In Just Cause 4 players will take up the mantle of series protagonist, Rico Rodriguez, once again. This time Rico is heading to Solis, a fictional South American country which has been built from the ground up by developers Avalanche Studios. In Just Cause 4 the aim is to bring down the Black Hand, a paramilitary group with a woman known as Gabriella at the helm.
The first thing worth noting about Just Cause 4 is that it looks and feels like a progression from previous games. Avalanche Studios’ new Apex engine allows for some serious upgrades to the old and some new. For example, the game has never looked better. With unparalleled draw distance, diverse environments and the addition of complex weather, it’s easy to see the impact the engine is having. Weather, from wind currents that will blow you along a set path illustrates by leaves and other foliage blowing in the wind to giant tornados and other phenomenon, looks to be one of the more complex systems that has been added to the game. The enemy AI has also been refreshed, meaning that Rico won’t necessarily have as easy a time as he previous has when taking on a group of bad, bad guys.
Fans of the series will be pleased to hear that the gameplay mechanics they love have returned (yes, that means the wingsuit is back too). But thankfully, these mechanics have also been given a bit of an overhaul. Take the grapple for example, this equipment has received a massive overhaul to make it easier for newcomers and more complex for experienced players. As before, you can still use it to bring two items together but now you can add in a pulse action at the end – forcing the two objects apart again. Boosters can be deployed at range using the grapple, as can the air lift. Not only is there new functionality, but you can now switch out grapple load outs on the fly allowing you to do more creative destruction than ever before.
Another new feature that was showcased at E3 is the army battle system. When travelling in the open world it’s possible to come across the Black Hand fighting large-scale battles against their enemy army – an army that you are responsible for building. While we don’t yet know how this army building functionality will work, the possibilities for large scale open world army battles are exciting and could bring a new level of depth to the game.
Just Cause 4 will be released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on 4 December 2018.