“Just Cause II” only semi-worthy

“Just Cause 2” is an open-world shooter set in the fictional islands of Panau, which have been American-friendly until it is overthrown by a very nasty dictator. It is the gamer’s job to remove him from power and seek out the American agent that is alleged to have put him there.

The game is fast-paced and it keeps coming with explosions and plenty of enemies to fight. Don’t think that because you have cleared an area that you’re safe; enemies will spring from everywhere — and I mean everywhere — until you complete your mission or die.

This game is huge, with over 400 square miles to traverse and a lot of exploration to do. If you’re not up for a 15 kilometer drive then hail your black market contact, The Slothe Demon, and hop on a ride to any location that you have been to before.

As far as the story goes, think of it more like a really cheesy action movie than an engaging narrative: The plot doesn’t matter and rarely makes any real sense and leaves something to be desired. If you like games that have a great story, I would advise you to stay away; this one will not provide you any kind of narrative satisfaction. Just sit back and enjoy the mayhem. Every side mission begins with a very similar cut scene, where a faction boss pulls up in a vehicle, someone drops a crate and the boss then asks a favor of you.

Unlike the plot, the controls make perfect sense and are very intuitive, which is hard to pull off for many gamemakers. When switching from driving a car to jumping to the roof of said car, then grappling to the helicopter that is attacking you and finally hijacking it and flying off to victory, I was consistently amazed that it all seemed to work so well.

This game is by no means perfect; there are glitches where you can become trapped in a bell tower or skyscraper. Also, if you reset a mission more than a few times the voiceover will skip, sometimes becoming more than a little annoying.

Flaws aside, I would say that it is a definite buy. The environments are breathtaking and the fact that if you see it you can enter them is great. The game also seems to embrace its considerable faults; more than anything it’s just an entertaining experience. Overall, I give it a B.

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