Just Cause 2: ULTIMATE HIGH JINX

By Alec Meer on March 29th, 2010 at 10:00 pm.

Fine, fine, let’s talk about a game that requires a graphics card for the first time today. RPS: bridging the hardware generation gap. Walker’s currently busy pirouetting around Just Cause 2’s lavish island for an upcoming Wot I Think (we had some technical problems with the review code, I believe, hence the short delay), but as the entirety of Twitter seems to be talking about what they’re up to in it, let’s showcase some of The Crazy right now. You can do better, obviously. And you should show us.

This guy made a whale explode, which immediately made me thing of the Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Skip to about a minute in:

This puts Agent 47 to shame:

A pilotable hot air balloon!

Fans of gratingly melodramatic, made-it-up-as-they-went-along science fiction drama will swoon at this Easter Egg:

PC Gamer have decided there are six things you must do in Just Cause 2, and also that all blog posts must have a number in the title.

Then there’s this beautiful, incredible video. Dancing planes, stratospheric ballet:

To achieve many of JC’s greatest exploits yourself, you’ll need the already legendary multiple grappling hook mod BOLOPatch – which even works with the demo. Apparently it’s not exactly problem free, but then again multiple grappling hooks.

Me? Still downloading it. Been doing so forever. Dear Mr Virgin Media – you are the King of All Stupids. In what insane fantasy world is throttling anyone to 128 kilobyte per second download speeds of an evening acceptable customer service? It’s like repeatedly punching a man in the stomach as he tries to eat. Nnng. Hopefully I can finally play this electric videogame of ultimate possibilities tomorrow. Tomorrow. Boom. Tomorrow. Boom. Tomorrow.

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71 Comments »

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  1. Jacques says:

    Virgin Media need to die a slow and painful death, their internet service has for the last two years, been absolutely appalling.

    • Premium User Badge

      Chaz says:

      Well I’ve been with the service since the Blueyonder days when Telewest first released it round my way back in about 2001. The service on the whole was very good under Telewest and I never had any complaints. Since Virgin took over the serivce however, it began to noticably decline within the first few months, and now the service just isn’t a patch on what it used to be like under Telewest. What with the drop in the quality of service and the implementation of their draconian “fair usage policy”, I’d find the service very hard to recomend right now. Having said that however, never having been on an ADSL service, I don’t really know how they compare to other ISP’s.

      I remember one of the first things they did when they took over was to start charging something like 45p per minute for the customer help line, until they backed down due to the huge out cry about it. Even then they decided to anounce their u-turn on the charges as if they were suddenly doing everyone a huge favour by dropping the charges, almost as if the lines had never been free in the first instance.

      Rather than them being grateful for our custom, you get the feeling that they think we should be the ones grateful to them for their service. Before Virgin Media took over my internet, I used to think that Richard Branson was one of the more fairer nice business moguls, but now I realise he’s a chunt just like the rest of them.

    • Sliff says:

      I’ve been on cable since Telewest and then Blueyonder too. I rarely have any need for their customer service but yeah, it has indeed gone downhill since it became Virgin Media.

      The internet service itself however, I love. I was upgraded for free all the way from 1Mbps, 2Mbps, 5Mbps and then 10Mbps, then moved to the 20Mbps package for about a year. Now I’m on 50Mbps for £5 less a month I was paying for 20, and I get 50Mbps constantly (even a little over with 20 SSL Usenet connections running :) on any server that can handle it.

      My latency on most of the decent game servers I play on is often between 10-30ms. I have next to 0% downtime and no caps whatsoever. It’s absolutely awesome and there’s no other service in the UK I know of that would tempt me to switch. I know a lot of people don’t like their service(s) and definitely have good reasons for that, but personally I love it.

      Also, FWIW, Richard Branson is a minority shareholder in Virgin Media. The company was formed off the back of the ntl:Telewest merger and they effectively bought the brand name from Branson in exchange for cash and shares. He’s still involved for sure, but he doesn’t own or control the company, contrary to popular belief.

  2. jsutcliffe says:

    I am looking forward to my own The Crazy this evening, and hopefully less of The Crashing that my old video card makes happen. I haven’t done much silly stuff yet, other than causing Massive Destruction™ with helicopters and fuel depots.

    Also, I totally need to install the rope mod.

