Just Cause Reviews

  • Hob Nob GobHob Nob Gob151,227
    22 Jun 2014 12 Nov 2014
    16 0 4
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    Since I have just achieved 100% completion after having it for years and because I have never written a review, I thought i'd give it a go even if this game is a bit old.

    Your criticism/advice regarding improvements in writing and structure is more than welcome too. smile

    First of all I should say that I enjoyed the game a lot and was one of my first experiences playing a Sandbox game on the 360 years ago.

    Campaign 4/5

    The campaign was great and the story line was decent. In a nut shell you play as a bad ass hero called Rico Rodriguez sent by the agency to help take out a corrupt government disrupting the peace of the people on the island. Full of diverse missions, you not only go on ground assaults, but you take to the skies in Jets to kitted out helicopters, and to the high seas in jet propelled speed boats and fishing trawlers, all whilst doing crazy stunts! clap.

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    In Regards to game play the controls are simple and easy to use, but some aspects of game play could have been better for example, the grappling hook was kind of dodgy and took a while getting used to and being able to get airborne with it.

    Side Missions 3/5

    If your into "the grind" you will defiantly like these side missions, as there are loads of them! Ranging from Races, to your typical collection quests, to my favorite, the cool takeover/liberation missions. Completing these earns you reputation within their rightful factions, giving you the ability to rank up and upgrade your arsenal of weapons and vehicles. Upon completing a takeover/liberation each settlement or city leaves behind a NPC with unlimited side missions! I read that a few people have had trouble with glitches during these small side missions but I personally had no issues.

    Graphics and sound 2.5/5

    The graphics are what they are, for 2006 I guess it was about average, although the cut scenes look as if they could of been on the PS2. As for the sound I quite liked the soundtracks, but the NPC's could have more speech variation.

    Here is an example of the cut scene graphics: Click!

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    As for specific achievements, the ones that take longest to obtain would be:

    Just CauseSaviour of San EsperitoThe Saviour of San Esperito achievement in Just Cause worth 174 pointsLiberate Every Province In San Esperito

    Just Cause45 Takeover Missions CompletedThe 45 Takeover Missions Completed achievement in Just Cause worth 166 pointsComplete 45 Takeover Missions

    These take time due to the vast amount of them and distance between them, to minimize time taken to get between them I suggest using a mixture of fast travelling to unlocked safe houses and calling in your agency Gyro-copter. Your Gyro-copter is unlocked after mission 14 which is when I think is best to start to grind them.

    Also another note is the Savoir of San Esperito achievement will not pop until you've turned all map sections green(check your political map), the last one will turn green after you've complete one of the last two mission then it should pop.

    Also another notable achievement for being cool and the most fun to attempt would be:

    Just CauseBase Jump 1000 MetersThe Base Jump 1000 Meters achievement in Just Cause worth 10 pointsBase Jump From 1000 Meters Or Higher

    Overall 3.5/5
    Overall a great game with lots of potential and ideas, its really fun if your the type of person who could spend hours on end blowing up stuff. I've given this 3.5 stars because of the room for improvement. If your looking to get achievements out of this game I recommend it as its not a tricky game and all are offline single player, plus you can buy it for pennies now.

    Good luck and have fun with the game!

    Thanks for reading and please free to comment below. If you do choose to give me a negative review for this, please leave me some constructive criticism below.

    Cheers toast

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    Redders 420Very good review for your first attempt, i like how you showed the hardest achievements in the review. It was a great game, a true "Easter egg" of a game. I think 3.5 stars is a fair score as well. Good job.
    Posted by Redders 420 on 24 Jun 14 at 13:12
    Posted on 24 Jun 14 at 13:53
    Hob Nob GobCheers mate, I had a few tips to improve my layout and ideas, it helped out. wink
    Posted by Hob Nob Gob on 24 Jun 14 at 15:08
  • JoeCool7835JoeCool7835376,536
    05 Dec 2009
    24 8 9
    Sandbox games often task your character with causing widespread mayhem for purely personal gain. Just Cause gives you some other motivation for blowing crap up. You play a CIA agent sent to a tropical island to assist a revolution against a totalitarian government. It is a nobler goal, but it's still little more than an excuse to blow crap up.

    Just Cause was Avalanche Software's first attempt at a sandbox game, and their inexperience shows. You have 800 square miles of ground to cover, but there will be miles of jungle that have nothing to do. The story missions are creative enough, but the side missions for the guerrillas and the Rioja Cartel devolve into fetch or kill quests. In fact, the side missions that involve blowing up a building are glitched; your gunship's missiles will actually fly THROUGH the building! Furthermore, the only other things to do are checkpoint races and a dozen different collect missions. Variety was not in the playbook here.

