Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Just Cause 2 [official site] doesn’t have a great mission in its entire running length, although it has some pretty OK ones. What it does have is a beautiful, diverse open world in which to wreak havoc of the most over the top kind, with land, sea and air vehicles, a re-usable parachute and a grappling hook.
Just Cause 2’s pleasures lie in two areas: one, mucking about. Call in a plane and fly under some bridges. Head to the snowy region and try to slide atop a petrol truck from its tallest peak. Tether your own plane to the Mile High Club, which is suspended in the air from hot air balloons, and see how many rotations you can perform before you crash and explode. Surf upon the roof of some moving vehicles, tying enemies to lampposts as they speed after you.
Two, in how pretty it all is. Just Cause 2 never made a big deal of its engine and no one ever applauded its textures as they did Crysis, but it is achingly beautiful when the sun is setting and sky is cast in red and oranges or when you’re crashing to the ground above a permanently stormy island inspired by Lost.
It’s easy to criticise the dull plot, weak shooting and the unfortunate restrictions which only allow you to apply a fragile tether to two people using your grappling hook, but it’s hard to begrudge a game whose small limitations are easily lifted by mods or cheats. Especially when those mods also include JC2MP, which lets you wreak the same havoc – and much more – in huge multiplayer servers.
Fingers crossed for Just Cause 3, which is just days away.