Monday, June 11, 2018

Just Cause 4 what?

Ramblings Post #350
It is a downright crying shame that in this day and age of insane visuals and renders in modern game play that I still spend the majority of my time engrossed in the not particularly visually friendly, always frustrating and constantly in need of a tweak Dwarf Fortress. My latest fortress has me trying to stave off mass PTSD (I"m trying to see if letting the dead bodies rot away before moving the remains from the battlefield minimizes the effects to the non-military dwarves). And yet I find doing that more stimulating than finishing up Just Cause 3, which I bought on DAY ONE

I actually tracked down a copy of Just Cause 2. Seriously. I went to like five stores in Atlanta to get one. And it is one of the greatest games ever built. A huge campaign area with vast highways, jungles, cities, villages and military bases to raid. There was the space ship launch facility, the night club in the sky, the mysterious island, a snow hill run, nuclear subs, and it just kept getting more and more over the edge. Okay, taking the campaign bases got repetitive after a while, but that almost became an afterthought as you traveled through deserts, swamps, broke naval blockades, leapt off mountains, ducked through cities, raced speedboats and flew jets. It was the kind of game that was just this side of perfect. So, when Just Cause 3 was announced I was sure that what they'd done was just worked out those last few kinks on their way to building something magical. 

Boy, do you want to talk about disappointment.

At first I was like wow, then I was well, then I was like waah! That last one is me crying. What came out was what happens when you try to be extra, but forgot what made the original (or in this case the second one) work so well. I'm not even sure if the makers understood what made it so great. Part of the joy of JC2 was the campaign was integrated into the play area, making it feel interesting. The map was expansive but made sense, the villains just enough but not too crazy. It felt organic. All that went away with JC3. The military bases looked like something out of a James Bond film, the troops seemed cartoon, the missions too long or just ridiculous. And while I didn't mind the arcade features of something like Far Cry 3, because they weren't integral to the gameplay, the number of times you go back and blow something up for "funsies" or to earn a new toy in JC3 ruined the immersion.

And the map. Lord the map. While yes, flying a jet from one end of Panau to the other in JC2 could take 10 minutes, but the map didn't feel too big. And there was always something to do there. In JC3, there are whole sections of the map with no bases, no villages, no hidden goodies, no...nothing. Maybe I missed something but damn. I finally just stopped playing, which has me messed up because now I feel funny starting anything else on the PS4 because the game isn't finished.

Which brings us to Just Cause 4. With tornadoes, and lush jungles and...just stop. My understanding is that JC3 was intended to be something else - a more social game online affair rife with micro-transactions and shared achievements. And then they blinked because that really isn't a Just Cause thing, or it tested poorly or something, went back and stripped all of the money parts out and we were left with...that. My question is, with JC4, did they go through with it this time? Because I can just replay Just Cause 2 again. Seriously.

Barkeep. Maybe I don't want to play a game with 400 of my internet friends, then what? My order? Can't you see I'm trying to unload some thoughts here? Obviously that means gin.  

No comments: