Just Cause 3 brings a bomb or two to sedate tropical island Medici this week – but are critics blown away by its boisterous open world action? Our review code was sent incredibly late – surprise, surprise – but our field operative Alex Stinton has been playing the retail version, and reckons that while Avalanche's latest offers more of the same, there's plenty of fun to be had. You can read his thoughts through here, while we work on bringing you our full appraisal as soon as possible.
Polygon - 8.5/10
If you can judge a game based on the moments that make you put it down for the night, Just Cause 3 is hard to criticize: I only stopped when I needed to sleep, not because I wanted to put the game down. The "did you see that?!" factor seems unlimited here, and it kept me coming back to discover what unexpected domino of explosions I could start next with a single grenade. The formula of the Just Cause series hasn't been expanded, but it has been improved. And it's rare that a game is so comfortable in its own skin.
GameSpot - 8/10
Despite the explosions and instant gratification throughout, Just Cause 3 also encourages experimentation and foresight, planning and careful approaches. The results are as rewarding as they are entertaining.
Giant Bomb - 4/5
A one-note experience isn't necessarily a bad thing when it delivers on that one thing exceptionally well. Just Cause 3 has occasional physics problems and a lack of variety, but it's fantastic if you just want to drop into a world and immediately start blowing it up. Upon completion of the story, you can even "re-oppress" individual settlements purely for the purpose of blowing them up all over again. It's hard to complain about the gameplay feeling samey considering I've spent over 40 hours in the game and I'm still looking forward to going back and taking out more settlements. Avalanche clearly knows what this game is all about, and you should too if you want to give it a shot. If you're aware of the game's limitations and you're still eager to blow an open world straight to hell, few games do it better than Just Cause 3.
IGN - 8/10 (PC Version)
Just Cause 3 is a playground where you get to be a physics-defying force of destruction, and its loop of liberating dozens of towns across this enormous scenic world would've gotten old much quicker if the combat wasn't so full of options for free-form mayhem. Getting the most out of it requires some creativity and tolerance for performance bugs on your part, so come expecting to make at least some of your own fun.
Videogamer - 6/10
There's a lot to do in Just Cause 3, it's just that doing it all isn't really that much fun. In fact it's probably a better game in retrospect than it is when you're playing it: freed from the controls and other issues, you'll remember it fondly. You'll also likely want to get back to it: there's a moreish, Ubisoft-style vibe here that encourages repeated playing. Those of you that wanted Just Cause 2 Part 2 will love what's on offer, but it all feels lesser than the sum of its parts.
Have these reviews detonated your purchase impulse? Are you up for one more open world adventure before 2016? Strap yourself in courtesy of the comments section below.