Just Cause 2

It’s official: tropical islands are the latest must-have environmental accessory this season for over-the-shoulder, free-roaming third-person carnage. Just Cause 2 is the sequel to the enjoyable first GTA-inspired game, which saw Latino action hero Rico Rodriguez causing mayhem on a South American island, and is part of a trend that is seeing the tropical paradise setting in everything from the seminal Far Cry, through Crysis, Dead Island and Lost: The Video Game.

However, as well as moving to a new fictional island, Just Cause 2 brings a ton of new weapons, vehicles, missions and special moves to the beach party, plus major improvements to Rico’s over-the-topgizmos. We can’t confirm the appearance of another whorehouse in a volcano (yes, Just Cause had one), but we reckon there are still 10 excellent reasons why Avalanche Studios’ newest is worth getting all tingly about...

1) Hit me baby
Just Cause 2’s new setting is the tropical South East Asian island of Panau - over 1,000 square km of open environments including forests, snow-capped mountains and deserts, accompanied by day/night cycles, weather effects, and intriguing sounding ‘climate zones’ - all of which is ruled over by the dictator Baby Panay. Your mission is to bring home missing agent Tom Sheldon - Rico’s former commander - who has gone AWOL and evil by teaming up with Baby Panay. And while carrying out this rendition, Rico must cause chaos on the island by making sure Panau’s three gangs (the Reapers, the Roaches and the Ular Boys) turn on each other.

2) Hooked on phonics
Rico’s grappling hook, which allowed him to latch on to vehicles, as well as use in conjunction with his parachute to fly around the island, has been ‘enhanced’. Avalanche have yet to reveal exactly what ‘enhanced’ means, but we reckon that with the addition of Havok Physics (as used in just about every other action game, ever), you’ll be able to do some damage to collapsible objects, and also use the hook to access areas that were previously unreachable.