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Just Cause

October 14, 2008

Following in Nick’s footsteps with writing about the video game Spore, I figured I’d follow up with on of my recent favourites, Just Cause. Given its relative age, it still boasts some pretty awesome graphics, but that’s certainly not its main attraction.
Bluntly put, Just Cause is probably the most politically incorrect game I’ve ever played, even when counting games such as Grand Theft Auto. And I didn’t even fully realise the depth of the incorrectness until I was playing it when my friend Lizzie was over, and she pointed some things out to me. Basically, you play as an Hispanic CIA agent, Rico Rodriguez who is sent to the fictional Carribbean island of San Esperito to help a rebel guerrilla movement overthrow the incumbent dictator. Rico is pretty much a rip-off of Antonio Banderas, which is a Good Thing, at least in this context.
The game is played in a GTA-style sandbox mode, and things such as starting revolutions, blowing up radio stations and killing police and government soldiers are every-day things for Rico. What differs Just Cause from GTA, though, besides the beautiful, massive (1024sq.km) setting, is the level of realism. Rico can use his grappling hook to grab onto any moving vehicle, including planed and helicopters, and can ride on the outside of them before jumping in and taking the controls. He also has constant access to a parachute, which comes in handy if you have to bail out quickly or end up falling/jumping off something high (very common).
Basically, it’s an amazingly fun, high-paced game, even though it can be a tad repetitive. I’m looking forward to passing all the story missions, to see if there’s some sort of twist or message; given how much the USA, and CIA especially, have screwed up things like this in the past, I’m kind of hoping for some sort of moral story ending, but who knows.
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