Initially released in 2006 for the seventh generation of consoles, Just Cause was an epic revolution in gaming which saw players step into the shoes of Rico Rodriguez as he quested to liberate the small island nation of San Esperito from a malicious dictatorial regime. The main draw of the title was the ridiculous degree of freedom it afforded the player; never before had we experienced such an incredible level of mobility and destructive potential. Four games in, the series is still going strong and is as chaotic as ever. Some newcomers may find all of the game’s mechanics to be just a bit overwhelming at the outset, and here are ten tips to help ingratiate newcomers into the expansive island of Solis.
10 The Grappling Hook Is All You'll Ever Need
Just Cause 4 seems anxious to throw all kinds of weaponry at the player and asks them to go hog-wild in an epic crusade to overthrow a dictatorship and blow up half of the island in the process. While that can definitely be fun, it isn’t all that necessary, and most of the work the designers put into weapon variety fails to be relevant because of the grappling hook. Why bother to shoot down helicopters or painstakingly target enemies when you could just tether them together, which almost always results in an explosion? While “collision equals instant death” has always been a Just Cause truism, it’s particularly prevalent in this iteration.
9 Why Run When You Can Fly?
Though he's made out to be a mortal human being like the rest of us, it's no secret that Rico Rodriguez is a superhero far surpassing us on the evolutionary chain. He can absorb impossible amounts of damage and showcases the acrobatic ability of a Cirque du Soleil performer, and he also has the ability to fly… well, sort of.
By shooting off a grappling hook and immediately bringing out either a parachute or wingsuit, Rodriguez can more or less fly anywhere he wants. Doing this repeatedly is drastically faster than just about any other mode of transportation, and it doesn’t require carjacking or waiting on a jet to be delivered to your location.
8 Down From The Sky
We’ve already established that Just Cause 4’s protagonist is more or less superhuman, but he’s also got a few powers which aren’t all that obvious to newer players. For instance, Rico Rodriguez will indeed take fall damage should he leap from too great a height - and it may even result in his untimely demise - but that can all be prevented via clever usage of the almighty grappling hook. When falling, simply grappling onto an object will instantly break your fall. In concept, it’s outrageous; the grappling hooks actually pull Rico to the ground more quickly than his normal falling speed, but Just Cause 4 doesn’t care what humans think is impossible.
7 Not Worth Your Time
Anyone familiar with open world games will know that monotony of being sidetracked by small side quests or organic events which often pop up en route to something much more important. This happens all the time in the Just Cause series, though, unlike other similar games, it’s fairly easy to outright ignore these tedious distractions. Rico is Spider-Man levels of agile, and it isn’t difficult to simply wingsuit your way past an unnecessary firefight. Sure, Rodriguez won’t be able to cause as much chaos as a result, but most instances of combat in Just Cause 4 quite simply aren’t worth your time.
6 Hijack Helicopters
Combat in Just Cause 4 is by-and-large just a little bit too easy. Those looking for an incredible power trip in which they squash their enemies as a man might a fly will certainly be fulfilled, but those looking for a challenge of any sort will probably be a little disappointed. Almost any major instances of combat can be circumvented by hijacking an enemy helicopter. By grappling up to the cockpit and pressing the 'enter vehicle' button when close enough, Rico will automatically commandeer the craft, and then nothing save for a surface to air missile launcher can stand in your wake. This wouldn’t be such a dramatic exploit were it not for the fact that attack choppers seemingly show up in every other mission.
5 Supply Drops
The term “supply drop” is usually thought to be a dirty word among gamers as it’s usually used to describe microtransaction-based, randomized loot mechanics in triple-A games. That’s not the case with Just Cause 4, thankfully, and the game’s supply drop system is actually vitally useful as it allows players to summon every kind of weapon or vehicle imaginable to their location at the drop of a hat (or shipping container, more aptly). While newer players will probably be tempted to scour their surroundings for supplies and equipment, that is very rarely necessary, and it’s not a habit that anyone playing Just Cause 4 will need to pick up.
4 Liberation Through Domination
With Rico Rodriguez, peace was never an option, and enemy militant factions might as well just give it up as soon as this guy hits the scene. He’s a force of nature more powerful than any weather event you’ll come across in Just Cause 4, and his destructive capabilities know no bounds. Akin to something like the organic destruction physics seen in titles like Battlefield 4 or Red Faction Guerrilla, buildings and structures will usually come crumbling down if subjected to enough damage, and that means that no place is truly safe for the enemies of Just Cause 4’s nearly unstoppable protagonist.
3 Upgrade Your Gear
For the first time in the Just Cause series, players can unlock and equip upgrades for their tools of destruction to improve both mobility and lethality, something Rico Rodriguez admittedly has in spades from the very start of the game. It’s a good idea to keep tabs on these upgrades and utilize them when necessary, though a majority of them only serve to make the game wackier as time goes on.
One of the best unlockable mods is earned fairly early on in the form of the grappling hook air lifters. These are essentially large balloons which Rico can use to lift anything into the air, and they have an incredible number of possible gameplay applications.
2 On The Frontline
Before release, Just Cause 4’s new Frontline mechanic was touted as one of the many new innovations coming in the series' new installment. The idea here being that, while Rico Rodriguez is typically the catalyst for revolt in most of the game’s districts, the action in Frontline zones is already underway once the player gets there. While taking the fight to the Black Hand as part of a much larger militia can be fun, these sequences can’t be repeated once they’ve been completed. Enemies will never fight to recapture lost ground, so new players need to be aware that most of these events are one-and-done lest they hope to relive the experience in the same playthrough.
Most people aren’t looking to earn style points while evading a swarm of pursuing helicopters in a wingsuit, but, as we all know, Rico Rodriguez isn’t most people. Those looking to show off their flying prowess and taunt their enemies with some flashy moves will know that holding down on the left analog stick for long enough while in flight will cause Rico to do a loop. It’s a fairly useless tactic, but it can come in handy in certain situations. This can be useful if the player wants to cancel Rico’s momentum a bit or quickly evade the gunfire from an oncoming chopper. We can only imagine how frustrating the Black Hand must find Rico’s casual nonchalance in combat.