Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Physics don't apply...

I saw a pain specialist today. And while there is news on that front, many of my posts of late have been VERY serious. Thus, it's time for one of utter and complete nonsense. Today's subject...? "Just Cause 2."

For starters, I didn't know there was a "Just Cause 1." Having seen the demo for the second game, I will remain thankful that I never saw it, heard of it, or imagined it by accident. But my housemates downloaded it onto their PS3, and it is being played to death by EVERYONE.

Why? Because it's absurd! To quote Wyatt, It's the most 'video game' video game I've seen in a long time." Many games try for as much realism as possible. Not JC2! Sure, there's enough visual detail to say, "Ooh, that's pretty." After that...Well, someone somewhere decided physics should take some time off, and the programmers went nuts.

You play as Rico "the Scorpio" Rodriguez, (who is known only by the name "Sancho" in this house). In the opening scene, he meets with a woman whose accent is a combination of Jamaican and African - the voice acting and writing are nightmares...PLURAL! - who claims she's heard that Rico is very good. At what, we have no idea...yet. His response, "They tell me I'm the best." And we still don't know what he's good at...

...but you find out rapidly as the demo starts up. First, there's the grappling hook attacked to his left arm. I have no idea what supplies it with its tether, but it seems you can fire it some distance and then pull yourself at approximately 300 MPH toward your target. You can also tether two objects together...Like a car to a helicopter, or a person to a moving car.

Speaking of which, when standing by the side of the road, you can fire the grappling hook at a moving car, pull yourself to it, ride the roof a little bit in a standing position, then drop down, open the car door, throw the driver out, and take over at the wheel. The removal of drivers applies to ALL vehicles. Jeeps, motorcycles, helicopters...Rico can do it all!

Let us not forget the pack of infinite parachutes. Using the grappling hook and chute together, you can travel for miles, sometimes faster than any of the cars.

As I said, the demo is being played to death here, and we've discovered a number of fun things in which the physical laws of OUR world don't apply. Here are some of them:

1. Grab a helicopter and travel as high as you can. Abandon ship. The demo is 30 minutes long of open-world play, and this fall is going to eat about two minutes of it. Do NOT use your parachute. Just drop. In our world, you'll reach terminal velocity in short order, hit the ground, and even dental records won't help identify you; they'll have to rely on genetic testing. But Rico...? Just keep falling until and watch the ground. When you're in range, use the grappling hook to pull you to the ground EVEN FASTER! Rico will stand up at the end of the move.

2. Cars can take a tremendous beating in this game. On a guess, folks here have hit 100 MPH at a minimum, driven off the road, up a mountain, and finally off a cliff...only to discover Rico is headed straight towards a boulder, which the car will BOUNCE off of after a head-on collision. While the car is banged up, you should be able to drive it long enough to pull off the same stunt at least twice more.

3. While falling with the chute open, one player decided to simple angle Rico in such a way as to be spinning in the air. In such tight circles, he lost no altitude...just kept spinning and making all witnesses dizzy.

4. There are large canisters of pressurized gas all over the place. No matter where you shoot it, the valve comes off, it spews gas, and will fly off chaotically. Those that are standing upright, however, can be shot, grappled, and ridden to a fair height before they explode. (Let go, or Rico is dead!)

5. At the mention of death, Rico seems to be able to take 1,000 shots with a gun before he's claimed by the Reaper. Many opponents in the game appear to be so bad with a gun that they shouldn't have been armed to begin with...except when you're being chased and you decide to steal a vehicle. THAT'S when they become crack-shots, as they are almost guaranteed to take out at least one tire.

6. Standing ON a crane while destroying it, we've discovered that Rico will not only survive the fall, but any of the steel frame that falls on him will bounce off his head.

7. There is a plane that is seemingly made of paper, strike-anywhere-matches, and filled with propane. The wheels on it are only there for taking off. The moment they caress the ground in an attempted landing, the plane explodes, killing Rico.

8. After stealing a vehicle, you can exit it and stand on its roof to shoot at people and things. That no one is inside the car to steer or apply the gas means nothing to our hero.

9. Steve likes to open his play by leaping from the starting zone, falling, angling his body so his chest scrapes along the ground for a bit, open is parachute, then close it...to basically roll down the mountain end over end.

10. Another Steve incident was him stealing one motorcycle, seeing a different one he wanted, and so he leapt from one to take the other. As he sped off, he saw something off to the left...a motorcycle that just seemed to be driving off into the desert, and he said, "Hey...where's that guy going?" He rapidly closed the distance, only to discover it was the first motorcycle, the one he abandoned. It was driving off into the sunset on its own.

I said earlier that the voice acting and writing were horrific. Well, the woman who hires Rico has to be the most annoying thing about what I've experienced thus far. Her accent doesn't even make for a good fictional one. And at one point, she called Rico "comrade," but pronounces it as "com-RAID." That stupid, mish-mosh accent makes me nuts! A laughable line is when angry guards call Rico "a piece of dung." Thyen there's Rico, himself. After destroying a fuel pipeline, calls his enemies a bunch of "pipeline jerks." It's almost as though they held back on the language for the kids, but ignored the fact that there's a ton of violence and blood splatter to be witnessed.

All of this absurdity now said, the guys are planning on buying this game BECAUSE it is so absurd. We've done far too much laughing AT the game not to get it. It's also perfect for venting one's anger, as you actually get points for causing as much destruction as possible. Who knows? I might actually play this one, too? I mean, I like bouncing the occasional car off a mountain from time to time. Don't you?

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