Q&A: More chaos for Just Cause 2

A sequel to the blue sky, white beach, tequila-swigging, Grand Theft Auto on holiday,chaos in Cuban heels free-roamer, Just Cause, will be arriving later this year. And we're teetering on excited. There was plenty to like about the original, but there was also definitely room for some additional tweaking and tightening up. Publisher Eidos has already promised the follow-up will be "everything you loved about the original taken to the next level," and we're hoping developer Avalanche can - second time around - really deliver on the game's potential.

Eager to find out more info on Just Cause 2, we asked the game's lead designer, Peter Johansson, about the new island location, the new grown-up Rico, the new grappling hook and new ways to just cause chaos.

GamesRadar: Why did you choose to relocate the game to Panau?

Peter Johansson: Rico’s work in San Esperito was done and The Agency operates anywhere in the world where it finds it necessary to protect its interests. This time, Rico is thrown into the dictatorship of Panau, located in the Malay Archipelago. Panau is a cultural boiling pot with influences from several Asian cultures, such as Malay, Thai, Chinese and Japanese.

Panau is a much more varied and interesting place compared to San Esperito. Several climate zones like snowy mountains, jungles, paradise beaches deserts etc; a violent conflict between a militaristic government and three rebel factions; lots and lots of stuff to blow up. In short, it’s the perfect place for Rico to stir up some serious chaos and the perfect backdrop for an action game.

GR: Can you fill out the plot details for Just Cause 2? Why is Rico in Panau? Is he still CIA?

PJ: It was a popular misconception that Rico worked for the CIA. After all, have you ever seen a CIA agent doing the insane stunts that Rico does? Rico actually works for an organisation simply known as The Agency where he is a specialist in regime change. Rico’s job is to bring about regime change by stirring-up a load of chaos between conflicting factions, playing one against another to bring about the result he wants.

Just Cause 2 takes place a few years after the debacle in San Esperito. At the start of the game, Rico has actually quit The Agency and spends most of his time drinking tequila in Mexico. He’s brought back into action by The Agency to hunt down and kill his former boss and mentor Tom Sheldon, who has gone AWOL in the dictatorship of Panau with several million of Agency cash. As always when Rico is involved, things soon escalate to a threat of a much larger magnitude and once again it turns out things aren’t just black or white.