In January of 2008--that's over a year ago
--Eidos announced Just Cause 2
, the not-exactly-asked-for sequel to 2006's sandbox stuntman extravaganza. On paper there were many things to like about the original: espionage, revolution, a healthy disregard for the laws of physics, and all that just as a starter course. But in action, the original Just Cause
made leaping from airplanes, parachuting, boat-jacking, car-jacking, helicopter-jacking, everything-jacking and the overall business of being a CIA Cirque du Soleil
operative a somewhat pedestrian affair.
So when the Brand Manager at Eidos tries to prompt some too-soon nostalgia for protagonist Rico Rodriguez's high-flying hijinks, we may politiely keep our arm-folding and eye-rolling curbed in person, but it's going to take more than that to put us on the couch for this series. "Remember everything you loved about Just Cause
, then take it to the next level: vehicles , stunts, weapons, freedom, grappling hook, action, everything," says Eidos.
Well, no. In fact we don't
remember a grappling hook. I doubt the Asian island of Panau much resembles Spider-Man's Manhattan, so we'll see how far revolutionary-turned-bionic-commando
Rico Rodriguez gets with that swingin' addition.
"The game world is even more incredible in Just Cause 2
," Eidos continues, "and Rico has done a bit of growing up, so expect quite a few new surprises up his sleeves."
That's entirely too vague to bank any confidence in. But if "growing up" is in silent response to the maturation of GTA IV
, then I seriously wonder if developer Avalanche Studios has the wherewithal to bring the drama. More of the same would only equal an extra
ridiculous experience as far as open-world gaming is concerned, and with nothing else on Avalanche's resume beyond Just Cause
, we don't know what else they're capable of otherwise. Perhaps they're a force to be reckoned with now that the tarp's been thrown off of them. Perhaps they'll hit a sophomore jinx on a property that wasn't endlessly exciting to begin with. I personally didn't find Just Cause
sparking my interest, but I'm also relatively stuffy about how I like my sandboxes prepared, which is nothing that this series would ask you to do with a straight face.
Either way, Square Enix, the newly-minted Eidos owner
, doesn't waste any time promoting long-forgotten products. Here's 19 screens' worth: