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Everything wrong with open-world games
on May 17, 2014
I don't hate open-world games. Far Cry 3? Loved it. The Saboteur? Enjoyed it greatly. I even have fond memories of going through Grand Theft Auto 3 back in the day (though I suspect I'd find it a bit shallow if I were to revisit it today). Just Cause 2, on the other hand, is everything you could worry about in an open-world game.
For one, nothing you do has any purpose. There's a paper-thin plot that becomes more and more ridiculous as you play, but most of the missions that further the plot are simple "capture the base" or "shoot X person" missions. They could call it "Just Cuz 2" and it would be an even more accurate name. At a certain point I simply stopped listening to the explanations before missions because of how worthless they were, and you know what? I missed exactly zero of the plot, confirming just how pointless the "why" of what you're doing truly is.
The main draw of the game is probably the world's size or how you're able to hijack pretty much anything. Hijack a helicopter with another helicopter? Surf on a fighter jet? Why not? However, the world is so empty and devoid of life that this quickly becomes old, and since calling the missions monotonous would be doing a disservice to monotony, you're left with a game that has no redeeming aspects.
If you're looking for a game where you can do some crazy stuff in 10-minute bursts, Just Cause 2 could very well be your go-to game. However, if you expect a plot, characters, or anything beyond a big place to drive cars in circles around, you're going to be incredibly disappointed. Even the graphics, while occasionally pretty thanks to the landscapes, are let down by sub-par character models with textures that would be unacceptable for a game several years older than it.
I finished the game, hoping that something toward the end would redeem it. I only wound up regretting having wasted both my time and money. There are far better open-world games out there than this.