Saturday, March 20, 2010

Just Cause 2: The Grappling Hookening

The release is just a few days away, so I wanted to put in a good word for Just Cause 2. I downloaded the PS3 version of the demo, and it blew me away like nothing else has in years. The demo has a half-hour time limit in which you can run around a small portion of the game world, and I have played it at least eight times; that's how addicted to it I am. I'm incredibly cheap and usually have a decent-sized backlog of games to play through, so I rarely buy games as soon as they come out; Just Cause 2 is the first game released by a company not named Atlus that I've ever been excited enough about to actually preorder.

It's a third-person open world action game game where you roam around the fictional island nation of Panau, destroying facilities, assassinating enemy leaders, and doing missions for various factions to overthrow the tyrannical government of the island. In addition to the various weapons you can wield and vehicles you can commandeer, you have a grappling hook and reloadable parachute you can use to rapidly travel across the terrain, zip to advantageous positions to attack, escape from pursuing enemies, and destroy things in various creative ways. It's sort of like Mercenaries meets Red Faction: Guerrilla meets Bionic Commando meets gleefully over-the-top action movies like The Transporter.

Based on my experiences with the demo, I would enthusiastically recommend this game if you are interested in any of the following:

Zipping from building to building and vehicle to vehicle with a grappling hook while your enemies are in hot pursuit, sort of like Spider-Man if Spider-Man spent more time killing people in Third World countries.

Blowing lots of things up.

Advancing beyond mundane forms of transport acquisition like running up to vehicles and carjacking them at intersections, and having the option of alternative methods such as parachuting off a cliff that overlooks a busy road, landing on the roof of a moving car, forcing your way in through the window, and seizing the wheel, all while the car continues barreling down the highway at fifty miles an hour.

An open-world game where you run around kicking ass, wreaking havoc, and fleeing from the pursuing authorities with a main character who's not a sociopathic hooker-killing gangster.

Leaping off the roof of a four-story building, firing a grappling hook at an attacking enemy helicopter in mid-air, reeling yourself in, spraying submachine gun fire at the crew while hanging on to the outside of the cockpit, hauling the pilot out of his seat and hurling him to his doom, seizing control of the helicopter in mid air, and unleashing a torrent of rockets and gatling gun fire at the enemy troops gathered below.

If you own a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or PC, try out the demo if you haven't already. The full game is coming out on March 23rd. has a nice deal where you get $15 credit towards the next game you buy from them if you preorder Just Cause 2, so if you do any new game shopping there you can essentially get it for $45. I'm definitely looking forward to this one.

(Note: This ought to go without saying, but I receive no compensation from either Square Enix or Eidos for this post. Sadly, despite the boundless potential for niche marketing offered by the internet, the "video game fans who like jokes about particle physics and Oliver Cromwell" demographic is not large enough to make corrupting me worthwhile. I do get a small percentage through if anyone buys the game via the Amazon link in this post, but be assured that the emotional and spiritual satisfaction I would gain from the knowledge that I helped someone find a game they enjoyed would vastly overshadow any merely material gain that... Hell, I can't even type that sentence with a straight face.)

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