Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just Cause 2 Demo Impressions

Having played one solitary session of the Just Cause 2 demo, I have to admit, I had a lot of fun, and the parachute-bungie-cord-vehicular madness wasn't as confusing as I thought it would be. There's still a fair amount of cheese to receive from the main character, but that's not really what I wanted to write about.

I wanted to hop on to write about the game's chaos system. I have to say, it truly felt like chaos to me. I had no idea what was going on, who I was disturbing, what kind of havoc I was causing, who was shooting at me, or even where I was. Maybe some of this is entirely back story related, and a demo is never going to fully promote the plot elements as well as the full game will.

Essentially, the Just Cause 2 demo sets you down in a small clearing with a bunch of explosives, and gives you no real direction. Of course, this has its benefits and its draw backs. An obvious draw back kind of had me griping for the first 15 minutes. Where the fuck am I supposed to go?

All of that expansive landscape is wonderful, to a point. I don't want to float around on my parachute for 30 minutes. I want to get in the bases and start mixing things up with some bad guys. I want to destroy a bunch of stuff in creative ways so I can feel like a badass. That's how I should be getting sold on this game. Instead, I was mostly confused and listless for the half hour demo time.

With about 10 minutes to go, I just figured, screw it, I should just experiment with the game's main draw, the always on-hand parachute and grappling hook. I never quite got the hang of the grappling hook's ability to chain baddies to things and watch them get dragged across the desert, but I did end the demo with a good handle on grappling to a point far ahead of me, and then pulling my chute to float up into the air. This worked rather well as I floated to a gas station and politely blew it to smithereens.

Those few explosions I did cause, including a base packed with weapons of mass destruction, were exhilarating, and certainly led the exclamation points I found in the demo. Quietly floating though the air at a high altitude was another. Despite that, there were still too few. I checked the map and gave myself some mental way points, but I was still left wondering where to go, and what would be there once I arrived.

Just Cause 2 isn't exactly on my list of must-buys, but I'll keep my ear to the ground and see what I hear about the game in the weeks leading up to its release.

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