In the beginning it was an explosion. And to follow another one. And then another one. And now, another, the biggest. Yes, in short, it was a rather chaotic but adrift beginning Avalanche Studios, Swedish software house known mainly for its series of Just Cause, like it. But it's not just the explosions that dominate Just Cause 4. Speed is also an essential element of the series. Our Rico is ready to dart alternating grappling hook, wingsuit and parachute in the trees and the vegetation of the immense island of Solis. Today we will talk about this fourth iteration of the series, recently published on major consoles and PC. The tested version is the latter.
The title, as by tradition Avalanche, does not differ much from its predecessors, proposing this time as the setting of the island of Solis and a story that fails to entertain much and that seems decidedly untreated. During the game our Rico must clash against Oscar Espinoza and his madman Illapa project, designed to control the weather and to trigger huge storms of lightning or tornado at will. An incredible weapon that, if put at the service of a mad dictator, could bring the whole world to its knees. So it's up to us to destroy it. And in the most spectacular way possible. The daring arrival on the island is soon abruptly interrupted and the first game oretta consists of a quick tutorial during which we get again the gadgets so dear to Rico: grappling hook, wingsuit and parachute, on which we will return later. Our commitments must immediately be directed to the liberation of the various areas of Solis by means of a rebellious army, properly called Army of Chaos, nomen omen.
Every action of ours, every destruction or mission completed, increases the indicator of Chaos which, once filled, reinforces the ranks of the Army with which we can conquer new areas thus guaranteeing bonuses such as weapons or vehicles of all kinds, freely deployable through one of our own helpers, a bit like an air drop that can be called at any time. You can have up to seven different helpers and after having called one you have to wait for the end of a countdown, rather short, concluded which can again be helpful. They are also very useful for fast movements but in case you want to move on your own there are no problems. Are you in the middle of the jungle and want to move faster? Very simple, take a helicopter and start fluttering. Although on the system of movement of vehicles there would have to be a pitiful veil. It's incredibly imprecise and it's not difficult to get overturned due to the absurd physics of the game or being thrown into the air at insane speed due to random bugs, who keep you company for a good part of the game. A similar speech could also be made on the system of shooting that, even if not very accurate, is still enjoyable, especially when the secondary fire of each weapon is also activated, which always guarantees excellent results. Not that the enemies can worry us that much. "Simple" soldiers do not have AI. Really, it is useless to say that they have a basic AI, there is not really. On the other hand, the helicopters and snipers make you have nightmares, being able to hit you even as you fly through the trees at 400 kilometers per hour with the wingsuit, while it rains and fog. In short, all or nothing, there are no middle ways.
The real fun of the game resides in Rico's movement system. Through the combined use of grappling hook, parachute and wingsuit you can achieve very exciting acrobatics and high-speed flights. All this still requires a little practice, the system is not exactly immediate but once mastered it guarantees splendid results. Moreover, one of these elements is also a practical weapon of destruction: I'm talking about the trusty grappling hook, this time even more fun thanks to the introduction of three practical accessories and various mods. Meanwhile, there's something to be done with retractor, lifter e booster. The first is already known and allows you to pull between them two objects or to pull one towards the ground or to a wall. The second is essentially the Fulton of Metal Gear Solid; once the grappling hook is attached to an object, a balloon will appear and start to pull it upwards. The last one allows to activate a mini-thruster at the point of impact. Yes, in other words, like the ones you've surely seen in some YouTube videos while sending cows to the sky and then exploding. Or, throwing it on the tail of a helicopter, it will start to spin faster and faster until you get that delicious "bug of interpenetration" effect that always makes you die with laughter.
Each gadget can be activated manually and, via the against, you can add even more effects to each accessory. For example you can add a practical repulsive explosion to the rewinder so, once the two attached objects come into contact, they are hurled away miles away or you can also decide that, when an object arrives at the point where it is hooked the grapple, the latter will break, leaving what we want to go away. Or again, we can decide the altitude at which to get the balloons of the lift, from a few meters to infinity, and decide to make them explode as soon as they reach the pre-established height. Or give the boosters a timer. And these are just some of the effects that you can combine with each other to give life to exhilarating results and, as always, explosives. Creatives and fanatics of explosions can create hundreds of different effects. What then is above all the result to which Avalanche points with Just Cause, in essence.
Mods can be acquired through the points obtainable in turn by some secondary missions given by some characters of the game. Added to these are the challenges. They certainly do not shine with inventiveness but are scattered throughout most of the map so it is possible to find someone in front of it and do it, just to spend some time. We can then quickly go through checkpoints with a vehicle, or fly through a series of rings with our wingsuit. The monotony and repetitiveness of these secondary missions, unfortunately, also pours on the main missions, but this is not new to the series, which uses the plot as a mere excuse to distribute destruction. To free the various areas of the map we must take part in delle Operations, which require a series of rather basic preparation missions. We are then asked to hack a console, get to a particular place, escort a vehicle, free people and little else. These are the constant elements of all the approach missions to the aforementioned Operations, in all four, which are then limited to taking a set of these elements, remixing them and making them even more spectacular given that the Operations are focused on the destruction (obviously) of the atmospheric weapon of turn, whose element will be against us in all possible ways.
The game, in essence, you do not want to deviate much from the other episodes of the saga proposing a gameplay run-in but even more expanded by some very nice goodies. But it is not without problems, indeed. Literally every single game of mine was interrupted with a different, random crash, which could hit me after half an hour of play as well as after two hours. Fortunately, the rescue system is well done and I have never really lost time in redoing missions. The glance of the island of Solis is not bad but just start walking to notice the total distracted of some textures, completely smeared and that hurt the soul but it is the technical sector of the PC version to be rather poor. The structures are few and repeated indefinitely. Note the initial loading, which is practically the only one you will see throughout the game. Once finished and pressed on "Continue", the game starts instantly and the very few other loading screens are those present before the missions or cut-scenes, however stuff of a few seconds. The customization options are very basic and even with an 2080 I had trouble keeping the 60 frames fixed at 4K resolution. There does not seem to be anything really serious, how much more annoying, and they also seem to be problems that could be solved by means of patches but, at the moment, they do not see the shadow.
Note - The game was performed on the following configuration:
16GB DDR4 2133mhz;
WD Blue 1TB;
Xfx550 power supply;
Gigabyte G1 2080 8gb;
Noctua nuh-d14 dissipator;
SSD Samsung 256 GB