Just Cause 2 Review

The ‘Black Market’ is your gateway to new weapons, upgrades and specialist vehicles. Unlocked a short while into the game, you have the ability of calling in a transport helicopter and can order new weapons (or restock ammo by reordering your currently equipped weapon), and agency vehicles including armoured sports cars, tanks, attack helicopters and utility vehicles. Additionally, ‘extractions’ allow you quick transport between any discovered settlements in the game world.

Collectables are found throughout the world, falling into 4 major categories (vehicle parts, weapon parts, armour parts & cash). Vehicle parts and weapon parts can be used to upgrade your agency items, redeemable on the Black Market – increasing vehicle speed, fire-power, magazine size etc..

The three main ‘gangs’ or factions of Panau consist of the Roaches, Reapers, and Ular Boys. There are 49 Faction Missions available throughout Panau, with mission structure varying from escort, to assassination, to supply. While the Faction missions are nothing new to the world of gaming, their approach and setting in the Just Cause 2 world make them quite enjoyable.

Additionally, there are 7 “Agency” missions, specific tie ins to the main story line and unlocked as you earn more Chaos.

There are two main currencies in Just Cause 2, Cash (from the Collectables) and most importantly, ‘Chaos‘. Everything that can be destroyed in Panau, particularly structures and items controlled by Baby Panay’s oppressive Government, earn you Chaos upon demolition. Fuel storage tanks, pipelines, power generators, communication towers etc, all contribute to Chaos and unlocking new missions.

There are over 300 Settlements within Panau, scattered throughout the many islands. Everything from tiny, irrelevant villages, to sprawling mountainside military fortresses and air force bases. I’ve spent over 25 hours in Panau thus far, but I am still finding new, exciting facilities. I flew over a gigantic Satellite dish just recently. Ran a mission though a huge space station just before that. Encountered an International Airport. There’s even a floating blimp brothel. Just when you thought you’d seen it all, it manages to throw a new settlement in that completely blows you away.

Strongholds are scattered about the map as well, constituting facilities like Chemical Plants and Docks. Running specific stronghold missions for each of the factions of Panau increases their ‘area of influence’. Doing so unlocks special timed race challenges, new faction missions – as well as revealing the location of special Faction Collectables.

The sheer size of Panau is stunning. I honestly believe you could spend over 50 hours in this game and still not see half of it. And the amazing thing is that there’s always something to see. There aren’t massive barren areas like you had in games like San Andreas. There’s always a reason to go everywhere, whether it be for a mission, challenge, collectable or just sight-seeing, Settlements around Panau are always worth a look.

Just Cause 2 is a sandbox gamers wet dream. Throw in YouTube upload support, able to automatically record the last 30 seconds of your awesome accidental stunts – or up to 10 minutes of planned footage manually – and it truly is a special package.

Graphics & Sound

Avalanche Studios have produced one of the most glorious open-world, sandbox environments ever seen. Those who played the demo will know of the scale. Upon picking up the full release however, you are completely and utterly overwhelmed by what has been accomplished.

Readers Comments (12)

  1. Great review. This game could be my only purchase for the year and I would be happy. Still wish I had bought the PS3 version, though. :/

  2. hmmm this is a quite the fetching review….you almost changed my mind on buying this game! so close…

  3. Want it, been looking at the official thread and its definitely looking fun.

  4. VofEscaflowne April 7, 2010 @ 19:06

    @Dr. Moogle

    Oh it’s really worth it… it totally came out of the blue for me when I tried out the demo which even for just being a tiny fraction of the full game, ended up having me spend a few hours just messing around with the environment. As the review states, once you get a view of what the full game has to offer, it’s really just mind boggling the world they’ve given us to explore. And I’m usually not a big fan of sandbox games.

    I bought the game back on release for 40$ and after spending over 30 hours in it, only to have around 27% of the game completed, I would have gladly paid full price for it. Not to mention I have plenty of unclocked hours which I just wasted a bunch of my cash to preform insane stunts and cause chaos all over. The Youtube feature is great to relive your best moments (and shameless plug in, if I may, one of my best and funniest clips: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3tA83VUNUw ).

    If this review hasn’t done enough to convince, then I don’t know what to say but I strongly urge anyone who’s a fan of the genre to pick it up. I haven’t heard of anyone being disappointed in their purchase so far and back on a forum I post on, there’s a post with nearly 400 replies right now of people who are simply loving it and more who are buying it after reading all the impressions. It’s really a blast 🙂

  5. Unless you have OCD or you drink a lot or do drugs, this game will get very, very boring, very, very fast. I have barely done anything in the game cause it is so huge but it is very boring. Everything is pretty much the same, the vehicles have horrible handling, so the only thing to really do it fly a helicopter. Everything else is a nightmare pretty much. The game looks great, but pretty much it. The first 10 hours are insanely fun but you will not have beaten the game or even done half of it and you will get bored.

    Just my opinion on the game.

  6. VofEscaflowne April 7, 2010 @ 19:27


    Isn’t that being a bit harsh on criticizing those that enjoy the gameplay? I understand it may not be for everyone but I don’t consider myself as someone who has OCD and I definitely do not drink or do drugs.

    As for the vehicles, yes, some do control horribly but it’s up to you to figure out those that don’t and those that will be useful when trying to make for a quick escape from heavy gunfire. Most of the time, the grapple hook + parachute combination will be more than sufficient to handle it though as a vehicle will not always be at your disposal. Once you’ve mastered the controls, it’s very satisfying to traverse vast areas in a matter of seconds while enjoying the scenery.

  7. Just a tip for playstationuniversity i was wondering if you guys could please give a final rating at the end like 9/10 just a suggestion

  8. it reminds me of mercenary 2 and that game sucked but when i played the demo i was sold.

  9. @SonyJunkie: see now this is what i hear sometimes…which i dont like tedious games…

    @VofEscaflowne: whats wrong with doing drugs? i dont do them (weed thrice? nothing special), but so long as you arent dependent on them eh? But yeah….dont flame be but i disliked GTA4 lol. i gave it a few hours but i just didnt desire to play the game anymore lol

    ill wait for GTA9 or 10 with a full world map as the sandbox lol

  10. Moocows111111 April 8, 2010 @ 09:49

    Really good Review I must say, sadly I wont be getting it do to the recent surge of video games on the market.

    I also want to add that I really like these reviews, its honest and I’m glad its not based on score, but on how the game performs and how much you get from a 60-70 dollar purchase.

  11. I loved the demo and site reviews make it seem a bit average but when i speak to people who have played it they say its the funniest game in a long time they have played. I will be picking it up but not until it drops a little in price. like the review format. simple but would prefer the classic video reviews

  12. Nice review as usual. I will get this when it’s cheaper as it’s not the normal kind of game I go for.

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