Just Cause 2, the sequel to 2006’s Just Cause, is set for a March 23rd 2010 release in North America, followed by a March 26th release in Europe, Middle East, and Australasia for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Just Cause is a crazy open world game that was a lot of fun despite some big gameplay flaws. The best part of Just Cause was the stunt mechanic that allowed players to grapple on to moving vehicles, parachute off of tanks, and dive out of airplanes.
If Avalanche Studios manages to fix the problems of the first game, Just Cause 2 could be a creative blast. Open world gameplay has come a long way since 2006, so I’m hoping that Avalanche Studios was paying attention. According to Lee Singleton, General Manager of Square Enix London Studios, “The grapple and the parachute mechanic will change the way you play open-world games, allowing players to be in the air in seconds, tackling missions from above and using the aerial advantage. If you prefer to stay on solid ground, the choices offered by the grapple are limited only by your imagination.”
It definitely sounds promising, but my imagination has been disappointed before. I’m always dubious about big concept games that promise a lot of innovative gameplay. In most cases, the ideas get too big for the developer’s time and/or budget, and the game gets released full of half-realized ideas that don’t deliver that great of an experience.
But I’m strangely optimistic about Just Cause 2. I hope that the time between the first game and the sequel means that Avalanche Studios really tore apart Just Cause and figured out what worked and what didn’t.
“As Rico Rodriguez, the Agency’s most powerful weapon, players must take on the island of Panau and its military regime in order to track down Rico’s former boss and mentor, Tom Sheldon, who has gone rogue with millions in Agency cash and intel. Using a unique grapple and parachute combination, there is no vertical limit as the air becomes your playground: grapple a passing plane in flight, hijack helicopters, BASE jump from the tallest buildings or mountains and leave a trail of chaos and destruction in your wake. Just Cause 2 offers players the freedom to attack missions any way they choose and, with over 100 vehicles and countless upgrades and collectibles, the choices for relentless adrenaline-fuelled action are limitless.”