Reader Review: Just Cause 2

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Andrew does, as he finds himself deployed as an agent of chaos.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Andrew Morris. If you’ve played Just Cause 2, or just want to ask Andrew more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Just Cause 2 (360, PS3, PC)

Just Cause 2 is the sequel to 2006's Just Cause, an underrated gem, and ups the ante like a 4X4 tethered to a Jumbo Jet. Is the game worth buying, or should you just replay the demo a couple more times?


What is this realism you speak of?: Just Cause 2 is unashamedly focused on being fun. The gameplay isn’t held down by pretences of realism. Does it make sense that I can skydive a couple of kilometres before hijacking a passing helicopter, then using its mini-guns to obliterate nearby construction cranes? No, but it sure felt awesome to play out.

Avalanche: The island nation of Panau is more than one thousand square kilometers big. Which is big. The Avalanche 2.0 engine, which borders on near-magical, has a draw distance which allows you to see the entire island at any point, at an insane detail. The destructibility, dynamic day/night cycles and weather system, make this engine a real powerhouse.

Pacing: The speed that the game opens up is entirely down to the player. Main story missions, called Agency Missions, are unlocked by racking up enough Chaos points. You get Chaos points by either doing faction missions, finding weapon, vehicle or armour parts, or destroying government property (ie, blowing shit up!). It’s a cool system, and it allows you to proceed at your own pace.

The Grappling Hook: Special mention should definitely go to the grappling hook. With it, you can pull yourself to any surface, or tether two objects together, often with hilarious outcomes. Everything in the game can be grappled to, so it’s fun to play around with it. Wanna attach a car to a helicopter, fly it up to the top of the skybox, jump out and see if you can ghost-ride it all the way down? You can.

The Voice-Acting: The entire script is a parody of '60s spy movies, which is precisely why it’s so hilariously bad. Most of the characters sound like they could’ve come from a South Park episode, and the one-liners Rico spouts are so delightfully cheesy that you can’t help but smile. It might be cringe-worthy to some, but it’s enjoyable if you find such things funny.


The AI: While in some cases the AI works well, enemies will often stand right out in the open, making them easy targets. They’ll rarely try and take cover unless they’re standing right next to it. It’s a shame, because it could’ve made the game a lot more difficult.

Audio Issues: It’s a small issue at best, sure, but the audio tends to clip sometimes (“We’re dropping-dropping like flies here!”), and it just becomes grating after a while. It’s never gotten in the way of the gameplay, though.

In conclusion, Just Cause 2 is a solid action title that definitely shouldn’t slip under the radar. While there are some mild, nagging issues, the core of the game should satisfy all those who love a good ‘splosion.

Reviewed by: Andrew Morris

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    you're understanding of the game is much better than the previous reader review of it.

      Heaps better. Its as If you actually played the game how it is ment to be played.


    So as per the question in the intro - is the game worth buying or should I just play the demo a few more times? :)

      Definitely get the game if you enjoyed the demo, it's got a ton of more stuff, more weapons, more locations (Like Panau International, where the 747's are!)

    you summed it up really well man, i've been enjoying this as for a bit of fun after the grind of FFXIII and MW2... bring on RDR

      Cheers dude, RDR is probably the only other game I'm really looking forward to for the rest of the year.

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