The Just Cause series has always been about barely controlled chaos. Yeah, sure, overthrowing regime, greater good, yada-yada - what happens if I tie this guy to a gas cylinder and shoot it?
That’s why the only thing anyone cares about this time is what kind of ridiculous bullsh*t you can get up to with Just Cause 3's grapple gun and, to a lesser extent, the new wingsuit, details of which appear in this month's Official Xbox Mag.
One change is that the grapple system has been freed up more this time. Where, in Just Cause 2, reeling yourself in stopped you doing anything else, now you can do other stuff at the same time, as explained by design principal Francesco Antolini: “In Just Cause 3, not only can you shoot while grappling, you can grapple on to an enemy, reel in for a dive kick and shoot while you’re doing so, before moving the camera and launching another grapple off.”
However, one really interesting new addition is the ability to attach multiple grapple lines and reel them in. At the moment you can only fire out three, although the studio is experimenting with up to five, says game director Roland Lesterlin. “Anything above that becomes a little too hectic and it’s hard to keep in mind how it works. Even at five it might be too much. We’re still figuring out the sweet spot, but we’ve been working on our physics models to allow that anyway.”
Whatever number the studio go with the potential for physics-based carnage sounds immense: the lines can all simultaneously be retracted by the left trigger with analogue precision. So a gentle squeeze pulls things in slowly, while a sharp jab yanks everything in sharpish. You can also cancel all lines instantly with a tap of B without killing momentum. So, say for example, you tethered a barrel to a wall and reeled it in quickly before severing the line. The result? It's catapulted skywards to become someone else's problem. Now replace 'barrel' with... oh, let's say 'people', or 'cars', or 'people in cars', and let the creative potential of that sink in for a moment.
The grapple system also ties into the game's movement with a technique the studio has christened ‘Spider-manning’, where you can grapple from one point to another continually, picking out new targets and reattaching on the fly. As before you can also use the tether to launch into parachute glides and create speed boosts for the series' new wingsuit with designer Antolini saying it’s possible to stay in the air indefinitely.