Just Cause 4 is an action-adventure game and the fourth game in the Just Cause Series. Created by Avalanche Studios, this game is set in the fictional South American town of Solis, prone to extreme weather. Rico Rodriguez is back, and he intends to take on the Black Hand, a high-tech private military organization. This time, there’s a personal angle to the game plot as the protagonist discovers family involvement, which compels him to investigate in Black Hand’s operation. However, this addition to the story line does very little for the game as it is still mainly about a regime change.
The game is big on explosions and takes the formulaic route where the mercenary is equipped with a variety of tools like the parachute, grappling hook and wingsuit. Several weapons can now be customized with new abilities and modifications to the grappling hook, making it more powerful for different scenarios in the events of chaos.
The gameplay is similar to the other games in the series except for one main variation – weather manipulation. Different biomes are introduced – Rainforest, Grassland, Alpine and Desert with each biome having its own distinct look. Each weather system is reactive, tied to a specific biome and includes extreme weather like tropical lightning storms. This makes the player learn to adapt to the ever-changing environment and learn to use to it their advantage.
While the grapple hook and parachute keep things interesting, the game gets tedious after a while. The mission structure is repetitive and there is a lot of ground for Rico to cover to get to his destination and fight off enemies to complete the mission. To counter the monotony, the creators have employed another strategy of breaking down main missions into several smaller missions. But the approach is still formulaic, and the strategy doesn’t do much to help. The game also suffers from some technical hang-ups with the frame rate dipping at certain times.
This game stands apart in the sense that it offers a lot of freedom to its players – freedom of movement and freedom to wreak havoc. It’s not realistic most of the times. An example of which when ten people were shooting at me and still somehow missing. Another example was jumping off high peaks and popping open my parachute just to quickly switch to my wingsuit to glide and use grapple hooks to navigate my way around.
The series has been long known for its wild, adrenaline packed action that is fun to play and Just Cause 4 does not let us down. It is still a great open world adventure that helps players address their desire to be adventurous and take risks through an immersive experience.