Just Cause 2 – Review (PS3)

As someone who didn’t play the original Just Cause this game wasn’t really on my radar until a Gametrailers special featuring it. Once I got my hands on the demo and experienced it for myself, I knew I’d end up getting a copy.

The game takes place a few years after the first game with agency operative Rico Rodriguez taking a trip to the (fictional) island of Panau in Asia. His mission is to assassinate Panau’s repressive leader ‘Baby’ Panay and track down Tom Sheldon, a rogue operative who has defected away from the agency.

The big draw here is the gameplay itself, which consists of causing as much chaos as possible. And that’s literally ‘chaos’ – it’s the game’s version of XP and you’ll need a set amount to unlock the agency missions as you go along.

Which brings me to my one major complaint with Just Cause 2… it’s too long. I know that might sound crazy, when people complain games are so short these days but this game took me 23 hours to play through. That in itself wouldn’t be a problem if they’d added in some extra agency missions.

In fact it’s more of a pacing issue than the length of the game. With only 6 agency missions (the last one kicks straight in after mission 6) that is a lot of time (almost 4 hours to unlock each mission if you split it equally) to be messing around and causing chaos.

It is super fun to cause chaos and the takeover/faction missions are mainly interesting but I felt a few of the bigger side missions could’ve been incorporated as full agency missions. It felt like I was really grinding towards the last mission by the time I got anywhere near it.

I always think the best games find a way of making sure you don’t feel bored on the route to unlocking missions, sadly for me I found it a bit of a struggle towards the end of the game.

But overall that’s an issue that won’t bother some people and it certainly doesn’t hurt the gameplay or any of the mechanics at play here.

Just Cause 2 is a great game. It builds on the framework of the original game and titles like Mercenaries 2 to provide one of the best open world experiences out there. I wish I had got around to playing this last year as it would certainly have got a nod for Single Player Game Of The Year.

While the game is based around the spy/thriller genre it has such a sense of fun that you can’t help but laugh at most of it. With the ability to tie an enemy to a gas canister, shoot it and send him whizzing into the air you get the feeling the developers had a blast making it.

Speaking of blasts Just Cause 2 has some great looking explosions and with the amount of them happening it can make for some pretty spectacular gameplay.

When you find yourself chasing and shooting down a recently launched space rocket with a fighter jet, you know you’re onto a winner. πŸ˜†

With a whole heap of content (I think my 23 hours equates to about 20% of the game) and the fact the game is so much fun, I would definitely recommend giving Just Cause 2 a chance. This is the perfect title to get stuck into over these barren game release summer months.

Rating: 9/10

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Kane And Lynch 2: Dog Days – Review (PS3)

As I’ve mentioned before despite its flaws I enjoyed the original Kane and Lynch game. It had a decent story and some great missions.

So in the build up to the release of the sequel last summer I was keen to see how it played.

I got a chance when the demo arrived and I liked it. Single player seemed good and the multiplayer was different to a lot of games out there. So when I saw it in the post-Christmas sale I got myself a copy.

Sadly this was one of those instances where the demo showed you everything the game had to offer despite being only 15/20 minutes in length.

On the plus side there simply isn’t another game out there that looks like this. The game gives the impression that it’s being filmed on a hand-held camera, or that you’re watching this as footage on youtube.

It’s a pretty startling design and I definitely applaud it. However I can’t help but feel that the developers got caught up in the look and forgot about the rest of the game.

The best way I can describe Kane and Lynch 2 is that it’s like someone has ripped the last third of a game away from the rest of the story and given it to us as a full game.

There wasn’t much in the way of story and each level was repetitive as hell. Shoot, take cover, shoot, take cover etc.

If I’d had to do a few different types of mission it would have been a start – hell, even a few hours as just Lynch (and a friend if they needed co-op) doing a few ‘jobs’ before Kane arrived would’ve been good.

If IO Interactive had set us up a story and some characterisation with, say, 4 or 5 hours worth of gameplay (that didn’t involve escaping from someone/somewhere) this could’ve been something special.

The 4 odd hours that are here would make a quality final half/third of a game, having laid the groundwork the escape from Shanghai would have been superb.

Multiplayer is decent, with the Fragile Alliance mode – in which players can turn against their teammates for a bigger slice of the cash – a particular highlight. The issue is that even with 6 maps everything gets stale very quickly.

As it stands Dog Days is not a title I’d really recommend. It’s not a terrible game and would probably be a decent rental. I picked it up for Β£7.00 and feel like I just about got my money’s worth. I think that says it all really.

Rating: 5/10

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Kane And Lynch 2 – Demo Impressions (PS3)


I seem to be in the minority in considering Kane & Lynch: Dead Men a thoroughly enjoyable game. Sure the controls were dodgy but the story and characterisation held my attention right through the game.

So it wasΒ with general excitement that I fired up the demo. In fact I hadn’t been this excited for a demo since Battlefield: Bad Company 2 last year.

As you may or may not know, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days has been made to look like you’re watching the entire thing online. It’s like playing through a documentary that someone is making on a handheld camera.

This gives the game a very interesting feel compared to everything else out there at the moment.

So, let’s start with the single player portion of the demo. You are straight into the action, controlling Lynch and shooting your way out of a restaurant in Shanghai alongside Kane.

The controls felt quite loose but the shooting seemed to be fairly accurate, at least at close range. There is certainly a satisfying thud as your bullets hit their target, especially with the shotgun.

Once you get out of the restaurant it’s into the alleyways and out onto the street as the battle spills all over the place.

Kane & Lynch 2 seems to favour a mixture of run ‘n gun and tactical play. If you continually rush out into the open you’ll be taken down and I suspect your AI (or human controlled) partner will need to cover you at times ala Army Of Two: 40th Day.

The demo isn’t long – around 15 minutes – but it certainly gives you a taste of the game. Kane & Lynch 2 is set to be a Marmite type of affair… you’ll either love it or hate it.

As for multiplayer, the wonderful Fragile Alliance mode is back and they have fixed the problem of people just shooting you from the off by not starting the round proper until 5/10 seconds in.

Essentially a heist mode, the idea is you get in somewhere, each pick up as much money as possible then battle past the police to the getaway van. After that all the money is totted up and split between the 8 of you. If you all survive…

And it’s not just the police you’ll need to worry about – your own team can turn on you in an attempt to get a bigger share of the cash. They will then be marked as a ‘traitor’ to the rest of the team and they have to decide whether to let them live or kill them.

If you want revenge you respawn as a cop trying to stop the escape so you’ll have your chance 😎

Makes for some tense matches as you just don’t know who to trust.

Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days is a definite buy for me. I can’t wait for both the single player and multiplayer. It’ll certainly be something fresh to get our teeth into over the summer.

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