  3. Freudian Trip says:

    We’re on the 50MB connection at the moment and it drops more often than *insert clever line here*

  4. simbo says:

    Hmmm… exploding whale….

    • LintMan says:

      @simbo: lol, I thought of the exact same clip when I saw the whale there on the beach in the JC2 clip.

    • Davie says:

      That’s the best part…if you read the Robert James Carter ARG blog, it’s clear the whale was in direct reference to that event. Which I think is especially awesome, as I’m an Oregonian.

  5. Kanamit says:

    I was expecting the easter egg to be a crash site with the PC’s dead body in it.

  6. Vinraith says:

    Looks like a blast. How open to modding is this game, anyway?

    • MWoody says:

      Not sure, but if it’s indicative of anything, BOLOPatch is not a mod. It’s a memory-resident utility that hacks the game in progress. So of course, there’s virus concerns, all sorts of conflicts, and to use some abilities, you actually have to tab out of Just Cause (problematic in and of itself).

    • Vinraith says:

      @MWoody

      Thanks for the information. I was surprised to hear that there was a “mod” for the game as I wasn’t aware it was open to such. It sounds like it basically isn’t, which is a shame but not unexpected.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Vandelay says:

    I find it ironic that a Virgin Casino advert is playing at the top of the page at the moment. I remember from my student days (saying that makes me feel so old; it was only a few months ago,) that attempting to play a game in the evening on Virgin internet was just like taking a spin on a roulette table. Every ten or so minutes they would decide that I had been given enough internets for a while and my ping would rocket up for about a minute, before settling down again. Basically made games just as unplayable as if the ping stayed constantly high. Which is shame, because if it wasn’t for their harsh fair usage policy they would be fantastic. When it worked, I always got fast download speeds and they were certainly very cheap when you took out a TV, Internet and Phone package.

    Anyway, this looks awesome. The demo was so much fun that I can’t imagine the full thing not being so. I particularly like the way you have to control the hot air balloon by running into the sides. That plane video is quite spectacular too.

  8. Shivoa says:

    I’ve been using cable forever but with my ever increasing reliance on the internet to make gaming appear on my computer (screw the postal service, give me Steam and other download services. MMO clients don’t even seem to give you a choice anymore, quickly becoming GBs of data different from their DVD origins even if you do buy boxed) means I think I’ll be giving up on VM in the future and trying to explore those other bastards at BT.

    If they were being reasonably, like figures banded around in the US of 300-500GB/month limits, it wouldn’t be so bad but limiting the speeds so basic internet use is a ‘remind me of 56k modems’ bad experience (well, with much larger websites, it almost feels that bad anyway) just because I downloaded a game I paid for over Steam earlier in the day sucks.

    On the topic of Just Cause 2, we’re starting to reach the point where my old 8800GT is showing serious age. Demo has shown me I can’t just ignore the settings and pull all the sliders up to high/max and enjoy a playable frame-rate.

  9. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    It is, of course, as silly to root for corporate heroes as to hate on corporate villains like Ubisoft and Activision, but crikey do I want Just Cause 2 and Bad Company 2 to do well.

  10. Untitled says:

    Sounds like Orange broadband – because I downloaded more than 5GB in peak times during November, I now have download rates of ~50kb/s between 18:00 and 24:00 EVERY DAY!

    RGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    • Jacques says:

      Why the hell haven’t you complained yet? They’re just absolutely taking the piss out of you by doing that.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      It’s not. They measure your usage across a shorter period and then throttle the connection for a few hours. Wouldn’t be so bad, but the limit is only around 800MB, or it was for the package I was on. Basically, one person try to watch an hour long programme on Iplayer and you are screwed for the rest of the evening. Here is a link to explain the absurd system http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/internet/traffic.html

    • Jacques says:

      I find it funny that they go on about “fair share” and then advertise “unlimited” downloads.

      Also, their upload speeds suck, majorly. And when you’re uploading a big file (ie that website software you’re working on) your connection slows to an absolute crawl.

  11. Baltech says:

    I’ve loved it dearly so far but I just can’t decide how to play best. The shooting things with stuff part is best done by mouse and keyboard but the driving is just nuts done digital. It basically demands a joypad. I just don’t want to change constantly between the two.

