E3 2009 First Look – Just Cause 2
One of my first appointments was with Eidos, the company that brought us the Tomb Raider franchise, to see Just Cause 2, the sequel to 2006′s Just Cause. In Just Cause 2, you resume playing Rico Rodriguez, who is forced back into the agency to hunt down his friend and mentor, Tom Sheldon who has gone rogue and disappeared with agency cash and intel. This open-world adventure game takes place on the island of Panau in South East Asia which measures about 400 square miles and features real time weather so you will experience day, night, rain, snow, and thunderstorms. The game also features no limit vertical gameplay with Rico’s trademark and reuseable parachute that you can use to navigate the island. Rico’s wrist-mounted grapple hook has been updated and allows you to scale buildings and find new and innovative ways to kill your enemies. You can steer, shoot, and grapple enemies from the parachute as well.
The demo was run by Lead Game Designer, Peter Johansson of Avalanche Studios and George Wright, the game’s Associate Producer at Eidos. They jumped right into the demo of the game, starting at a high point in the island showing off the impressive Avalanche Engine. The graphics are crisp, clear, and really bring the island of Panau to life. The screenshots really don’t do the game justice, it is really quite beautiful. The game uses a chaos system, meaning the more chaos you can cause, the more missions will unlock. He literally jumped right in, showing off the vertical game play with the parachute. The parachute opens instantly and allows you to steer, grapple, and dual wield weapons. You can use dual grapple hooks, allowing you to tether people to things as well as smash people and things together – again, making for more innovative and stylistic ways to kill the enemy.
The AI was redone from scratch so it’s important to keep moving…the AI will actually work together to flank you or call for back up if you stay in one place for too long. You are able to hijack vehicles and engage in driving combat as well as aerial combat with helicopters, as we saw in the demo. There are over 100 vehicles in the game including boats, planes, helicopters, cars, and bikes. There are many different types of weapons and those weapons and vehicles can all be upgraded on the Black Market.
The game also features realtime damage which will affect how your vehicle handles and can lead to more difficult driving and even your car flipping. You can use the grapple hook anywhere, including on the vehicles. You can grapple to vehicles and beat up enemies, “car surf”, and hijack moving vehicles – providing you have killed or thrown out all the enemies that occupied it.
While I never played the first game, there are a lot of really cool things going on in Just Cause 2 that piqued my interest and I think I’ll be picking up the first one to prep for this one. At the end of the demo, we had the opportunity to engage in a Q & A session and I thought one of the funniest questions asked was regarding outfits. He said “I know that this is something that mostly girls would be into, but will there be different outfits for Rico?” He also added no offense as the demo was nothing but men with the exception of Elizabeth and me. The answer was no, that they had thought about it but how to explain where he got the outfits or the time to change into them wasn’t something they felt they wanted to tackle. I just found it rather comical that it was a male asking the question.
Bad news for those that like multiplayer as there will be no multiplayer mode – at least at the moment – although, there was no hint that it might be available, so I wouldn’t hold my breath. I asked if there was any DLC planned and the response was that there were possibilities but no details were available at this time.
With over 60 missions to unlock, the game looks like it will provide several hours of game play. Just Cause 2 will be available on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC in 2010.
Watch the E3 2009 Trailer: