During this year’s Xbox E3 press briefing, Just Cause 4 was finally revealed, after tons of leaks had everyone expecting it anyway. In this new game, series protagonist Rico Rodriguez travels to the fictional South American country of Solís, where the villainous group The Black Hand is waging war. This new entry will feature smarter enemies, more vehicles, grappling hook customization and extreme weather conditions. I got to see some of these mechanics in action in a gameplay presentation at Square Enix’s E3 booth.
Just Cause 4 will feature four different biomes: grasslands, alpines, a rainforest and a desert. There will also be sub-biomes within each of these areas, and each biome will have its own occasional extreme weather condition. Possible extreme weather conditions include tornadoes, thunderstorms, sandstorms and blizzards. Just Cause 4 will also be the first entry in the series to feature dynamic wind, which can be taken advantage of with Rico’s signature parachute and wing suit. Winds can range from calm to extreme, so you’ll have to keep that in mind before jumping right into a wind current.
One of the biggest new additions to this game is the customizability of Rico’s famous grappling hook. This new grappling hook will feature all the mechanics that it had implemented in previous games, as well as containing several new features. For one thing, various abilities can be added to the hook’s retracting function. The one shown off in the presentation was the Pulse ability, which will send two objects brought together by retracting tethers flying in opposite directions after an electronic pulse occurs when the two objects crash into each other. You will also be able to plant rocket boosters and air lifts onto objects with the grappling hook, and these can be modded as well. For example, air lifts can either lift objects straight into the air, or they can be modded to follow Rico wherever he goes. You will also be able to mix and match the grappling hook’s various retracting, rocket booster and air lift mechanics.
Another new mechanic briefly shown off was that of the Front Line. This basically acts as a physical, in-game representation of your narrative progress. On the Front Line, The Black Hand is constantly waging war against the heroes, and as you progress through Just Cause 4’s story, the good guys will advance more and more on The Black Hand. You will also be able to find weapons, ammo and vehicles on the Front Line.
There was also an active tornado in the gameplay presentation, which just wrecked everything in its way. Basically, anything that’s not cemented to the ground will get sucked up into this thing, from enemies to barrels and freighters to bridges to even entire aircrafts. Almost nothing is safe. The suction of the intense wind caused by tornadoes will also change how the player has to play if they’re too close, as moving will become more difficult. Tornadoes can be controlled or contained, however, by Wind Cannons, which you can destroy if you feel like wreaking absolute havoc.
One of the things that will be pretty safe from tornadoes is Rico’s new Stormchaser vehicle, which is windproof. So if you have to go to a location where a tornado happens to be headed, or if you just want to follow the tornado and watch it do its thing, you can do so in the Stormchaser and be relatively safe. Other new vehicles that will be available in Just Cause 4 include bulldozers and wrecking balls. Also, some of the vehicles, particularly cars and trucks, will feature a new radio mechanic that let’s you listen to some South American-inspired tunes while you drive.
Another addition that will be present in Just Cause 4 is enemies with smarter AI and who will have various classes, giving them different combat specialties. Enemies will also react to being shot differently depending on where you shoot them. For example, shooting an enemy in the leg will cause them to collapse, but not be killed. All weapons in the game will also now have both primary and secondary fire, allowing for more versatility in combat.
Just Cause 4 is set to launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on December 4.