  12. Premium User Badge

    James G says:

    Note to self, Just Cause 2: Good, Virgin Media: Bad.
    I shall be purchasing one shortly, and shall ignore the other one when I come to search for ISPs in a few months time. (Orange 3G dongles aren’t all that great either, especially if you accidentally go over you bandwidth limit for the month. However they are 3G dongles, so that’s to be expected.)

  13. Iztli says:

    I cant believe how optimized this game is on pc…its like a pc game and not a console port :O :O…

    • stahlwerk says:

      That’s because we’re at a sweet spot for pc gaming right now, at least regarding console ports. The Xbox 360 as a performance baseline is roughly(!!) what a high end pc could do 3-4 years ago. On the other hand, console games are rigorously QAed, and the refined SDKs and engines ensure that the codebase for both platforms is mostly identical.

      So we pc gamers get fluid, stable gameplay at incredible resolutions for an acceptable price (I played the demo of JC2 on my “not enthusiast”-Radeon 5770 and it was beyond smooth).

    • Baboonanza says:

      @stahlwerk
      That’s not the whole reason. Having recently played some pretty awful ports (GTA4, Red Faction: Guerilla), you should give credit where credit is due.

      The developers of ‘Just Cause 2′ have put in the extra effort to make an amazing PC port. It’s got a load of additonal graphical features you won’t find on the console version, a good interface and runs butter smooth on my 5850. Both GTA4 and Red Faction ran like crap and looked awful on the same system.

      Started playing it last night, and I’m full of love for it :)

  14. Tzarkahn says:

    Just bought it, YAY!

    Also, YAY for Chorus NTL Cable that is just unlimited when its quiet.

    • Theoban says:

      Yeah when I bought it and downloaded it through Steam, I managed to grab it in around an hour and a half, just after release at midnight. YES.

  15. MWoody says:

    I would pay all my monies to see Mercenaries 3 done in the Just Cause 2 engine (including the former’s co-op, which would probably be difficult). JC2 is great fun, and the engine is phenomenal, but the game is so close to belated Pandemic’s flagship that I can’t help but compare and, sadly, Mercs 2 wins in everything not related to bugs or engine issues. I still catch myself going into the Black Market menu and trying to call in an airstrike.

    Oh, and because it needs to be said as often and loudly as possible, fuck DLC and retailer-specific bonuses. There aren’t nearly enough guns and agency vehicles in the game to cut some out (a goddamn HOVERCRAFT was in the game!). It’s particularly silly since the game requires Steam, even if purchased at retail, and yet Steam was the one place where you didn’t get any bonus whatsoever for ordering.

    • Walsh says:

      Mercs 2 was such a monumental disappointment after Mercs 1. So many irritating stupid design changes from the 1st game that made the gameplay worse.

    • malkav11 says:

      Not the only place. I got my copy from GoGamer.com, where my preorder bonus was, well…saving $15.

  16. DarkFenix says:

    I totally sympathise over the Virgin Media issue. I ditched them a few months back after ages putting up with shitty service. I switched over to Be Broadband and haven’t looked back. 20Mbit with Virgin meant more like 5 if I was lucky. 24Mbit with Be reliably gives me 20.

    • mrrobsa says:

      @DarkFenix:
      Agreed. I’ve had BT, Virgin and Be internets and Be have been the best for me. Decent connection, decent price and no usage caps. I’d recommend it to anyone whose ISP is being a bum.

  17. Rath says:

    If you don’t want spoilers for what little story is peripherally attached to this game, then do not watch the review on GameTrailers. Once again, they have included footage of things you should not know about until you see them for yourself.
    And now all I can think about is the scene in “Reno 911 – Miami” where they blew up a whale and chunks of it hit bystanders.

  18. stahlwerk says:

    This is definitely a game where I’m seriously tempted to ignore my creed of “Don’t buy full price on Steam, for there will be discounts aplenty on Christmas!”

    Also, does anyone have a link to a whitepaper, interview or similar by the developers, where they describe how they got those incredible drawing distances working (granted, it’s only the static world geometry, but it’s so damn gorgeous).

    • TiredDeveloper says:

      Voxels (the ground) and sprites (trees and stuff) I assume, just like Cryengine does it.

      It is pretty, it is.

