Just Cause 2 • Page 2

Stuck on you.

Not only that, but in a mad panic you abandon the bike at just the right time to land on your feet, while the bike itself crashes into some barrels, which explode and kill everyone in the area. Do you remember the bit in Die Another Day when James Bond surfs a disintegrating glacier in an invisible car? It turns out they were low-balling it. At times, and almost completely by accident, Just Cause 2 is the story that those men would have gone on to tell, had Ian Fleming not audibly hit spin cycle in his grave long enough for someone to commission a franchise reboot.

The chaos is more satisfying when it's completely on purpose, of course, as it is when you're frequently tasked with protecting freedom fighters as they assault government installations. They run around shooting people, but are regularly pinned down by mounted guns and concrete gates, at which point you spring into action - well, grapple into action - flanking defences until you can snake a sniper bullet into a convenient barrel or cranium, or - for irony's sake - use your hook to tie a gunner to the helicopter that has been dispatched to prevent you completing your mission.

The list of things you discover you can do - often with only the gentlest provocation - would be enough to sustain us for several more pages. Hijacking helicopters may be nothing new (thanks, Prototype) but hijacking aeroplanes is fairly novel, as is flying them upside down into fuel containers and bailing just in time to grapple a nearby Humvee and ride around on its roof while the driver panics. The game's interpretation of "chaos" is pleasingly broad, and also encompasses naked insurrection, as you may discover should you use a fire engine to pull down a statue of Baby Panay and then drive it around town.

3
As soon as Rico starts riding around on top of cars, the game makes sense.

Developer Avalanche's claims of improved AI are hard to pin down - and to be fair, it must be difficult to judge how henchmen would react to a CIA agent merrily surfing a 4x4 over a hill and into their radio tower. But there's plenty of evidence of our old friend Havok physics, as car-jacked locals are thrown out of the driver-side door and bounce along the road into the path of a passing lorry, or when your attempts to save time by going off-road are sent spinning violently through the air by a sceptical boulder.

But if chaos is the game's calling card, then the speed you can build up in the game's vehicles, the distances you can cover by land or air, and the expanse of Panau that you can see at any given time - and without any noticeable decline in performance, as enthusiastically recorded by Digital Foundry at the weekend - may become the game's legend.

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Tom Bramwell

Tom Bramwell

Contributor  |  tombramwell

Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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