Try as it might, Just Cause 4 does not live up to its predecessors.
In a game that’s built around normally fun elements like chaos, destruction, and revolution, Just Cause 4 ends up getting in its own way far too often with extraneous menu-based systems, a wild camera and controls, and (on PC) a litany of performance issues and inexplicable game crashes. It’s a disappointment, to be frank, and made me want to give up and play Just Cause 2 instead.
In my admittedly short time with the game, there were a few moments where things were clicking and I was having a good time. But then the game would crash. I’d take a couple minutes to boot up, go back to the mission to try it again, and then the game would crash again.
I changed some of the graphics settings to see if that would help, but the game continued to crash occasionally, which made getting through missions very difficult and severely slowed down my progress. I haven’t gotten through very much of the game because of this.
The portion of the game I have gotten through is… fine.
The world of Just Cause 4
Rico Rodriguez is back again to blow shit up in Just Cause 4 and help disenfranchised people fight back against their oppressive government. It’s the same story that has been the excuse for violence in the last three games, except this time the action goes down in the fictional South American country of Solís.
With his trusty grappling hook, parachute, and wingsuit, Rico navigates the world with relative ease, able to hook himself onto any vehicle and seamlessly maneuver into the driver’s seat to drive or fly his way to the next mission, whatever it is.
The government Rico’s trying to topple is working on various projects that control the weather, causing blizzards, tornadoes, and storms throughout Solís. Supporting them is the private military organization Black Hand, which bring all kinds of weapons and tactical vehicles to fights
To keep the story moving forward, Rico has to fight his way through enemy bases to keep pushing the warfront forward, unlocking new areas on the map and new missions along the way. It’s pretty similar to past games, and is a formula that works pretty well for a lot of games, but all the problems surrounding the premise makes it unbearable.
Just Cause 4 is full of bugs.
First of all, there are all the crashes that I mentioned earlier. I played the game on two different desktop computers with two completely different hardware builds, and turned down the graphics settings on both to see if it would lessen the crashes, but the game insisted on randomly exiting to desktop.
I’ve run into a handful of bugs and weird problems
It mostly occurs during missions, which is particularly annoying because I have to start the missions over (and usually travel back to the start of the mission, which adds several minutes of repetitive gameplay). Sometimes it happens when I’m just traveling around. Nothing in particular seems to set it off.
Outside of crashes, I’ve run into a handful of bugs and weird problems. One time I was driving to a mission and somebody about 40 feet away from me screamed and died for no reason. They just fell out of their chair, dead.
One time I was in the middle of a firefight and Rico just teleported about four feet to the right while I was trying to shoot someone.
There are also weird physics things, like when I’m driving a car and hit another car that’s exactly the same as mine, and their car goes flying through the air while mine continues non-plussed.
There are also a bunch of things that kind of seem like bugs, but aren’t. There’s the poor visuals (even when settings are maxed out), major framerate drops, horrible motion blur when driving, and obnoxiously accurate and aware enemies.
Driving cars and flying various aircraft is not very fun, which is a huge bummer because that tends to be my favorite part of these kinds of games.
As mentioned above, when driving or flying there is way too much motion blur which just makes looking at the screen unpleasant.
But even more annoying is the controls. When playing with a mouse and keyboard, driving and flying feels incomplete, like the developers never tested what it actually feels like. Turning is way too sensitive and there’s quite a bit of delay from input, which causes a lot of overturning. And as you’re overturning all over the place, the camera whips around far too quickly.
There is also delay when aiming weapons in vehicles, like the missile-equipped helicopters. It makes hitting moving targets very difficult. Normally I enjoy using a helicopter to blow up tons of enemies, but in Just Cause 4 it’s frustrating.
The problems in this game are maddening.
Ruining a good thing
Just Cause was decent. Just Cause 2 was amazing. Just Cause 3 was really good. Just Cause 4 took a lot of what made those games what they were and muddled them up with poor design and a bad, buggy backbone.
Hopefully with updates the game will get better and a bit more playable, but as it stands right now, this game is pretty bad. I cannot recommend it on any grounds, especially given its proclivity to crash.
Instead, just play Just Cause 2. It’s so much better.