  19. Richeh says:

    Wow. I don’t think any game has captured the batshit-insane opening sequences to James Bond movies quite so well.

    Especially James Bond games.

    Also, why post the hot air balloon and not hitching a sports car to a jumbo jet? It’s like you hate us.

  20. jokermatt999 says:

    Ha, assassination with a boat? I saw a Mercenaries 2 video that featured assassination by a tugboat full of C4.

    A tugboat full of C4 dropped from a heavenly height with an angry Viking in it.

    I miss the winch in Just Cause 2.

  21. malkav11 says:

    As I am currently having (recurrent) issues with my present DSL provider, I can only muse on what wonders might be achieved if a company set out to provide non-evil internet service. ’cause there certainly seems to be bugger all such options in most markets.

  22. Skusey says:

    Virgin are quite bad at the internet, my connection with them was awful. Just Cause 2 looks amazing though and I can’t wait to play it.

  23. Jacques says:

    Virgin are on to me, my connection was down for the last 30 minutes for no reason.

  24. Frosty840 says:

    Apparently the game requires Steam.

    Does this mean that puchasing it at retail allows you to make it a real, downloadable, accessible-anywhere Steam game? ’cause I’d bother purchasing it if that’s the case.

    Anyone know?

    • malkav11 says:

      This is exactly so. It doesn’t so much allow as forces.

    • Grunt says:

      Wait…so you buy the game boxed but HAVE to download it from Steam as well?? It’s not just connected to Steam but needs it??

      That’s practically a deal-breaker for me right there. (cries)

    • Vinraith says:

      @Grunt

      The game has Steamworks. That means that in order to play you have to register it on Steam, and as with any Steam game the client has to run to allow you to play the game. Since you have a game disc with the game data on it, you would not have to download the game data from Steam. You would have to do all your updating through Steam, however.

    • Grunt says:

      Arrg. Bloody Steam. Well, I suppose it’s better than needing that AND GFWL. (scowls at Dawn of War 2)

  25. V. Tchitcherine. says:

    It’s a fun game whilst the fun lasts but the abhorrent underlying gun play, absence of any compelling story, characters or history really do make this quite susceptible to boredom. Sure, hijacking an giant fighter plane with C4, tethering it to a harrier plane which you tow into the sky and then crash the former into a 747 and chase your falling harrier to pilot it before it crashes is an amazing experience… yet it all becomes surprisingly repetitive, more quickly than other Sandbox games I’ve played. I still am constantly amazed at GTA IV’s world and the satisfying delight of even cornering a SuperGT, the vehicle physics here are shocking on a relative level yet far better than say The Saboteur.

    That being said, it’s certainly a remarkable open-world achievement but I would incomparably prefer Red Dead Redemption for the PC.

    • Grunt says:

      That’s the second time I’ve seen negative comments about the combat. Is it really that bad? Just Cause was also a brilliant sandbox to play in but combat was poor and even the driving – somewhat essential in so large and open a world – felt unfinished. I want to buy this game, don’t get me wrong, but I really do hope there’s something of a game in there to buy and not just a mad-stunt simulator.

      Is this why the videos have concentrated on nothing else…..?

    • Ginger Yellow says:

      The combat isn’t great, no. It’s not terrible, but there’s not a whole lot to it. There’s a lot of auto-aim (which you may be able to turn off, I suppose), and there’s no cover system. So it’s just run-and-gun plus pulling people off of towers with your grapple. The pleasures of JC 2 are in the exploring, the stunts and the destruction. There’s certainly a danger of it getting repetitive – although the main campaign is actually fairly short (I think I clocked 16 hours for a 29% completion run-through). But the landscape is so beautiful that it’s fun just to roam around the island, looking for collectibles.

    • Psychopomp says:

      The gunplay feels fine to me.

    • Premium User Badge

      Morph says:

      No problems with the shooting here, it feels pretty normal to me.

      One of my slight dissapointments is that its hard to think of cool things to do in the middle of a combat. I just end up shooting people. Guess I’m just a bit unimaginative.

  26. JuJuCam says:

    After a few hours of JC2 I honestly need to have a quiet lie down. There’s just nothing quite so satisfying right now as opening an assault on a military base by riding a plane into a statue.