    That last paragraph can turn off a lot of people, and I can't blame them. It's a lot to forgive, but, if you can forgive it, there's still plenty of fun to find. The action plays quite well. Rico can carry up to three separate weapons to compliment his Lara Croft-style pistols. When the action heats up, it's relentless. The enemies are stupid, but their numbers keep things fierce. But the true centerpiece to the whole game is the stunt system. Rico comes equipped with a hook-shot and parachute, allowing for numerous vehicle-to-vehicle stunts. You can jump from one car onto another passing car. You can grapple into the sky to hijack a jet fighter. You can even para sail by latching onto a speedboat. The only downside is that the grapple can only lock onto and grab vehicles (though that will definitely be fixed in the sequel next year).

    Just Cause is a pure "love-it-or-hate-it" game. I enjoy it myself, despite the flaws. There are some cool ideas here. I can understand if people hate it, but I think everyone should at least give it a chance, especially since it's dirt-cheap now.
  • MelodicVirus118MelodicVirus118293,981
    19 Sep 2020 11 Dec 2021
    1 1 0
    One of the first games that introduced me to the sandbox open-world genre was Just Cause, on the Xbox 360. Ever since I first played the game, I have had nothing but nostalgic thoughts when it comes to the first title in the series. But recently, I thought I'd pick it up again to see if it holds up. Here is my review on Avalanche Studios' first game, Just Cause:

    Just Cause is set on a group of fictional tropical islands in the Caribbean known as San Esperito. The game centres around top-secret agent Rico Rodriguez, as he is sent onto the dictatorship nation to topple the government and remove the president of San Esperito. Along the way, Rico is given plenty of assistance - including his handlers Tom Sheldon and Maria Kane, as well as from local contacts such as the Guerrillas and a Rioja drug cartel.

    Generally Just Cause's storyline is not very special, so don't expect any stand-out moments. If you view the story merely as a homage to standard, Hollywood blockbuster action flicks then you'll somewhat tolerate the story here. So I will score Just Cause's story a 4/10.

    The gameplay of Just Cause revolves around third-person shooting and driving around a massive open world environment (and I mean MASSIVE). San Esperito could quite possibly be one of the biggest, and most beautiful open world maps on the Xbox 360, however bigger doesn't necessarily mean better.
    Throughout the game's short story missions, you are usually expected make your way to a location to shoot some bad guys, then go somewhere else. Then you are rewarded with a cutscene and maybe a safehouse or a unique vehicle.
    Aside from that you can also take part in Liberation missions, which task you to shoot a few bad guys in a settlement or villa, blow up some barricades and then either click A next to a flag or shoot another, slightly more powerful bad guy. There are quite a few of these Liberation missions, that aren't significant to plot progression but are for achievement collecting. They are also important when it comes to building relations with the two prominent factions of San Esperito - the Rioja cartel and the Guerrillas. The more points you get from each faction, the higher you rank up and get more vehicles, weapons and safehouses.
    You can also participate in side missions as well, of which there are over 300 of them. However, don't expect much in variety as they require you to go from point A to B just to collect something or shoot some guy. It's very grindy, and might put some people off.
    As a result of the amount of vehicles on offer in Just Cause, the game allows you to take part in racing missions. However none of these missions require any particular vehicle or have any AI racing with you, and you can just do all of them easily with the gyrocopter.
    Like it's other open-world counterparts, Just Cause has a heat system. Where if you do something illegal in front of authorities, they will reign fire upon you until you escape their grasp. However the heat system in Just Cause is very broken and police officers and militia will come after you for no real reason. And sometimes, the higher heat levels don't necessarily mean that authority will come after you at all. It's a mess!
    The most iconic weapon Rico has in his arsenal, the grappling hook, is not a main gameplay feature in the OG Just Cause. You cannot use the grappling hook to tether objects, or traverse across the map like you would in JC2. Instead, you can only use the grappling hook to tether onto vehicles and either parasail off or hijack them. Heck, you have to select it from the weapon menu! It's obvious that they didn't think that the grappling hook would be the main focus of the Just Cause series like it would be today.
    Just Cause has a good amount of glitches, some are game-breaking, some are graphical and all of them have never been patched since the game came out in 2006. Take for example when you stand on top of your vehicle in stunt mode, but honk the horn of your car, the game instantly crashes and forces you to reset the console. And the glitch where planes and helicopters can go through water like it doesn't exsist.

    Overall Just Cause's gameplay scores a 6/10 for me. If you're coming to this game with the mindset of JC2, then you will be very disappointed. See this as a basis for what the series would become.

