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Just Cause | 2 | review | game | Lollipop

Just Cause 2

(Square Enix for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano

Open world games are no longer just Grand Theft Auto III knockoffs; these days, they satisfy a range of gamer urges. Looking to cause general chaos? Crackdown and Red Faction: Guerilla are your games. Want combat that's as refined as a linear action game? Infamous has got you covered. As for memorable storytelling, the GTA series is still king. Just Cause 2 makes its mark by borrowing the best elements from those games and mashing it into its own likeable hodgepodge. It's the gaming equivalent of the buffet at Foxwoods, and it's delicious. As secret agent Rico Rodriguez, you cruise, jump, fly, careen, zig-zag, grapple, and buzz around every square inch of a fictional tropical paradise, working as a gun-for-hire for the local militias in an attempt to destabilize the region. The gunplay and combat isn't nearly as tight as your typical action game, but the combo of your grappling hook and gravity-defying parachute is JC2's ace card: The hook allows for speedy horizontal/vertical travel while the 'chute lets you cover more ground and take in the absolutely spectacular scenery en route. The mission-to-mission storytelling won't win any awards, but that's not the way that the best open world games make their most lasting impressions. They do so by giving you the tools to create your own tell-your-friends experiences, and whether you're disarming satellites as the dawn breaks or fighting your way through the ranks of a small army when a flash thunderstorm drenches the battlefield, Just Cause 2 delivers those one-of-a-kind thrills with consistency.


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