Review code for Just Cause 3: Sky Fortress was provided to the reviewer by a representative of Square Enix on Monday, March 7th. Take this into consideration when reading the following review.
It was odd going back to Just Cause 3, even after a period of three months. Coming back, I had to completely relearn how the controls worked for just basic navigation, which is quite embarrassing to say the very least.
After some adjustment period of about 2 hours and some bugs that seem to still exist, even with the most recent update applied. The most egregious that I noticed even more after 3 months being the performance. It’s ridiculous. I’ll get into why a bit later in this review.
However, it wasn’t all bad, the most delightful being dramatically reduced load times. No longer did I have time to cook a meal. I could, actually, you know, get into a groove, which was my biggest problem with the initial version.
Now, I guess it’s time to actually talk about the new stuff. Sky Fortress is the first of three planned expansions over the next year or so. This obviously representing the Sky portion of that three. In this DLC, Rico Rodriguez and Sheldon find themselves at odds with the eDEN corporation and their titular Sky Fortress.
Given most of the action takes place, oh, in the sky, you need better tools for navigation, namely, a Bavarium Wingsuit. So, upon hearing this, you might think, “So, it’s just blue?”. Well, no. It’s actually more like a jump pack, and the game basically treats it as so, meaning that you can’t just rocket through the sky, it actually takes a bit of managing your speed boost against your angle of approach as well as your relative distance to the object. Also,you can take off from land or in the water and immediately sky rocket towards whatever you need to get to.
It works well on paper, but when it comes to taking quick corners and moving with any sense of grace, forget about it. Just Cause 3 provides you with an air brake, but given that you use that very same button to land, it gets problematic very quickly. I don’t expect to be turning on a dime here, but I expect something a bit more fine tuned when it comes to braking in the air. Something like a 20% slow down would’ve been nice, rather than what feels like a 60% slow down upon pressing the brake.
Furthermore, in a previous paragraph, I talked about the speed boost mechanic. While I like the added challenge of having to manage another flight system, it’s getting to be a bit much. I’m already managing how high of a jump I’m initiating light from, the distance to my destination, as well as the speed and approach, when I arrive in the vicinity of the destination. Given the amount of quick actions I need to perform in this DLC, as well as the main game, I’m not entirely sure this will translate well to open flight.
So, I won’t go into too many details about the story content here, so I’ll just give a bit of an overview, in case anyone is worried about me spoiling the moments contained within this DLC. The gist is: eDEN is bad, they’ve got a big Sky Fortress, and you’ve got to stop them. Within this story arc, Just Cause 3 falls back into some of the things I didn’t like about the main game, mainly, the overall cheesiness and heavily weighted battles.
I’m fine if the game wants to be cheesy and all that, but the writers went really overboard this time. Stop it. Please. Rico is already an idiot, we both know this, even the game knows it. That doesn’t excuse Rico having one liners out the ass like we’re in The Expendables.
As for the battles, they seem very one-sided, favoring the enemies, rather than you. Avalanche’s intentions were to make this difficult, and it is, but frustratingly so. Just trying to find all the things that I needed to explode in order to progress took me about 2 hours a day to try and figure out, which is part of why this review is going up 3 to 4 days later than I had originally intended.
While we’re on the subject, the DLC, if you’re already a master of the mechanics of Just Cause 3, the DLC should take you about, I’d say, a good 2 hours.
So, while the initial thrill of basically flying around Medici sounds fun, the story and the new mechanic of the Bavarium Wingsuit don’t really do much for me, given that most of the encounters I thought were really cool took place within very tight spaces, which isn’t very conducive to using a wingsuit in.