Game Review: Just Cause 4: Reloaded

Release date: 2018
Version played: Playstation 4 in 2020

Essentially a deluxe edition of Square Enix’s open world sandbox series, Just Cause 4: Reloaded is, as the name suggests, the fourth entry in the series. Players once again take control of Rico Rodriguez (Orion Acaba), as he utilises his signature grappling hook and wingsuit across the massive island of Solis. Rico must team with Solis rebellion fighter, Mira (Elizabeth Maxwell) and former Agency member, and Rico’s former handler, Tom Sheldon (Bradford Hastings) to uncover the cause of Solis’ extreme weather conditions and take down ruthless sibling leaders of Solis, Oscar (Robbie Daymond) and Gabriela Espinosa (Fryda Wolff).

+ the same simple, explosive gameplay the series is known for is back, no more or less than that found in Just Cause 3 (but thankfully, there are far fewer framerate drops than in that third outing). An abundance of weaponry means Rico is never without an option to cause some mayhem
+ aside from the trusty tethering of objects together Rico has utilised throughout the series, the grapple hook can now plant both rocket boosters and hook up balloons, to either propel away or lift up objects or enemies
+ the weather effects are great, and do cause you to adjust your play style; sniper rifles and high explosives are useless or too risky in a sandstorm, and you’ll barely have any time to aim and shoot if you are caught in a lightning storm

– I don’t know if Oscar or Gabriela Espinosa were on screen for more than a total of five minutes. Both get a bit of a cliched, ‘movie bad guy’ debut, but they are literally never a threat, or even overtly relevant to the plot, which is already quite weak from the outset
– this game was incredibly short, to the point where I was certain I must have only been at the half way point before the credits rolled. Every mission is very easy, and I completed each one on my first attempt, and since none of the objectives were anything special – most revolving around simply ‘hack this console’ – only one or two from the whole game really stood out, solely because they were something different
– there are no longer destruction items strewn across the map in villages or cities, with instead the ‘collectables’ being various wingsuit stunts, car stunts or speed challenges. These all suck, and are a big old waste of time
– graphically, the game is the same, if not a step down from the previous entry. The environments are varied; but they are varied in almost the exact same way they were previously, and as much as I do get suckered into a good explosion chain, it is nothing particularly mind blowing
– the DLCs are very hit and miss; seeing a demon infestation is cool. but doing the same thing nearly 10 times is just a grind. The Mad Max style car races are fun… but again lose their steam after a half dozen races of the same tactics and outcomes

> I think this is Rico’s fourth voice actor in four games. So far, I think Kevin Collins in Just Cause 3 was my favourite so far

Should you play this game: This felt like an expansion to Just Cause 3, rather than a game of its own. This had significantly better performance than its predecessor, but it never managed to bring the scale and intensity that Just Cause 2 did, and the length of the game is a real negative. Even having spent another dozen hours or so doing some of the challenges, I don’t feel like I gained anything new to recommend. Don’t buy this.

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