Just Cause 2 Hands-on: Grapple Your Way To Fun

Yesterday, I got to play the Xbox 360 version of Just Cause 2, an open-world sandbox sequel from Avalanche Studios and Eidos (or do we just call it Square Enix now? I don't know). The game takes place on a large, persistent island that remembers the destruction wrought by the player from beginning to end. The main character, Rico Rodriguez, gets around by stealing enemy vehicles, using his grappling hook, and paragliding...or any combination of the three.


I was thrown right into the action in the fourth story mission. Tasked with saving an ally from a military base, my objective is to destroy four venting stations to "choke out" the base and force them to move the hostage a more convenient location. After a quick tutorial on the controls, I hop in a helicopter and set out toward the base. It's a long flight showing off some of the game's visuals. The snowcaps are particularly pretty.

Once I arrive at the enemy base it's time to rack up some "Chaos" points. These are awarded for causing destruction and the mechanic with which the game doles out weapons and new missions. Some explosives here, rockets there, and I'm well on my way to earning unlocks. As I make my way to the first of four vents, I decide it's more fun to play around in the game's sandbox.

The grappling hook is especially fun. It can be used to grapple to surfaces (no surprises here), but the tool can also be used to slingshot through the air while Rico's parachute is deployed. It can also connect objects (read: enemies) to other objects (read: fast-moving vehicles).

Advanced maneuvers take some dexterity, but flying through the air on a parachute, using the grappling hook to reel yourself in behind an enemy sniper, connecting him to a jeep, driving that jeep dragging said sniper into buildings, and then sending the jeep careening into a fuel tank just after jumping out to safety...well, that's worth a little dexterity.

As an added bonus, here's the newest trailer showing off some the game's larger vehicles in a game of chicken:

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I think it would have been cooler if they collided. The grappling hook and parachute combo leads to a lot of fun and interesting possibilities for destruction. Just Cause 2 releases on March 23, 2010 on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.