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
Back to game info
This sums up Just Cause 2
This sums up Just Cause 2

This sums up Just Cause 2

Sometimes the simplest things can bring about the most fun. Just Cause 2, while giving you a lengthy campaign of missions to play through, excels primarily because it gives you the tools required to have a good time - a rather explosive one at that. Avalanche's open-world sequel is silly, doesn't handle gunplay all that well and features the worst voice acting I've heard in a very long time, but once you learn the ins and outs of Just Cause 2's grappling hook, it's hard to stop messing about.

Don't buy Just Cause 2 expecting the kind of involved story you found in GTA4. Playing once again as secret agent Rico Rodriguez, you're sent to the islands of Panau to hunt down a rogue agent. That's the basic plot, but soon things become much more than Rico had bargained for, so you'll need the help of Panau's factions if you're going to survive against a trigger happy military regime.

Structurally the game is similar to Saints Row 2, in that story progression missions are only unlocked once you've completed a number of side-missions and racked up Chaos points. Chaos in Just Cause 2 is handed out for completing missions and for destroying government property, with the game informing you how close you are to unlocking the next mission every time your overall total is increased.

Completing faction missions not only rewards you with Chaos points, in turn getting you close to the next Agency story mission, but also widens that faction's area of influence. These factions will provide you with support should you run into trouble, as long as their influence stretches into the area you're fighting, so despite appearing as side missions they are essential for your safe passage throughout the game.

It's an explosive game

It's an explosive game

At times this system results in an island map completely devoid of missions, leaving only the cash-rewarding race events to take part in. As these don't hand out Chaos points, you're left to cause as much damage to government property as possible until you cross the required points threshold to unlock a new mission. It's a tad tedious at times, but the wanton destruction is usually great fun. Just be aware that you won't be able to focus purely on working through the story.

Mission structure then isn't going to be ideal for everyone, but something that few will be disappointed with is the insane stunts Rico can perform. These are built around his ability to skydive, his parachute and grappling hook. Just Cause 2 isn't a realistic game, and as such can get away with some insane moves. The thrill of skydiving out of a plane thousands of feet in the air, then ripping the pull chord on your parachute inches from the ground is just brilliant, while being able to tether yourself to all objects means you can traverse large distances with a neat grappling hook/parachute combo.

There's always a normal way to climb up to the top floor of a building, but why bother when you can just grapple up the side? Why shoot an enemy when you could pull him from his perch with a click of a button using your grappling hook? Is a pursuing enemy vehicle causing you trouble? No problem. Just tether the Jeep to the road and watch it spiral into the air as if from a Hollywood action movie. Why not attach a solider to a gas cylinder and watch what happens when you pop a cap in the tube. These are just a fraction of the ways you can have fun with the tools in Just Cause 2, and the reason the game is so much fun.

New stuff to check out

To add your comment, please login or register

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: 1,468 29
View Full Site