Group Grapple: Just Cause 2 Multiplayer Hits Steam Today

By Adam Smith on December 16th, 2013 at 8:00 am.

Graham mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, but since the release is today and it’s unlikely to be particularly visible for long on Steam, I though it best to draw attention to it again. Just Cause 2′s multiplayer mod is one of the crazier alterations to a game I’ve ever seen, turning the enjoyably daft open world game into a massive landscape of impossible stunts and unlikely vehicle bonding. Supporting hundreds of players, most with the single objective of causing as much hilarity and carnage as possible, it’s akin to a drunken superhero flashmob invading Far Cry 3 and turning the island into the world’s most expensive and ludicrous circus. The video below tells you everything you need to know.

The second scene, with the red vehicle that becomes a skittering supersonic metal dervish, is precisely the sort of thing that open games need more of in my opinion. Just Cause 2 is an enormous box of toys along with the tools needed to break them into gloriously glitchy component parts. And all of the parts are on fire.

It’s extremely unlikely to be as significant as the Day Z boom for Arma II, but it’ll be interesting to see if Just Cause 2 enjoys a sales spike on Steam when people who were previously unaware of the mod notice its existence. Like Day Z, it’s an astonishing alteration, changing the experience of the core game dramatically. Unlike Day Z, this is an expansion rather than a conversion and it seems bizarre, after playing it, that the game ever existed without such scope for group mayhem.

The mod team have been updating for the last couple of weeks and their most recent post summarises progress so far:

We’re well into the 0.1.0 beta test, and it’s a good time to go over what we’ve done for these first few days.

We had a rocky start at first; we’re not going to deny it. Plagued by frequent server crashes and lag spikes, day one of the test was completely unplayable.

Through concentrated efforts, we managed to track down many of the issues involved and massively increased stability, reliability and performance in time for the official release of the server this coming Monday.

Just Cause 2 is currently £9.99 and the mod will be available as free DLC.

, , , , .

32 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    AngelTear says:

    I seriously struggle to see what should be so fun or appealing in this. It’s just people doing random things, shooting whatever they see and causing random glitches.

    • The Dark One says:

      People doing random things, shooting whatever they see and causing random glitches is pretty much the point. You’ll either find it dumb and annoying or dumb and awesome.

      • Premium User Badge

        AngelTear says:

        It’s funny, though, that this will be a mod that appeals to hardcore gamers, many of the same who argue that Proteus et al. are not games, and yet JC2+this mod is a game that effectively shares many characteristics that make those people say that said games are not games.
        (No focus on mechanic, no win state, etc)

        • jo-shadow says:

          Personally I’ve had the most fun in the custom game-modes that they’ve added with the mod, which have some pretty clear win states such as racing and demolition derby, so I don’t quite agree with your claim that it’s just ‘people doing random things’.

          Race: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtiYWgJCD60 – finishing higher gets higher amount of money to use for buying weapons. you can’t enter other vehicles and are DQ’d if you leave yours for more than X seconds. Server generally always has one of these running, you join with a chat command. Each race is well defined, either multilap or single long track, with checkpoints. Anything from Limos down a ski slope, tuk tuks around a hilly course, or even race with helicopters.

          Demolition derby: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBNSJH4WRg8 – choose a vehicle, enter arena, keep moving. If your car breaks enough that it can’t maintain speed, then you’re DQ’d.

          Each of these modes happen in an instance, so you don’t interact with the players that just want to mess around while in a race, so no cheating/unfairness.

          I also remember reading about a Planetside-like large-scale Team-based FPS mode, though dunno if that’s in yet. Making your own game-modes is also possible, including adding stuff to the UI (like the arrow/rings in the race mode)

          • Premium User Badge

            AngelTear says:

            Well, there was no mention of any of those things in the article or in the video. The video was pretty much just “Ha, glitches are funny. Flying cars are funny. Exploding cars are funny. Flying exploding cars are double fun”.

        • Runs With Foxes says:

          What exactly is your definition of a mechanic? Because this is basically all about the interaction of mechanics.

        • Tei says:

          The point of sandbox games is that you make your own fun. Sandbox games are not for everyone.

    • Lemming says:

      It’s difficult to respond to you without wondering if you had any toys as a child. This is just playing.

    • MichaelGC says:

      fun is highly subjective and, even for the same person, a game can be fun for the same reasons/despite the same reasons why another game isn’t.

