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Just Cause 2 First Look

So Rico Rodriguez is back for the latest iteration of Just Cause, cunningly named Just Cause 2.  Swapping the Caribbean location for the South East Asian Islands, Just Cause 2 is just as visually stunning,

If you’ve played the previous game you’ll know of Tom Sheldon, Rodriguez’s former boss.  Cause 2 sees you, Rodriguez, on a mission to hunt him down after he went rogue and stole a whole stash of cash from the agency he was working for.

The game plays out very similarly to the previous Cause and you find yourself in an open world sand-box spanning 400 square miles and uses the Avalanche Engine.  I asked the developers why, if someone already had a game like Mercenaries 2, they would bother with Just Cause 2.  After a look of disgust I was told the world was much larger, the emphasis was on fun and, more to the point, Rodriguez has a grappling hook and stunt parachute which stay with him all the time.  And it’s here the gameplay differs and you understand why Just Cause 2 really is a different game to other titles out there.

Using the grappling hook, you can quickly attach yourself to any part of the world, and coupled with the parachute you’re able to quickly launch yourself into the air to get some distance between you and the enemy, generally some army of some description.

Using the grappling hook to get yourself out of trouble is only half of the story, you’re also able to connect, or “tether” any two items together.  Whether it’s tethering two enemies, two enemy vehicles, a vehicle to an enemy or an enemy to a piece of scenery, the result is always fun.  In the example we were shown, and while riding on the top of a car, Rodriguez tethers an enemy pursuer’s car to a wall resulting in a break-kneck. snap-stop explosion for the car and its occupiers.

All vehicles, and there are over 100 in-game which can be acquired or bought through the black market, are at your disposal, and can also help you complete objectives while maximising your damage.

And damage is important, for the more damage you do, the more “chaos” you cause, which in turn increases your circle of influence, allowing you to do more missions in the surrounding areas.

In total there are 60 main story missions, but we’ve been told that you can play straight through the game without doing the side missions (a name the develpers hate), but if you were to commit to completing the game, you’d be looking at 90-100 hours.

All in all the game is an upgrade to its predecessor, keeping true to its core appeal.  Ease and fun of play set in an environment of breathtaking beauty.

Just Cause 2 will be out in 2010 for PC, 360 and PS3.

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