Avalanche Studios is back with Just Cause 4, and they are taking the fan-favorite video game franchise to new heights this time around, literally. Avalanche and publisher Square Enix released Just Cause 3 in 2015, just over two years after the current generation consoles - Xbox One and PS4 - released, thus giving gamers their first look at what a new generation of Just Cause games could look and play like. But now, they are taking those ambitious a step further with Just Cause 4.
The thing is, Just Cause 4 had remained under wraps until a sudden online leak by Walmart Canada last month, which was promptly followed up by an early advertisement for Just Cause 4 on Steam. Square Enix had a real chance to surprise audiences during their E3 2018 press conference, but as is the case with most blockbuster game releases nowadays, online leaks tend to steal their thunder. But still, that didn't make what both studios brought to E3 show attendees any less impressive.
Developer Avalanche Studios and publisher Square Enix brought an extensive hands-off gameplay presentation of Just Cause 4 to E3 2018, and Screen Rant got a chance to check it out in its entirety. While it was only a taste at what the studio has to offer with their new installment, it was quite impressive in and of itself. Here's everything we learned about the game:
- Utilizes the brand-new APEX engine, which is "15 years in the making" and makes all the destruction possible.
- Wind is a significant factor in the game; there are particles in the air upon which Rico Rodriguez glides and parachutes on.
- Single-player focused - no multiplayer.
- "Everything" from the past three games are back, though what Avalanche means by that wasn't elaborated on.
- Grappling hook is fully customizable; players can add an impulse attack, alter retractor length & distance, etc.
- The best thing about the game and the engine is that players can make whatever they want out of a situation: attach air lifts to a shipping container, add some boosters on the back, and then ride that container across the map like it’s a magic carpet.
- Aim down sights have been added for the first time in Just Cause.
- Every weapon has a primary and secondary firing mechanic, including the rail gun (secondary firing mechanic for that is a drone).
- There are four major regions/climates: rainforest, grasslands, desert, and alpine - and each comes with their own unique dynamic storm patterns: windstorm, tornado, sandstorm, and blizzard, respectively. All of those storms have a significant effect on gameplay.
- "Anything can happen in Just Cause 4" - Omar Shakir, Narrative Director at Avalanche Studios.
- Rico has a fully-built stormchaser vehicle that is immune to wind and dangerous weather - but it’s the only vehicle like that. All other vehicles will effectively be consumed by the storms.
- You can drive whatever you see. This seems to be a common feature in new open world games nowadays.
- There are 40 individual destructible objects in the game (such as airplanes and bridges). There were approximately 20 in Just Cause 3.
- Significantly improved loading times compared to Just Cause 3.
- The AI has been improved as well, leading to more difficult combat situations.
- Everything in the game is "fully physicalized," meaning all objects react to you, the dynamic weather, and all other external catalysts.
- Real-world physics are also applied to combat and enemies. If you shoot an enemy in the chest, you'll see a bullet hole on that part of his/her body. The same thing applies to Rico.
Going based on the gameplay presentation showcased at E3, it looks like Avalanche Studios is really banking on destruction in Just Cause 4. It's quite literally a game that allows you to do whatever you want... to whatever you want. That's why the developers have spent the past few years working on a new game engine, in order to give players a quality, modern Just Cause experience that fully harnesses the power of current generation video game platforms.
Unfortunately, since the hands-off gameplay demo focused primarily on the game's destruction and the sheer amount of fun players can have by doing anything, not much was revealed about Rico Rodriguez's story this time around, other than the fact that he travels to the fictional South American country of Solis and attempts to bring down the paramilitary group known as the Black Hand. But, of course, that's something that players will be able to go through and experience for themselves when Just Cause 4 releases on consoles and PC on December 4.