with the physics and objects littered around the world has never been smoother, and the key to it all is in the palm of Rico’s hand. (On his forearm, actually.)
If you want to get really wild, Rico’s arsenal now sports customisable secondary fire functions. Ever thought launching grenades one at a time was too slow? What about a function to launch all your grenades at once? Or adding a drone to work with your railgun and provide cover from the air?
It’s not just the guns that have been made a little deeper. Chaos objects return for that extra little dash of mayhem – things like exploding gas canisters. These have all been given secondary functions too. Blast just the top of one of the aforementioned gas tanks, and the flames will burst from the tip, propelling it over distances (and yes, these get blown into tornadoes, too – talk about bad wind). The forecast for Rico’s return is looking pretty good.