Just Cause 2 provides an enormous area of gameplay set in the tropical island of Panau. There is plenty to do, and many weird and wonderful ways of doing it, to keep you entertained for hours. Take control of Rico Rodriguez and cause chaos in an attempt to destabilise the populace of the island to free it from the control of the typically evil dictator, Baby Panay. On the whole, you will be free to explore the vast expanse of island, undertaking missions in any way that you desire and best see fit. Although occasionally you might find yourself frustrated by being forced to perform certain actions, on the most part you will enjoy an unparalleled sense of freedom.
This won’t be a title ever renowned for its great storytelling, with a plot free from any impressive or intricate developments, and voice acting that strives to be good but fails in most occasions. Elements of humour will have you giggling along to what story there is though, and as Just Cause 2 is more focused on blowing stuff up than on following a tight story, the plot that does exist will supplement the madness well.
And madness it is! With chaos as your currency, you will be rewarded for causing it with new missions and goodies to enjoy. You certainly aren’t limited in your destruction ability; though the machine gun in your hand might be your first thought when it comes to blowing up a fuel tank, you will soon come to realise that hijacking a passenger jet to fly directly into it, leaping to safety at the last moment, is far more rewarding! Your imagination seems the only limit when it comes to the different ways to destroy the island as best you can.
Explosions will have repercussions of course, with the military swarming on your location after your best endeavours. Unfortunately when faced with such a situation you will soon realise that gunplay best favours those prepared to simply spray bullets in any and every direction. Aiming is fraught with errors, as you might find when you fire time and again at an enemy soldier only to see no impact stemming from your direct hits. Still, even with the limitations combat is a lot of fun, particularly when escape is your best option and you can enjoy the all new grappling hook, providing you with Spiderman-esque routes to avoid your enemies.
The island of Panai is impressive and beautiful, with many varied and beautiful environments to explore. With every beach offering rewards such as fuel tankers to explode, or one of the 100 different types of vehicle to take charge of, there are plenty of reasons to thoroughly explore the expanse. Though there are some intermittent flaws such as the occasionally poor AI, and a waypoint system sometimes confused by altitude, these failings are small and certainly not game breaking. If you fancy causing chaos in a tropical destination in a ridiculous amount of different ways, Just Cause 2 is the game for you this year.