Just Cause 4: Rico Rodriguez on the trail of the past - Review

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Steven L. Ken

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Rico Rodriguez, protagonist of the three previous chapters of the signed series Avalanche Studios, has recently made its return to the screens in the new Just Cause 4. Don't you have clear ideas about the purchase yet? I will try to help you in this review.

Follow in your father's footsteps

Just Cause 4 promises from the very first moments an immense fusion of spectacle, action and casino but, above all, family history. In fact, the whole story develops as a real investigation by Rico Rodriguez, who returns as the undisputed protagonist, on the work of his father.

In an instant we find ourselves catapulted on the island of Solis to follow in the footsteps of the old Rodriguez, and forced to face not only a not very affectionate climate, but also the Black Hand, a real private army that controls the territory and tries to subdue the local populations.

From the beginning, Rico's path has been closely intertwined with both the organization and the local tribes: the Black Hand it was in fact linked to the work of his father Rodriguez, in turn directly connected to some devices designed to control the weather.

To discover the family secrets and put an end to the dictatorship of the organization, our protagonist thus creates theArmy of Chaos, reuniting the people of Solis and starting an epic fight, made of deafening and spectacular explosions, acrobatic evolutions and violent gunfights.

The latter have always played the role of strong point of the saga, and Avalanche Studios for this reason he decided to propose them even in the last chapter: despite the fun and chaos generated by the game, however, similar aspects end up becoming monotonous, and no longer generate the same feelings in the mind of the player in front of the screen.

Graphics to turn up your nose

Just Cause 4 has its roots in the Apex Engine of Avalanche Studios, graphics engine that appears much smoother and lighter than in the past, but also much less pleasing to the eye. Settings, characters and details look spectacular, but only from the right distance!

More closely, in fact, the title shows itself in a not exactly dazzling guise, offering the player low-resolution textures and characters capable of bringing the mind back to old Playstation 2 titles, thanks to doll-like polygonal models and segmented animations.

The situation is different when viewed from a distance: one of the fundamental aspects of the adventure of Rico Rodriguez is the spectacular and, in this context, the fourth title has nothing to envy to its predecessors. Explosions, destruction and landscapes represent the strong point of the artistic sector, showing themselves from the very first sequences as perfect for suggestion.

Gameplay means grappling hook

Rico Rodriguez's latest effort promises simplicity and fun, not only in the actual plot, but also in terms of gameplay. The game mechanics are in fact few and intuitive, except in some sequences in which the objectives are not as clear as they should, pushing to continuous turns around the map in search of the object with which to interact or the destination of the mission.

The key word to best express the gameplay of Just Cause 4, however, it is only one: grappling hook. Already a strong point of the previous chapters, in the fourth he is better than any trusted companion, also thanks to the different technological accessories that he will be equipped with immediately after the tutorial missions.

To characterize this useful tool are three different ways of use. Before and Rewinder, a feature already seen in the previous chapter that allows you to join two elements via cable and then drag them or interact with them. The following two are completely new, that is Lifter, a system that allows you to attach enemies or objects to self-inflating balloons, and then see them fly away poetically, and Booster, designed to place a miniature thruster and achieve spectacular effects.


Does it seem little to you? Don't be fooled, because that's not all: these three ways of using the grappling hook can in fact be combined in multiple ways and, if you are still not satisfied, completed by adding a good series of secondary effects!

Grapple aside, the rest of the gameplay does not stand out for its originality, especially compared to the previous chapters. The story of Rico on the island of Solis develops in fact in a series of monotonous missions, especially with regard to some challenges and secondary assignments, which can not help but remember the other titles of the signed saga Avalanche Studios. 

Is Just Cause 4 worth buying?

Summing up, Rico Rodriguez's new adventure seems to have everything it takes to provide a good dose of entertainment for even the most demanding gamers.

In fact, in the approximately 20 hours of the main campaign, each user can experience the true nature of Just Cause 4, or rather its being designed to generate chaos: the formula of Avalanche Studios it therefore remains a winner in this sense, especially for a novice in the series, but it could remind a more experienced player of the previous chapters, ending up boring.

Buy it or not? It all depends on your needs: Are you looking for a title with pleasing graphics, a compelling storyline and realistic dialogue? The new chapter of the saga, in this case, is not for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a game capable of combining fun and lightness, then Just Cause is what you need!

Just Cause 4

  • Spectacular explosions
  • Fun guaranteed
  • Unoriginal plot
  • Repetitive gameplay
  • Nice graphics from a distance

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