Just Cause 2

Just Cause 2 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

With more stunts, vehicles and weapons than ever before and an incredible overhauled grappling hook, Rico returns to action in Panau.

Review Verdict Read Review
8Out of 10
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Skydiving is superb
Skydiving is superb

Skydiving is superb

Vehicles play their part too, with over a hundred ready to be hijacked in the game. These range from bikes and cars, sometimes manned with helpful faction solders, to boats, attack choppers and fighter jets. Not only are these a great way to get from point A to B, but also as a way to cause complete mayhem. While some vehicles aren't equipped with weapons, get in one that has a gun turret or rocket launchers and you're a death dealing machine. It's not easy to remain unnoticed, though, so you'll likely have a small army on your tail before too long.

Scattered around the game world are pick-ups, either giving you new weapons, cash or upgrades. These provide a worthwhile reason to explore, with the upgraded items more or less essential during the game's trickier encounters. A Black Market trader can be called in at will, offering you weapons, vehicles and travel for a fee, although the rather sedate speed at which he arrives gets a little annoying. It's worth thinking about what you're buying too, as spending cash on a vehicle that’s going to get shot down moments later doesn't make great financial sense.

Speaking of annoyances, the gunplay in Just Cause 2 isn't great. It's a lot better than that seen in the original game, but it still comes up short compared to the best third-person shooters. Guns feel bizarrely weightless, yet send enemies flying into the air on impact, while the standard aiming mode is far too floaty and imprecise. Vehicle handling, at least on the ground, is also somewhat disappointing, with cars in particular too willing to spin out of control. These issues don't make Just Cause 2 a poor game, far from it, but do prevent it from being a truly excellent one.

These problems, along with the mediocre story and terrible voice acting, would cripple most games, but not Just Cause 2. It only takes another skydive and grapple into a helicopter moment, or a few minutes of jet fighter chaos to put a smile back on your face. Jumping into an aircraft to explore or to rain bullets down on enemy bases never loses its appeal, and thankfully you're never far from what you want. It's also worth commending Avalanche for putting together story missions that aren't just glorified fetch quests. There's real variety here, not only in mission objectives but in the locations, with Panau offering dense jungle, tropical waters, snow covered mountains and vast open deserts.

You'll never get bored of flying over this scenery

You'll never get bored of flying over this scenery

It all looks amazing too. It's the sheer size of the world and the draw distance that makes Just Cause 2 so special to look at. Soaring through the sky in a helicopter as you make your way over a sun-soaked mountain top, only to see a vast expanse of land stretch out in front of you is just an incredible sight. On the ground things look brilliant, too, but character models aren't the best we've ever seen and there's some odd clipping now and again that sees objects pass clean through each other. If there had been full-on destruction, ala Red Faction, and a bit more civilian activity in the more built up areas we'd have had a new benchmark for the open world genre.

So, Just Cause 2 is a gorgeous, fun, rollercoaster of a game. It's far from perfect, but its best qualities shine through, leaving the lacklustre gunplay as more of a mildly unpleasant aftertaste than a meal ruining disaster. It's a game that begs to be messed around with, for you to discover new ways to use the tools at your disposal and to take it all in the light-hearted way the developer intended. Chances are you'll forget why Rico was on Panau in the first place, but his exploits should live long in your memory.

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User Comments

amojeer's Avatar


can someone tell me please where to downlaod this demo from. thanks
Posted 12:56 on 15 June 2010
South_East_Jedi's Avatar


just picked up the ltd ed of this, just to keep me occupied till Conviction
Posted 16:59 on 24 March 2010
clangod's Avatar


Not quite worth the price tag for me. I'll definitely pick it up when I can get it cheap. It looks great and judging from the demo would be fun to play, but I can't help but feel it would be like the first JC which I got bored of too quicky.
Posted 16:15 on 24 March 2010
African_Woolf's Avatar


I <3 you Renegade. Being surprised when your 58-frieking-70 runs the game smoothly.

You're ridiculous.

You ridiculous man. :-D
Posted 08:52 on 24 March 2010
GlitcH's Avatar


Great review, I agree with the rating on graphical impact. I feel the gun description on impact of incapasitating another is down to the action movie feel it is trying to convey within the fast pace of game play, this is not a downfall.. When is the last time you ever watched an action movie and felt the bullets toward the hero meant anything? Never! It's classic action represented in a brilliant manner. With a really great modern twist.
Posted 00:47 on 24 March 2010
IndoorHeroes's Avatar


My qualm based on my time with it is that the shooting element is truly dire. I agree with Tom that the excitement of the stunts does make up for this failure but I wonder how long the mucking around hi-jinks can mask this.
Posted 22:14 on 23 March 2010

renegade@ Woffls

I think one problem is almost every explosion sounds the same
Posted 21:54 on 23 March 2010
Ghost_Dog's Avatar


A potential bargain bin pick-up for me.

Based on the demo, I found all the parts where you are in sky to be great but the same could not be said for on-foot, which just didn't feel right.

The voice acting is also truly terrible. I know it's not a serious game, but surely they could have done better than that. Shocking.
Posted 21:20 on 23 March 2010
Woffls's Avatar


The game ran really well on my lowly 8800GT... until it crashed when reloading... every time.... and people wonder why PC gaming isn't more popular.

Why exactly was the sound so bad other than the voice acting? I thought the effects sounded great and were really well placed in the surround stage.
Posted 20:02 on 23 March 2010

renegade@ RecoN

Posted 20:00 on 23 March 2010
RecoN's Avatar

RecoN@ renegade

Koolies :) what gpu have you got?
Posted 19:43 on 23 March 2010
SexyJams's Avatar


Shame about the poor sound.
But an 8 for gameplay is nothing to be sneered at.
I'll pick this up when it becomes slightly cheaper.
Posted 18:08 on 23 March 2010

renegade@ RecoN

I am getting it on Pc yes, I can play it all max (I turn Motion blur off cos it annoys me ) and it runs well, I did the benchmark test and got an average of 80 FPS
Posted 18:00 on 23 March 2010
El-Dev's Avatar


Think I'll pick this up on the cheap, well either this or Crackdown 2.
Posted 17:47 on 23 March 2010
RecoN's Avatar


renegade, are you getting this for the pc? Im very tempted but my card is being replaced and iono what im getting back at the mo, so if you do get it, can you tell me how it runs please?
Posted 17:16 on 23 March 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Just Cause 2
Out of 10
Just Cause 2
  • Great mission variety
  • Grappling hook is awesome
  • Looks gorgeous
  • The voice acting is terrible
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 26/03/2010
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 1,939 419
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