The Just Cause series is about to make its explosive return with Just Cause 4. Introduced at E3 2018 and putting in strong showings at both Gamescom and PAX West, Just Cause 4 is looking to be the best Just Cause game yet. Take a look at the destruction-filled gameplay footage below, and read on for more on the latest entry:
A Mysterious Story
While we’ve seen plenty of gameplay showcased so far, we’ve yet to hear much about the game’s story. So far, we know that series main character Rico Rodriguez will be returning. This time he’s headed to the fictional South American country of Solis, searching for details about his past. It’s in keeping with a recent theme of the series: the last game saw Rico liberating his home country of Medici off the southern coasts of Europe. Solis is (or was) presumably the home of one of Rico’s parents. What exactly he’s looking for there remains to be seen.
We do know that Solis is a country in turmoil. The country has been taken over by The Black Hand, a ruthless paramilitary mercenary group. They’ve previously made appearances in Just Cause 1 and 3, but this time they appear even more lethal and well-equipped than in the past, with weapons tech ranging from rail guns to heavy machine guns and more.
This time around, The Black Hand is being led by a mysterious woman known only as Gabriela. So far, we know next to nothing about this Gabriela, but we know that Rico is trying to find her for some reason. Perhaps this is the mysterious familial connection that brought Rico to Solis in the first place.
Just Cause has long been known for it’s over-the-top, chaos-filled gameplay. That gameplay has been tweaked and refined for the fourth entry in the series, and that means destruction is about to get a whole lot better. NPC AI has been improved, which includes both civilians and enemies. Both groups will behave in more realistic ways. For civilians, this means a more vibrant, lifelike game world and will allow players to get a sense for the day-to-day life of Solis. For enemies, this means much more lethal opponents. Enemies will behave strategically, coordinating as squads and posing a much bigger threat to Rico.
Other changes include tweaks to the game’s wingsuit and grappling mechanics. The signature wingsuit and parachute will be returning, but wind currents have been added to the game’s ambient world. Using these wind currents can boost your flying speed, and going against them can have the opposite effect. These wind currents are also totally randomly generated as part of the game’s robust new ambient weather system, which you can read more about later in the article.
Grappling mechanics have also been overhauled with the ability to attach mini balloons to objects. Similar to tethering and the rocket boosters of previous games, these balloons can be upgraded, allowing pretty much anything to take flight. No helicopter? No worries. Simply find a nearby car, attach a few balloons and rocket boosters to it, and you’ve got an instant aircraft. You can also do the same to enemies. Don’t want to deal with a whole squad of Black Hand? Grapple some balloons to them and send them skyward.
The most significant feature being added to the game is the incredible new weather system. Solis is a diverse country encompassing everything from snowcapped mountains to arid deserts and lush tropical jungles. The game’s weather is ambiently generated to reflect that, and weather effects are totally random.
Avalanche has also added some more extreme weather effects to the game. So far, they’ve confirmed blizzards, sandstorms, and tornadoes, which can be seen in the gameplay trailer above. These effects are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Since the game world is almost totally destructible, a tornado’s path of destruction can totally change the map, ripping up buildings, destroying bridges, and wiping out enemy bases.
These huge new effects are enhanced by new physics-based rendering, making the destruction all the more real. The fact that the weather events are randomly generated also opens up new gameplay possibilities: you can be in the middle of a chaotic firefight with a squad of enemies and suddenly have to worry about getting out of the path of an oncoming tornado.
So far, Just Cause 4 looks poised to improve on everything that has made the series so great. The game is slated for release on December 4, 2018.