Feature Just Cause 3 X15 Preview

Rico is back for more high-flying action.

Liana Kerzner


By Liana Kerzner @redlianak

Square Enix's open world action game Just Cause 3 was playable at Xbox's X15 event in Toronto, and after a five-year break from the franchise, it's back with a literal bang. The challenge modes on offer included a timed mode where you just cause as much damage as possible with a rocket launcher.

This may sound pedestrian, but Just Cause 3's grappling mechanics make it fresh. Unlike other games where grapple hooks only work on certain highlighted points, there are lots of random things to stick to in the environment, so you can blast things from many angles, even upside down.

There's a definite learning curve to mastering these mechanics, and I didn't get too much done in my fifteen minutes with the game, but I did get a sense of the possibilities, and they're vast. Just Cause 3's environmental elements are legitimately impressive, with cloud formations, destructible vegetation, and even wind currents. Weather events weren't shown, but they're apparently included in the final version of the game.

Just Cause 3

Those wind currents come into play when you use the wingsuit, which was the focus of another challenge mode not unlike the augmented reality training courses in Batman: Arkham City. Unlike Batman, however, Rico can easily lose control of his wingsuit, either by overdoing it on turns or by losing momentum when he gets closer to the ground. Again, there's a learning curve, but the experience of being buffeted around by the wind in an open world video game was pleasantly novel.

I don't want to give the impression that the game is too realistic, however. It's gamified enough to have some hilarious moments, and to allow for maximum destruction. You can't help but laugh when Rico falls from his parachute or wingsuit, crashes headfirst on the ground, and walks it off. Brown hair McNormalpants has morphed into Brownhair McHelmethead.

Just Cause 3's environmental elements are legitimately impressive."

Similarly, only certain parts of buildings in the rocket launcher challenge mode are destructible, mostly to add challenge. In good video game fashion, these elements are marked in red:. Video game logic dictates that things that are red should be shot at.

Personally, I think "realism" has become an empty buzzword in games, so I welcome the sillier elements of Just Cause 3. The game is undeniably beautiful and enjoyably goofy in its focus on adrenaline and explosions. This is the way things should be, because video games are the best way I know to practice safe douchebaggery with no one really getting hurt.

Just Cause 3 comes out on December 1 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The Xbox One version includes a copy of Just Cause 2 to show off the back compatibility feature.

Images courtesy of Square Enix.