    I haven’t even begun to experiment with BOLOpatch. It’s definitely the type of game I don’t need to finish so much as leave on my PC and play whenever the mood takes me to cause batshit crazy mayhem.

  27. GetOutOfHereStalker says:

    gimme goddamned xp support

    screw it i’m buying a 360

  28. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Our service from virgin got a lot better after we stumped up for the 50Mb package (although it still has to go for a bit of a lie down at peak times).
    Best, non-evil, internet service is Be-Broadband however, you pay them money, they give you fast internet, no usage caps, no throttling, just internets.
    Mind you, 50Mb is nice for the times when it decides to work properly and you can download an entire game in about 5 minutes :)

    • Ginger Yellow says:

      I can second Be as a good ISP. As with all ISPs, you’re probably not going to get the full speed advertised, but I’ve never been throttled despite downloading a lot of stuff, and the connection’s pretty reliable. I get a rock solid 900KB a second download speed and 400KB upload. The only issue I’ve had with them is that the router they give you when you sign up (or did – maybe it’s improved) can’t do port forwarding properly despite claiming to.

  29. Tom Francis says:

    It’s only posts about Just Cause 2 that have to have a number in them, and the number must always be six. Unless we got the dove sacrifice in early that week, obviously.

  30. Langman says:

    The graphic performance of this game is immense – the move to DX10-only really paid off.

    The way forward for these sorts of games methinks.

  31. tome says:

    Yeah, well, the street light one up from our house was struck by lightning, and I had no tubes for a week, so SHUT YER TRAP, MATE.

  32. Barts says:

    What about hardware requirements? I have Dual Core 2GHz, GeForce 9600GT and 2Gb RAM – I am afraid it’s not enough for all this. Or is it?

  33. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    My Virgin connection went down for a week, leading to much anger at Virgin until I discovered that the workmen outside our house had accidentally cut the cable and fixed it with sellotape. Attempting to be a good angry RPS comment threader, I tried to still blame Virgin, but my heart wasn’t in it.

  34. Shadrach says:

    “And what’s this thing coming toward me very fast? So big and flat and round,”
    “it needs a big wide sounding name like ‘Ow’, ‘Ownge’, ‘Round’, ‘Ground’!”
    “That’s it! Ground! Ha! I wonder if it’ll be friends with me?”

  35. Premium User Badge

    Chaz says:

    It’s a good job we can’t hear the screams of the passengers in that planes ballet video. Anyway, I must try that out as I haven’t experimented much with my grapple yet.

  36. Lucas says:

    After the colonel assassination it says “military morale has been lowered”, which I haven’t noticed before (playing on PS3). I wonder if it counteracts (or delays) the “military activity increase” that you get every so often, which I presume unlocks additional alert levels. My alert bar has 5 segments now, and it looks like there is room for 2 more so it eventually meets the health-meter.

    JC2 is very good overall, but I really miss many of the better features of Mercenaries like: stealth, faction reputation, great binoculars, airstrikes (and destroyable buildings), a LOT more buyable vehicle/equipment deploys, capturing targets, and penalties for killing friendlies and civilians. I can see myself putting 100 hours into JC2 before putting it down, but I’ll always return to Mercs.

  37. FernandoDante says:

    Lost fucking RULES.

  38. Mistabashi says:

    I have to agree that Virgin Media’s broadband is terrible these days. Check out their so-called “fair usage policy”, the gist of it is that if I download more than 1.5gb of data between 10am and 3pm, or 1gb between 4pm and 9pm, they throttle my 10meg connection down to 2.5meg for five hours…

    ” Virgin Media – the mother of all broadband * ”

    *(provided you only want to use it at night).

    It’s like they think we’re still living in the 90’s or something, someone should show them technological marvels of the modern internet. Apparently you can even watch TV on your computer now. Next thing you know we’ll be making phonecalls over the web, and playing virtual reality games with hundreds of players from around the world all connected at once. But that wouldn’t be “fair usage” though, would it?

  39. morte says:

    First time in ages I’ve been sold totally on the demo. I had no intention of getting the game as I expected not to like it. Tried demo on a whim, and went out and bought it straight away.
    (Didnt download on steam thanks to BT’s oppressive FUP).

    Sucker for a solid engine, it is very impressive.

  40. Phil says:

    Why all the LOST hate? Why you gotta be breaking my balls?