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Just Cause

Just Cause is shaping up to be something beyond incredible. When were mighty impressed when we saw it at E3 and now, after savoring another hands-on with the game, we're still smitten. And it's not just the eye-meltingly gorgeous graphics or the indulgently expansive play area that has us quivering at the knees - when you play Just Cause it's like a mushroom cloud-laying fun bomb going off in your face.

If you're unfamiliar with the set-up, here's a quick rundown: you play CIA agent Rico Rodriguez who is sent to a make-believe South American island, San Esperito, to destabilize and, ultimately, overthrow the government in order to neutralize their threat to world peace. It might sound like a lot of straight-faced blah, but it's really just a great excuse for running amok, blowing stuff up and goggling in awe at some truly stunning views.

Our latest brush with Just Cause showed us in wonderfully explosive detail an example of how Rodriguez will go about getting under the skin of Esperito's WMD-hoarding leaders by liberating a town. A visit to a local guerrilla on the outskirts of a settlement activates the side-mission and, once it begins, all hell breaks loose. Tooled-up guerrillas appear in force, Government troops swarm into the town and civilians dash for cover. The first skirmishes are intense, run-and-gun outbursts, but the party really gets started when a couple of missile-spitting helicopters appear overhead...

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