As soon as you step into the fictional Mediterranean island known as Medici, you can’t help but stare in awe at the vivid scenery, crystalline waters, and wondrous landscapes. It’s pristine beaches and mountainous peaks, small towns and colorful gardens, everything about the vast world invites gamers to experience it. Not in vain did I feel my inner child excited to play with the multiple selection of cars, bikes, planes, quads and weapons at my disposal; coupled with Just Cause 3’s destructible environments and enhanced explosions that made me feel delighted. Furthermore, those very “toys” could be used as I saw fit, as the game’s open world gave me the freedom to traverse through helicopter or parachute onto a bike, take a yacht through the open seas or demolish an entire bridge with the press of a button, with the knowledge that I could instantly call an air drop with more of those very enjoyable “toys”. And for a world so large, it was surprisingly satisfactory to see that it somehow feel alive, even though its population was stretched thin over so many square miles: you could see guards harassing citizens on the streets, making jokes, discussing shifts; you could observe those same citizens going through their daily routines or panicking at the destruction around them.
Video & Featured Image Source – BenBuja
A vast, lush world awaits players in Medici
But alas, as I delved into the story and progressed through the game, the thin veil of joyfulness quickly faded away. The weak characters and a non-existent plot meant that I had few motivation to return to Medici, and repetitive missions further enhanced this point. Rico and Mario, the main protagonists, are somewhat annoying, with dialogues that want to seem quirky or funny but aren’t; and the rest of the character cast is even less interesting and sparse. When entering the game or partaking missions, long loading times will certainly interrupt your flow of the game. And because of bad game design, you will constantly fail assignments for reasons out of your control: a frustrating endeavor that leaves much to be desired. Adding insult to injury, frame rates drop constantly, as any time there are explosions and action the game slows down significantly (and as there is plenty of action, this is a major problem). The common leveling system used in other games to signify progression is nowhere to be found, instead replaced by a detached model that asks players to complete specific (and many times repetitive) tasks in order to unlock perks.
Video Source – Harry Bizzle
Frame Rate drops make the game crawl to a halt
In the end, Just Cause 3 wowed me with its large open world, but ultimately disappointed me with its shallowness. Gone was the thrill I experienced at first sight, quickly replaced by mundane missions and repetitive tasks. For a world so detailed and fresh, it is sad to see its potential underused.