      • Premium User Badge

        AngelTear says:

        This is flattering, weird and creepy all at the same time.
        Flattering that someone reads and remember my own words (A Fan!), weird that he uses them in a different context, and against me (You Traitor!), and creepy that someone reads and remember my own words this well (A Stalker!)

        Anyway, I didn’t say this is not fun, just that I don’t get it. I expressed why I don’t get it. People replied expressing why they do enjoy it. All this is not in contradiction with my quoted statement. ^_^

        • MichaelGC says:

          Heh! By pure coincidence whilst catching up on weekend posts I happened across the quoted comment almost immediately after reading the one at the top. (Anyone suggesting I might be secretly & creepily compiling an anthology provisionally entitled The Portable AngelTear and available Q4 2014 from all good bookshops … is either lying or mad. Possibly both.)

          Anyhoo… yes, I see now that there is no contradiction. Thanks for the elaboration!

  2. dysomniak says:

    I can’t be the only one who found JC2 to be an unplayable mess can I? Every time I try to get into it it takes me three or four respawns just to remember the daft controls, and then once I do I remember that I can only carry enough ammo for about one reload and there are way too many things to shoot and fuck it I’m just gonna play Borderlands.

    • siegarettes says:

      I actually had quite a few hours of good fun just moving around and blowing things up before I finally picked up a trainer so that I could hook a metric shit ton of items together with the grapple and have infinite ammo. Usually that makes the game less interesting but in this case it just felt right.

    • mukuste says:

      I had tons of fun in the game, even just spending time grappling around and causing random mayhem after the main campaign ended. (This is something I never do; usually get bored before the game proper is over.)

      For the controls, might want to pick up a 360 controller if you haven’t yet.

  3. DeepSleeper says:

    So is there any goal, or is it deathmatch, or… is there a point to multiplayer, or is it just “let’s see who can cause the biggest physics glitch while swearing like sailors in watered-down IRC!”?

  4. Loque says:

    Expect a lot… LOT… LOT of madness here. I find it fun for a couple of minutes but it really tends to be too cahotic to be enjoyable.

  5. dysomniak says:

    I tried a trainer a while ago, thinking that at least not running out of ammo in every fight might make the game tolerable, but it didn’t work. Maybe this mod will inspire whoever wrote it to fix it.

  6. Germanicus says:

    Sits in my library untouched since I got it on sale.

    Is there an ICD9 for game hoarder?…

  7. Press X to Gary Busey says:

    To level out some of the surprising amount of negativity here I’ll say that this is why I PC.

  8. Foxygamer says:

    THIS IS CHAOOOOOOS!

  9. derbefrier says:

    Been playing all weekend on the beta server and it the most fun I have had in a multiplayer game in a long time. 100 man destruction derbys, races that incl racing everything from hovercrafts to bse jumping off a cliff and racing to the bottom. The glorious choas at popular sites like the airport or race track, hunting down players with high bounties(yes there is a bounty system now) the faction wars or just cruising down the coas on a relacing ride, untill a jet lands on you. Its fun, silly, buggy(one funny bug is all the cars exploding at the start of a race,halarious) and just a good time ina game that never takes itself seriously.

  10. Faxanadu says:

    This just sounds so ridiculous I might have to try it just because of that.

  11. Woet says:

    It’s unfortunate that the biggest feature is not mentioned:
    Anyone can run their own server and create their own scripts using Lua!

    For people like AngelTear who don’t enjoy the random things, just wait for all the servers to pop up!
    I’m sure there will be countless servers with specific goals like deathmatch, capture the flag, roleplaying, racing, flight simulation and whatever else people come up with. And if you enjoy scripting yourself, be part of it and turn your ideas into a script!

  12. Jupiah says:

    Am I the only person who thinks that vehicle tethering mechanic would get boring in about 5 minutes? It sounds like good fun but after watching half that video devoted to the mechanic it just seems like the towed car will always get destroyed within 15 seconds.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Probably depends on the server settings. The single-player grapple mods from back in the day weren’t nearly as twitchy.

    • Woet says:

      We haven’t synced grapple yet so expect to see those kind of bugs until we do.

  13. Muzman says:

    As amusing as this looks and as great an effort as it is, my precise scientific calculations indicate that something like this for Red Faction Guerrilla would be approximately one million billion times better.