There remains the odd glitch here I noticed too – trying to grapple onto certain structures would result in Rico reacting weirdly and falling off the ledge instead of sticking on to it. At one point, inbetween pulling myself up between each of the towers that held Blaine, I tried to pull myself towards a connecting corridor, only to fall off into the waterfall below the casino and die. Nice.
But I'm sure these problems can be ironed out before its release, there's still time. The fun I had with the action-packed sequences countered those little niggles, and after a rather anarchic car chase sequence with Blaine (including using my grapple hook to connect tailing enemy jeeps with the road – causing them to flip over spectacularly) I was given free reign to explore and discover all that Panau had to offer.
Blaine gives a rundown of all of the rebel factions that are trying to wrestle political control from Baby Panay; the Roaches, Reapers and Ular Boys. When Rico truly begins his open-world adventure, the map gives locations of each of these factions' holdouts – he will need to make good with each of these three groups if he wants to collect the information he needs to find Sheldon. But the factions won't do it for free – they want you, 'Scorpio', to help them expand across the island.
After a bit of faffing around, blowing up the odd petrol station and dictator-led town – you can never explore the world for more than a few moments without finding some small holdout that you can completely obliterate – it was time to pick a side. I chose the Ular Boys, as their mandate of bringing Panau back to nature at least sounded like an ecological rebel faction. I shall help them gain power whilst sipping my mocha, wearing my turtle-neck sweater, knowing I'm helping nature overcome capitalism. Or so I thought.
The very first mission with the yellow-badge clan saw Rico being told by the gang leader that the “ultimate source of power in this world (that they seek) is in the fission and fusion of atoms.” This dude wants me to take over a nuclear power plant! Some nature-loving freaks these guys turned out to be.
I got the job done with relative ease, flying over the plant like Batman while dropping bombs on soldiers that were trying to kill a group of Ular infiltrators. And with a percentage mark alongside each Panay stronghold (with the completion rate going up as you destroy more and collect pickups), I stuck around for a good while trying to find every little red-and-white object that needed 'liberating'.
Of course, causing such mayhem is always fun, but there is a point to doing so in Just Cause 2
. If you want to progress the main story, you need to cause 'chaos' around island – which shouldn't be too hard given that most things blow up quite impressively in this game. The rebel faction missions are your sidequests, and you can tackle these to raise your chaos meter in order to get the next assignment from the agency.
But as you probably already noticed, I was having way too much fun getting sidetracked and demolishing dictatorship buildings. There are even huge statues of Baby Panay that you can grapple on to a truck and drive into the ground. So, as much as this game is all about the mission, Just Cause 2
is also about the sheer fun and excitement of causing destruction.