Just Cause 3 Review

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Just Cause 3 for Xbox One reviewed from a casual gamer.

• Games & Software: Playstation 4 • Technology: Review • Games & Software: Windows PC • Games & Software: Xbox One

This is a review of Just Cause 3 on Xbox One. Being a huge fan of previous Just Cause games, I've been looking forward to this one for a long time. But does it live up to my self-created hype?


If you’re not familiar with the story line of the Just Cause series the good news is that it can be summed up easily. Why? Well, because there really isn’t much of a story. You play Rico who’s a hero but still has an evil side (just look at the destruction this guy causes!). In each Just Cause there is an evil dictator that has taken over some islands. Rico’s job is to destroy the evil regime and the dictator.

Pretty simple right? If you’re like me and don’t like a lot of story and cut scenes muddying up your video game then you’ll like the thin storyline. To be fair, Just Cause 3 does have a better story line than previous entries in the series but it’s still very weak. I mean that as a compliment. After all, I didn’t buy this game to watch a movie but rather to blow crap up!


Rico is a unique hero in that he has a grappling hook strapped to his arm, a wing-suit on his body, a zillion weapons, grenades and other stuff that goes boom, and even unlimited parachutes. The game is all about zipping from one place to the next, jumping from a building and wing-suiting it away, and then popping open a parachute to glide and shoot stuff.

You’re in a massive, open world that is your sandbox to play in however you want. Once you pass the initial mission you can basically do whatever you want. Do missions, challenges, blow stuff up, or just go explore the world.

The gameplay and controls are improved from Just Cause 2. Using the parachute and grappling hooks are very easy to do so you’ll be a pro at using those in no time. Now, you can not only grapple yourself from place to place but also grapple things together and they’ll pull towards each other. Grapple a barrel to billboard then collapse them together and you have all sorts of physics based fun.

The shooting mechanics feel virtually unchanged from Just Cause 2 which isn’t a good thing. It’s very sloppy and hard to aim right at the bad guys in general so precision aiming basically doesn’t exist.

Piloting planes and helicopters is very good and I like the arcade-like feel they have. Boats are pretty boring and most feel too slow, but I guess that’s what you’d expect.

As for cars, well, some are okay while most feel heavy. These too go for more of an arcade feel but just don’t handle well most of the time. It’s an improvement from Just Cause 2 but not enough of an improvement for me. Tanks, however, are tons of fun!

The core gameplay is very, very repetitive like it was in previous Just Cause games. You’re basically liberating places on a map by destroying stuff that is red in color. Blow up the red and a place will be liberated. Do that enough and you win the game. So, it’s more about the fun of finding new ways to infiltrate a camp with different methods and weapons than just flat out destroying it all the same way each time.

Graphics & Audio

If you’re on a PlayStation 4 then you’ll enjoy 1080p graphics. Xbox One users will only see 900p graphics. Does this matter? Eh, not to me. PC users will enjoy whatever their systems can handle.

Overall, on the Xbox One, I think the graphics look really good. Not the best you’ll find but very, very good. The world is beautiful, detailed, and full of stuff. The textures look good but it’s the explosions that really shine. These truly may be the best explosions ever put into a game.


I’ve read about various issues people have with Just Cause 3 and so far I’m not having many issues. The only complaint I do have, which is shared by many others, is with the online features.

The developers added all sorts of stats that you can compared with those of your friends. How far did you climb up with the parachute? What is your longest explosion chain? And on and on. That’s okay but I’d prefer to turn it off. It’s always popping up on the screen and annoying me. I don’t care if ButtMuncher1993 spent more time at Heat Level 5 than I did!

What’s worse is that all of this requires a constant online connection which is about the dumbest thing any game developer can do for a single player game. You see, as you’re playing the server connection will drop (it will!) and when it does the game pauses and you have to choose “retry” or “play offline”.

If it reconnects you’re back in business until it happens again. If you choose to play offline it will stop annoying you until you bring up the menu / map screen and which point it will force you to reconnect. Why? All so I can see ButtMuncher1993’s stats? Stupid! Give us a patch to turn this non-sense off and let me play offline for good.

Other issues do include frame rate slowdown when things really get crazy on screen. It usually doesn’t last long and it really hasn’t bothered me much but it’s noticeable.


Overall I really love Just Cause 3, just like I did with Just Cause 2 and the original Just Cause. Beautiful worlds, unique gameplay with the grappling hook, fun weapons, and amazing explosions.

It’s a bit repetitive, it has some frame rate issues, and the online bits should be removed completely since they kill the fun when the server connection goes bad.

Still, if you’re looking for a game that offers action movie thrills without the movie story then give it a try. I think it’s easily a 4 Star game for me so far, and I may even toss in another half star if they can get this online connection dropping issue removed.