We cant be the only ones who were caught off guard by Just Cause 2. Like the dictator of some tiny island nation, we were sitting on our gaming thrones, completely unaware, and then Rico Rodriguez crashed a flaming airliner into our hearts. We were blown away by the unlimited destruction offered by Avalanche Studios open world title. Better yet, explosions werent the only eye candy on display, the game boasted one of the most beautiful tropical locations wed ever seen. Lush jungles, beautiful seas, rolling snow capped mountains far as the eye can see.
With rumors flying about Just Cause 3 and 4, its easy to gush about the games best qualities, but there were one or two things that stood in the way of the fun. Wonky shooting controls and the occasional frustrating mission just made us want Just Cause 3 all the more. If Avalanche merely fixes the flaws of the last game, it would have a near masterpiece on its hands. Of course, were hoping they aim even higher, and grapple a flaming propane tank into our expectations for open world madness.
Alright, were not saying that Just Cause 2 was short on destruction or anything. There was a whole lot of stuff you could break, burn, or just plain blow up. Even if we didnt have a Chaos Meter to fill, we would still spend most of our time smashing things. But if the ante is to be upped for the third outing, were gonna have to ask for more destruction.
Let us bring down skyscrapers, destroy dams to flood valleys, and maybe even do permanent damage to the environment. The Mercenaries series has sort of fallen off a cliff, and it feels like Just Cause 2 could pick up the ball and run with it. Wouldnt it be fun to fly over the city, see a giant crater and think, oh yeah, I remember that. That was fun!
Multiple grappling hooks
This is one is inspired by the awesome Bolopatch mod for Just Cause 2 on the PC. Its a total game changer, letting you deploy multiple grappling hooks to your hearts content. The possibilities with something like this are huge. Swinging around like Spider-Man, weaving webs of grappling hooks for enemy helicopters and tanks to get caught in.
Maybe this wouldnt be appropriate for us to have all the time, but for certain missions and sprees of wanton, free-roaming destruction, it would be awesome. Being able to hook multiple busses to hot air balloons, drag a fleet of cars behind a tank, or just being gratuitous with our ropes would be so much fun.
Let us go inside more buildings
There were a limited number of structures you could enter in the last Just Cause game. It was never really a problem, with a game map so big, it wasnt like we were short on places to go. However, Just Cause 3 would be the ultimate playground of destruction if we could enter buildings and mess them the hell up from the inside. Maybe plant explosives at some structurally integral point and watch it turn into our very own Leaning Tower of Pisa?
What if we could hookshot our way up the side of a skyscraper, break some glass and come careening in through the window? Or blast a hole in the ceiling and grapple our way to the floor above? The possibilities, they are limitless.
Dont make us drive to missions more than once
As weve mentioned, Just Cause 2 had one of the biggest, most versatile sandbox environments ever. Thats great! But it also made you traverse it over and over again every time you failed a mission. Thats bad! Cant we just respawn at the front door of the base we have to destroy, instead of having to drive there all over again?
Or better yet, how about more mid-mission checkpoints? Some of them were badly spaced out in Just Cause 2. You dont need to force us to travel your wonderful sandbox, Avalanche - well do that on our own, blowing up plenty of stuff on the way. Making us drive to a mission once is fine, but more than that? Even Grand Theft Auto lets you skip the driving if youve attempted the mission already.
A more efficient black market, please
Ok, its pretty sweet that our illegal weapons dealer friend will helicopter in any sort of explosives or weapon we want, but only one thing at a time? Is the black market just made of chopper fuel or what? In Just Cause 3, we have to be able to buy more than one item at a time. Also, while home delivery is nice, it takes a while. It would great if there was a store we could visit, in addition to summoning a helicopter with a beacon.
Also, how about making vehicle upgrades apply to all vehicles of that type? Since Rico goes through vehicles like a cold sufferer goes through Kleenex, buying a beefed up vehicle was a bit of a waste.
Polish the gunplay
Running and gunning wasn't Just Cause 2s strong suit. To be fair, in a game where C4 and a fully loaded Apache attack chopper are always around the corner, you dont need to have the sharpest gunplay on the block. Still, third-person shooters have been experiencing a bit of a renaissance lately, so Just Cause 3 will have to step it up to compete.
Were not asking for a cover system. We liked that you could run into the fray, dual wielding machine guns like youre in a Robert Rodriguez movie. It was that finicky targeting reticle that got on our nerves. Once thats ironed out, how about some Max Payne style slow-mo? That would make mid-air grappling and shooting all more stylish and easier to execute.
Let us have a bigger effect on the war effort
The Just Cause games are always about Rico Rodriguez overthrowing some evil dictatorship. Just Cause 3 should probably follow suit, but wed like to feel more connected to the revolution. That means more rebel NPCs running around the city, causing havoc that we can join in.
The missions we complete should have a more visible affect on the war effort. When we make deals with military suppliers, we should see our freedom fighters with better gear and bigger guns. Better yet, let us choose the upgrades for our forces, and then watch them go into battle. It could be like GTA IIIs gang wars, but with armored personnel carriers and AK-47s instead of lowriders and Uzis.
How about a new location?
Both Just Cause games have been set on a tropical island, so wed say the series is due for a new locale. Urban sprawl, open farmland, maybe a desert city full of skyscrapers like Dubai? How about all of them? If Just Cause 3 gave us a game world big enough, and a means of navigating it quickly, then maybe they could cram all those different settings into the game.
They dont have to ditch the islands, either. There could be one off the coast of the game world. It would give us a reason to fly a plane other than looking badass standing on the wing. Desert world, jungle world, ice world, is it too much to ask for all the classic video game settings in one amazing sandbox?
Get even more ridiculous
Just Cause 2 had us doing some pretty crazy stuff. Surfing on airplanes, grappling our way up two hundred story buildings, parachuting whenever we please, fighting off ninja attacks, the list goes on. If Avalanche Studios wants to top its last game, the team is going to have to reach deep inside the most insane part of their brains, and keep reaching until it loses all inhibitions and just goes for broke.
When we say up the level of crazy, we dont mean give us sillier guns. We mean go from a Saints Row 2 to Saints Row the Third level of crazy. Make Rico even more of an over-the-top machismo stereotype - we want him to essentially be Antonio Banderas in a Robert Rodriguez movie (noticing a trend?). Let us grapple a car and skate behind it. Let us hook a flaming propane tank and actually control its flying ascent. Or how about we hook a launching space shuttle and get pulled into orbit? Why? Just Cause! .sorry.