Tag Archives: Just Cause 2

There’s chaos to create in Just Cause 2

gd early impressions just cause 2 xbox-360

When I first got my Xbox 360, some many years back, I maintained a small collection of games, doing what I don’t do now, which is finishing one before getting another. That all said, I did delight in some extra dessert now and then by downloading free demos of upcoming games, such as the ones for Crackdown 2 and Dragon Age II. I think you can still download free demos to this day, but at this point I have little time for teasers and would rather just wait for the full thing to either come out or be dropped into my library as a monthly freebie. The times, they are a-changing.

Well, way back in 2010, I sampled a bit of Just Cause 2, as this demo did not hold your hand, but rather set you free. There was a short cutscene to explain why Rico Rodriguez, the man with the grapple hook and hunger for explosions, was on this tropical island, and then you have thirty minutes to do whatever you want. I remember restarting it multiple times, trying something new with each go and really enjoying any and all chaos I could create. Strangely, this never did result me in purchasing a full copy of Just Cause 2; thankfully, all I needed to do was wait five years and then I’d get a free copy from Microsoft.

In Just Cause 2, you take control of Rico Rodriguez, an undercover U.S. operative on the Southeast Asian island of Panau–which is not real, people–to track down a former friend, who has disappeared with top-secret intel and a lot of money. There’s also an oppressive dictator to deal with, as well as three rival gangs who are waging war on the island. I’ve only done the first two or three story missions, so not much has unfolded yet, but I’m sure I’ll get to all these plotlines soon enough. Y’know, once I get my fill of running amok and blowing up enemy territory.

Let’s get this out of the way: the story is not written well, made only more ridiculous by the wooden voice acting. Rico’s actor sounds like he is reading the script for the very first time and they only have the ability to do one take. Good thing I’m not here for the story, as playing and making things explode feels really good, especially when you can use Rico’s magical zip-line thingy to zoom away from all the destruction. Like a true cool action hero. I’m not stellar yet at performing stunts while riding on top of vehicles and aiming the grappling hook is occasionally a nightmare. Still, if you can hit an enemy on a rooftop with it and pull them off to their tumbling doom, I highly recommend it. The gunwork doesn’t feel amazing, but I am more of a grenade-tossing maniac from on high sort of chaos creator.

Truthfully, I didn’t mean to dive right into Just Cause 2 after finishing Lara Croft: Guardian of Light and deleting it from my Xbox 360’s hard-drive, but the game was in my download queue already and automatically started once it saw there was enough space opened up. I’m still working on Final Fantasy IX‘s third disc, LEGO Jurassic World on the Nintendo 3DS, and need to get back to Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, especially with V only days away from release, though I won’t be getting to it until I finish Peace Walker and Ground Zeroes. Oi. Talk about chaos, right?


The demo for Just Cause 2 is undeniably the most open demo I’ve experienced so far. You are shown a mini cutscene kind of explaining why Rico Rodriguez is heading to the fictional tropical island of Panau in Southeast Asia. And then, well…you have 30 minutes to do whatever you want.

The developers would love (and reward you) if you devoted the next half hour of gaming to causing as much chaos as possible. The demo features an area of 35 square miles located in the desert, with light aircraft and many civilian and military vehicles available. There’s plenty to see and do…and destroy.

Controls take a bit getting used to, especially the grappling hook. I wasn’t comfortable using it until about 20 minutes had passed, and then I was zipping from building to building, car to car, tree to tree. It made getting out of tough situations a breeze, and using it to take down guards is fun and imaginative.

Right, back to causing chaos. Love that this is Just Cause 2‘s currency, and that the player is rewarded for going ape-shit. Since it took me awhile to get the hang of parachuting and moving from zone to zone, I caused very little chaos during my 30 minutes. Some chaos, mind you, but not enough to make newspaper headlines. Will try harder next time to, y’know, maybe hook a guard to a moving car and then crash it into some water tanks while parachuting off it to safety some many yards away. Amazingly, that’s all very possible.

Anyways, it’s a refreshing demo, one that I can see myself heading back into again and again to try out new stuff. Not sure if the full game would be for me as a lot of open-world games lose their appeal early on, but this is perfect for getting a feel for the game’s nuances and desires. Let the chaos continue!