Ever wanted to jump into the eye of a tornado and sling yourself into the air, only to gun down your enemies on the way down? In the ridiculous physics sandbox that is Just Cause 4, that's but one of the crazy antics you might get into as protagonist Rico Rodriguez. The fourth entry in the raucous open-world series is wilder than ever before, with a thrill-seeking lead who can't get enough high-octane action.
Just Cause 4 is all about letting players run around to cause all kinds of unabashed trouble in a gorgeous world that's practically teeming with things to destroy. Solis is breathtaking, but then so is the number of things you can do with a shiny new fleet of weapons and a new game engine that makes all the craziness possible. Of course, there's a plot tying it all together, as loose as it may be, mostly so you can feel as though you're working toward a goal while grappling here and there across the landscape, attaching balloons to boats so you can make a literal airship, and acting like a fool.Just Cause 4 takes players to the fictional South American country of Solis where Rico Rodriguez is tasked with setting free those wronged by the country's dictator. Along the way, he builds his own Army of Chaos to fight back against the malevolent Black Hand. It's all a very "power to the people" sort of story that just puts a smile on your face as you watch the oppressed rise up to take over their oppressor. And it's not all grim and dark, either — Rico has fun at every turn, taking on ridiculous stunts and missions with a smile on his face and wisecracks never in short supply.
The narrative takes you all over Solis, and the world is a massive one to explore. Just Cause 3 had plenty of space, but very little to fill it with, and only one type of environment to explore. Just Cause 4 is teeming with rainforests, deserts, snow, and plains to explore, with various objectives to complete in each area. Some of the most interesting additions to the game in that vein are the tornadoes, blizzards, sandstorms, and other dangerous weather Rico has to deal with. Thunderstorms pose the very real threat of being struck by lightning, and tornadoes can pick you up (and other objects) and thrash you about. This can happen to enemies too, though, which makes for some hilarious times.
In fact, if you do happen upon a tornado, better hope you've got Rico's grappling hook upgraded because he has 10 different tethers that allow you to do some massively crazy things. You can pull things to you, travel to said items, or do just about anything with them as long as it devolves destroying the landscape and enemies or wreaking havoc. The game makes sure you've got something quick, fast, and explosive with you at all times to do this with, too.
Transportation is covered too, and while Just Cause 4 does have a simple fast travel system, you're definitely going to want to spend some time navigating on your own just for the fun of it. Whether you want to drive a tank through town, tear through an area in a helicopter, or zip through the city streets on a motorcycle, Just Cause 4 has you covered.
The most important part? It's extremely fun. The grappling hook can be customized beyond the capabilities of the past games, the new Apex engine is seriously powerful, and the story itself is comedic in ways I wasn't expecting. Avalanche stepped its game up considerably with this latest addition to the Just Cause series, and whether you're looking for an open world game that'll truly let you do what you want or you're in it for the long haul as a longtime Just Cause fan, there's something in here you'll enjoy.
Just Cause 4 is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.