Reader Review: Just Cause 2

Reader Review: Just Cause 2

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Sam does, as he assumes the stunt position.

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 Sam Hardy. If you’ve played Just Cause 2, or just want to ask Sam more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Just Cause 2 (PC)

You must free the island from an insane dictator by sending everything up in flames, all for a just cause. The game takes your action tropes and cranks them to 11, from submarines assaults, lost WW2 Japanese soldiers and horrid accents galore, this game is armed to the teeth with cheese and charm as nothing is taken seriously.


An Array Of Toys And Sheer Lunacy: Your goal is to destroy things owned by the government, such as generators, water towers, fuel lines and oil rigs. The environment is your greatest weapon and to help you abuse this is your trusty grapple hook. It can do all sorts of things, like pulling you up buildings, to connecting guards to flying canisters or even pinning pursing cars into the ground. This also is your backup form of transport as you can slingshot into the air and glide around on your parachute.

But That’s Not The Only Way To Jet Around: From lowly Tuk-Tuks, boats and even 737’s all are up for grabs to hang out of while firing away. Plus you can airlift in an assortment of weapons, cars with guns, jet planes and boats (with guns) at anytime keeping you armed and never short of a ride.


“99% complete”: Each village needs to be liberated, and to do so requires taking out government equipment and finding upgrade items, each slowly count towards 100%. This is more of a chore than it should be as many items are scattered well off the main village on some nearby hill. While pickups come with helper radar, most destructive items don’t, leading you to spend ages hunting down that one transformer you missed in your rocket strafing run. Other areas like the Panau city have these items tucked away so neatly you have to comb street by street to get anywhere.

Difficulty Curve: Even on casual the game is quite brutal. As you get further into the game the difficulty scales up. If you barrel through the main story you end up in a situation where you’re rapidly overpowered as you haven’t collected enough weapon upgrades to effectively fight back against rocket equipped helicopters and super accurate soldiers. This becomes irritating when you just want to collect stuff and a simple gunshot sends the whole army after you.

A Bit Underwhelming: The game jumps between a really fun mission to something as bland as “take out X or drive Y here.” Plus with everything accessible from the start and a short list of unlocks there’s very little feeling of progress. In the end it feels like you’re ticking off a very large checklist.

Despite flaws this game never lets up on the fun. There’s always something new and stupid to do. Simply shooting someone becomes too boring, so why not attach them to a plane and take them on a tour of the island? It’s for a just cause.

Reviewed by: Sam Hardy

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.


  • Dead on. Some kind of minimap icon for destroyables which count to the completion percentage would be reaaaaally handy.

    The game really comes into its own when you manage to put stuff together. Base jumping off a tower, landing on the roof of some poor guy’s car, weaving down the freeway, getting out onto the roof of the car and grappling a pursuing motorbike to the pursuing jeep, then back into the car in time to brake hard and go sideways around a tight bend, or jump the car off the side of an overpass onto the highway below, drive straight at the gate of some facility or other (aiming the car at a guard post or some explosive barrels of course), then parachute jumping out just before impact and gliding into the middle of the base, guns blazing… this kind of chain of events happens all the time, and is really awesome.

    Then you get bogged down hunting for some generator or silo tucked behind a building that you missed, while the army response escalates and escalates… sometimes you just have to paraglide over the nearest fence and go hide up on a hill until the heat clears. Ah well.

  • Hard? Really? I played it on the difficulty one up from normal and found it quite easy even without upgrading my stuff that much.

  • When did you submit this? I submitted my JC2 review twice and still nothing 🙁

    Also, I never received my DVD pack for the Serious Sam review… any news on that?

  • I love this game.

    Don’t agree with some of your gripes though but it might just be how I’m playing the game- I’ve collected and upgraded alot of my equipment etc. without doing many of the missions- so the point i’m up to so far i never feel drastically underpowered.

    • It’s an unintended flaw.
      The game is encouraging you to tear about the place gain chaos, gather up bits and pieces, and then move onto the missions.
      The issue is there’s such a small gap between unlocking the few agency missions vs faction missions that you don’t get enough time to adjust to the sudden jump in difficulty.

      Nothing worse than being knocked down by a rocket, then as you’re trying to get up hear the incoming wooosh of another barrage.

      As for hard, the dodge key is pretty much a barrel roll function, but the issue is that TAB isn’t a very convenient key to use.

      Plus if you want MORE fun google for BoloPatch, a trainer that allows for multi grapple and stronger ropes.

  • i actually like the variety in missions. One might have me go inter-island while another might be as simple as sniping a dude. Its a nice break that i found was always perfectly timed.

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