Game-A-Week: Just Cause 2

Title: Just Cause 2 (PC)

The Gist: Just Cause 2 ships your character off to an island named Panau, gives you the mission of killing your friend and mentor and requires you to get all pally with the locals in order to track said friend down. Nice bit about all this is that it’s an open world game…let me start off by saying I love open world games! Was most pleased to pick this baby up for 75% off this Steam summer sale as I’d missed it on offer last time around. Your job in a very GTA style is to align yourself with factions on the island and do jobs for them such as taking territory or generally doing something involving guns.

Pros: Graphics for this game at 1080 max settings are awesome, it’s DX10 only so farewell 99% of XP users you’re forbidden to play! Really like the ability to just grapple to anything, and even use it on your enemies, kinda fun throwing them around! Most things in the world are easily destroyed with a mounted weapon and such, which is kinda cool, feels like you’re god as you sitting in a big chair with big assed guns attached to the side! You get to pick up ammo and parts for weapons which you can use upgrade your weapons, make them more accurate and that sort of thing. I like the idea of having only 1 two handed weapon and 2 single handed as it makes things a bit more realistic in this somewhat fantastic world. I love the humour and tongue in cheek aspect of the game, you’re talking to someone and a grenade’s thrown your way, you simply pick it up and lob it back during the conversation and hear it exploding in the background, total genius! Modding this game is extemely easy, by simply creating a folder in the directory you can plonk in new skins for the main player resulting in the ability to be a range of new characters such as Spiderman, a Terminator or roam around in the Crysis suit.

Cons: I’ve the hardest difficulty setting and so far I’ve found the enemies to be a little easy, AI is a little lacking. I’d have appreciated a bit more of a challenge from the hardest mode. My main example of this is getting my hands on a mounted gun, ripping it off and walking down the street for half hour blowing everything up in site with almost no opposition. At least in GTA games you get a bit more of a challenge and you’ll almost always end up dead. So far it’s been a little difficult to understand how to use explosives as you seem to be using the same button as you use to shoot with…so far it’s resulted in my firing my weapon and randomly throwing grenades! I’m always on the lookout for an increasingly creative and accessible open world game, I think that Just Cause 2 is one of the most sophisticated open world games to date, yet I’m disappointed that buildings in the world lack interiors, guess there’s always something more I’d be asking for though, sigh one day!

Musical Note: The game’s got a really cheesy soundtrack and it’s appropriate to the setting, that said I’d have liked the ability to port my own music via the menu, I’ll probably end up turning the music off and sticking on Disturbed or Slipknot for action sections of the game :P Always fun killing things to a little heavy rock or metal ^.^

Hunger Level: Loads to do and I know I’ll put some hours into this over time. Brings me back to day where I’d periodically load up GTA and go on a killing spree…

Conclusion: This game don’t cost much and is almost always at 75% off several times a year, I regretted not getting it a while back and now that I have it I’ve only more reason to do so. Giant Island you can explore; tons of vehicles to ride and nice range of weapons with which you can wreak havoc.

“One Hour, One Review, One ‘Game-A-Week’ @ Black Vinculum”

Game-A-Week: Far Cry 2

Game Title: Far Cry 2 (PC)

The Gist: Far Cry 2 is an open world first person shooter in a war torn African state. You seem to start off as a gun for hire, your target being the arms dealer responsible for arming both sides of the conflict within the part of Africa the game is based. You can make alliances with both sides of the conflict, do missions for them and slowly build up an arsenal of weaponry. But weapons aren’t always the most effective route, so you can exploit weaknesses in the form of explosive barrels and whatever else is lying around at the time.

Pros: The graphics are on the most part top notch, both the environment and weapons really do shine. The open world element of the game is brilliantly designed and trades the common GTA 3rd person element for a more close and personal FPS. I enjoyed being able to steal whatever vehicle I found laying around, typically going for the weapon mounted variety for an extra bit or protection. I like the idea of being able to save your game/resupply and such at ‘safe houses’ that you can bring under your control in the world; it reminds me of the elder scrolls games at times.

It seems you can gain ‘best buddies’ in the game which can offer you extra tips for missions/alternative ways to complete missions and bring a little conversation to the game. Whilst I think it’s a great idea that the person I saved on my first mission (Cockfight) became my best buddy I can’t help but wonder why I consider a stranger in a bar my second best buddy, a little more story for each buddy would have made this element of the game feel more realistic. Whilst on the topic of best buddies I don’t see why they couldn’t have used a title such as contact…best buddy makes me feel like im five years old again o.O

“Yo best buddy! You could use a sniper rifle whilst on the ledge above that outpost? They’ll never know what hit em”

“Cheers best buddy, that’s a great idea! Meet you by the swings at 18:00 hours? Don’t forget the sweets!”

The map remains in game which brings an extra element of realism and goes a step further whilst in a vehicle, letting the player literally hold a map whilst driving or sticking to a built in GPS style screen. Whilst in said car and testing out the map whilst driving I seemed to get my car caught on a barrel. The car then refused to backup so I got out and tried to think how I’d get it back on the road. I decided the best way to dislodge the car was using a grenade…I ended up walking to the safe house that night.

Cons: The only negative thing I could find in this game is that the voice overs seem to be a little faster than I’d expect as if someone making the game decided players would want to spend less time listening to talk and more time blowing things up.

Musical Note: The game has a great soundtrack that uses a wide variety of instruments to create a range of tones. This gives the game the ability to provide the player with cultural undertones for the environment, suspense when exploring or surveying enemies and action when in combat situations. The soundtrack actually reminds me of the music used for the series Battlestar Galactica composed by Bear McCreary. I’ll be adding this game’s soundtrack to my collection.

Hunger Level: I really enjoyed the game, especially for its open-world component. I’d like to continue playing the game sometime soon and hope to explore what the game has to offer. There are numerous weapons I’d like to try out and I look forward to taking on some of the more complex missions. Of course I’d like to go all Terminator in the game simply start exterminating whomever I come across…years of GTA I’m sure.

Conclusion: Awesome game, give it a try as it’s not that expensive online. I was lucky to pick this up on a recent Ubisoft Steam deal: Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry 2, Rainbow 6: Vegas 2 and Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood for a mere £9.99. If you see this game on sale grab it. Seems to have lots to do, awonderful environment to explore as well as a flamethrower to incinerate it with…who can resist that?

 

One Hour, One Review, One ‘Game-a-Week’ @ Black Vinculum