    Although it came out for PS2 and Xbox, Just Cause has extremely dated graphics even on the Xbox 360. The game sort of looks like a slightly better version of GTA III. And Rico's character model looks sort-of out-of-place with the rest of the game's NPC models and many of the animations look hilarious and the cutscenes look like they were ripped out of a PS1 cutscene. However, the environment of the game world is absolutely stunning (especially from the air!).

    The graphics of Just Cause score a 5/10. Trust me when I say that the graphics make JC4 look next-gen.

    Voice Acting
    The voice work of Just Cause is mediocre at worst, but interesting at best. Some of the voice work on this game went on to do the Uncharted games (aka the best PS exclusive series). Robin Atkin Downes plays Rico Rodriguez (you might know this guy from many games. He plays the main guy in the Saboteur and the Cockney-British voice for the boss in SR3 & IV), and Richard McGonagle portrays Tom Sheldon (this guy plays Mr Incredible in the games and Colonel Taggart in Prototype). Both of these actors would return to work with each other on the Uncharted game series. So essentially, I see the Just Cause games as the archetypical versions of the Uncharted games XD. Aside from those two, there is no one else worthy of credit to discuss.

    Overall, the voice work in Just Cause gets a 6/10.

    Just Cause mainly focuses on a lot of music made for the game. In fact, there are quite a lot of tracks for Just Cause (about 45 in total according to YouTube). However you end up hearing the same 8 or 9 tracks in the open-world. The soundtrack is solid, it is reminiscent of Latino-style music mixed in with more tense-sounding beats and rhythms. The most iconic track in the game would have to be the sky music, which you hear when you are gliding in the air (and is the first track you hear when the game gives control to you). This track is very soothing and relaxing, it's a shame it didn't return to some extent in the other JC games.

    The soundtrack of Just Cause gets a 7/10. It's interesting stuff to listen to, and probably where the root of my nostalgia for this game lies.

    The achievements of Just Cause are very simple for an early Xbox 360 game. The list is composed of the usual collect X or takeover X strongholds, and do X side missions. They shouldn't take long to do, and with no multiplayer mode or co-op, this should be a breeze to complete. Good luck and happy hunting!

    The achievement set of Just Cause gets a 7/10. It's a breeze to go through, but with no challenge in sight, it could be a boring grindy game to beat.

    Overall - 2.5 OUT OF 5
    Just Cause was the blueprint for what would be a bombastic sandbox game series. And for being the first game that introduced me to the series, it had many ideas that weren't fleshed out enough that made it into the immensely popular sequel. However the nostalgia of this game is still there somewhat for me, as it takes me back to more simpler times.
  • SingleMomOfTwoSingleMomOfTwo68,344
    13 Sep 2009
    2 4 0
    Just Cause

    Just Cause is a sand-box, third person, shooter that has alot of similarities to the Grand Theft Auto Series. The game is based in San Esperito.

    San Esperito is a tropical Paradise. It is very similar to Cuba. Old cars, sandy beaches, guns galore, and an evil dictator. The goal of the game is to help the Guerilla Fighters overthrow the government.

    Your Character, Rodriquez, is a special agent. His goal is to help the guerillas topple the government and find the Weapons of Mass Destruction.
    Your employed by the CIA, but most of your missions come from the guerillas and all involve trying to bring the San Espirito Government down.
    The rest of the missions are with the Rioas (the gangsters siding with the guerillas). These include drug running, car jacking, assassinations, etc.


    If this was a PS2 ONLY game, I would give it a high score. This game has so much potential. The map is the largest I have ever seen. I would take me on the upwards of an hour to travel across the map on foot. The large map is basically only jungle, though. There is nothing you can do in it other than missions and shooting. It is similar to GTA in the running and gunning but it lacks the extra tid bits.

    The cool addition to this sandbox game is the Grapple hook. You can use this to grab onto cars, boats, and planes. Coupled with the parachute, the grapple can keep you flying for quite a while. Cool cars, helicopters, and boats.
    Driving, shooting, storyline, repetitive, what else is there in a game? The airplane/helicopter controls are too.... barbaric? Just too simple.


    Just Cause was also released on the PS2. That explains why it looks so bad. A 5 is my basic rating for these games.


    The achievements are easy to get, but the game is a long grind for them. It took me quite a while to 1k/1k it. The missions are not very good and all the sidemissions/takeovers are just the same thing.


    The non-interactive prostitutes in this game gave me a quarter-chub with just the dialog. This game fails in sound. If you do not believe me or agree, try inserting the cd and climbing a ladder. Lots of Spanish and ambient noises, though.

    Gameplay: 6
    Graphics: 5
    Replayability: 5
    Sound: 5

    Overall: 5.25

    Gamespot: 7.2/10
    1-up: B-
    Xbox360achievments: 73%