It's a game we've been following closely here at PushSquare, namely because the original was somewhat of a flawed gem. Getting hands-on time with the recently released demo is the first time we've had a chance to play Just Cause 2 here at PushSquare towers, and honestly it didn't leave the best first impression. The opening cut-scene seemed ridiculous, but then we're not playing Just Cause 2 for story. No there was something about the controls that felt a little sticky. Then it clicked: we used our grapple hook to attach a leaking gas canister to a tyre. As the pressure in the gas canister gained momentum, we watched in delight as it went shooting upwards, the attached tyre flailing about behind it. Suddenly Just Cause 2 didn't seem as "sticky" as before - it seemed as awesome as we'd predicted.
Just Cause 2 has an absolutely fantastic demo. Whether you end up enjoying the game's chaotic sandbox nature or not, you have to respect a demo which gives you a large chunk of it's game-world to play-in, and rewards certain "achievements" to extend your time playing. Initially, you'll get 30 minutes in Just Cause 2's 400km island. But kill a few enemies with your melee attack (for example) and the demo'll reward you with an extra five minutes. That's neat.
But yes, cool demo construction aside: the game. It's telling that Just Cause 2 rewards you with "Chaos". Essentially, the more "Chaos" you cause in the sandbox, the more stuff you unlock. Be it new missions, new areas, new weapons. This is a game all about chaos, and in many ways chaining that chaos. Outside of the demo's tutorial, you'll be tasked with jumping from a cliff-side. It's here you get a sense of Just Cause 2's wonderful draw-distance, which literally lets you see for miles. As you near the ground, hitting X brings out a parachute, which allows you to glide to the ground — or gather momentum by using your grapple hook. Just Cause 2's grapple hook is completely multipurpose. By hitting L2 you can pull yourself towards enemies, reach the top of buildings, or use it to pull yourself along while your parachute is out and essentially fly. The possibilities are endless and its Just Cause 2's strength - if you found Grand Theft Auto, Assassin's Creed or inFamous limiting, Just Cause 2 gives you scope for everything.
But aside from general mobility through Just Cause 2's enormous open-world setting, the game is very much about "Chaos". To be honest, the guns don't handle great, but it's not a huge deal because once you've got an RPG, you won't need any other weapon. In Just Cause 2 things explode. Big time. The game has an amazing destruction engine that makes falling buildings and explosions super-satisfying. The explosions look great too, with some fantastic fire effects.
Everything in Just Cause 2 has a real bright colour to it. Hopefully there's some variety in the settings aside from the deserts we saw, but the graphics look fantastic. Everything is sharp, and there's a stylised look to the over-saturated colours in the world.
There's huge potential for Just Cause 2. Given the scope of the game, we're sure there will be some areas in which it falls short — the story doesn't seem great and the weapons aren't particularly responsive — but those flaws will probably end up being overlooked by the sheer carnage you're able to reproduce in Just Cause 2's massive open-world.
We can't wait.