Just Cause
South America heats up in this sandbox-style action game.

Labeled With  Eidos Interactive Just Cause Avalanche Studios
Written by Josh Lowensohn on Sunday, October 08 2006

When a sandbox-style game comes out these days, it’s hard not to make comparisons to the perennial groundbreaker that was Grand Theft Auto III and its sequels. The recently-reviewed Saint’s Row is an excellent example of a game in this genre which unabashedly borrows elements of style and core gameplay mechanics, but attempts to build on that foundation. All this aside, let’s just get it out of the way and say that if you liked any of the 3-D GTA games, you’re no doubt going to enjoy Just Cause.

Who, What, When, Where

Just Cause takes place in the lush and vibrant made up islands of San Esperito in South America. This unstable country is under the control of a power-hungry and oppressing dictator who, as you might have guessed, is the guy you’re going to have to take out. You play the role of Special Agent Rico Rodriguez, an operative with an impressive weapons skill set and the uncanny ability to expertly handle boats, planes, helicopters and automobiles with ease. As my brother once said long ago while playing GTA3 for the first time, “Somebody who can do all this should really be doing something besides blowing up cars and killing hookers.”

While there are cars to be blown up and people killed (although no hookers), your role in the game, similar to GTA, is to overthrow the factions in charge to rule the roost. Your orders are given to you by the CIA in a tongue and cheek plot that ends up having you do all the work while your “co-workers” sit around and drink daiquiris. Your missions are simple, often having you destroy targets or collect items. Unfortunately, there main storyline is incredibly short and can be finished well under eight hours with a few side missions under your belt as well. If I were to go through the game again, it would probably take closer to five. The missions themselves are often quite easy; however, you might find yourself failing certain ones if you don’t have the right strategy or equipment for the job. Trial and error are no biggies though, as you’re allowed to revert back to the most recent checkpoint at any time.

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