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Just Cause

Thanks to Rodriguez's CIA-issue Protec Grappler (a cool-as-you-like, grapple-hook-gun-gadget thingumy), any vehicle within range can be harpooned and, once attached, the Cuban heel-wearing agent can reel himself in and commandeer - or simply hitch a lift with - his target.

So, before we can say "holy frijoles," Rodriguez whips out this nifty bit tow cable, ascends skywards and is at the controls of the 'copter, dishing out punishment like cheap cigars at a wedding to the government troops below.

And the Latino supercop is just as slick when it comes to getting out of vehicles. One button press and Rodriguez leaps out of the flaming chopper and activates his always equipped parachute. Drifting down allows time to target a vehicle below with the grappler; in a flash Rodriguez is at the wheel of a jeep while a dutiful guerrilla picks off the last few troops using the vehicle's rear-mounted gun. A few more dead fascists later and all that remains is for Rodriguez to remove the government flag flying in the town square. Settlement liberated. Tequilas all round. Viva la revolution!

Just Cause's "liberate" missions won't be used just to nark off the government and curry favour with the local guerrillas, but also to provide Rodriguez with safe houses - once liberated, the agent gains access to a safe house in that town. Besides acting as save points, these handy havens will provide vehicle storage, health packs and ammunition crates. In addition, Rodriguez can also fast travel between safe houses, which will be essential given the mind-boggling enormity of San Esperito.

There's still work to be done before the game's release this autumn and, admittedly, we've only sampled a tiny fraction of what is obviously a colossal game - we still haven't seen any of San Esperito's cities - but we're already besotted with the breathless action and breathtaking vistas. And then there's the unpredictable tropical weather system, the brilliant latin-flavoured music and on and on and on.

Just Cause is cooking up to be hot like tamales and thrice as spicy. We'll have more on this sizzlin' beauty real soon.

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