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Just Cause 3 'Sky Fortress' preview: Flying the Friendly Skies

Just Cause 3 has been wreaking havoc on the island of Medici since its release back in December. It's put virtually no limits on how players could cause massive property damage and wanton destruction, so it's hard to imagine how else Square Enix and Avalanche Studios could possibly cause any further damage. The answer was partially revealed last week when they revealed the Season Pass road map. The first DLC expansion was revealed to be Sky Fortress and Shacknews recently had a chance to check it out.

The Sky Fortress DLC is headlined by a major new addition to Rico Rodriguez's arsenal in the form of an all-new wingsuit. The Bavarium Wingsuit grants Rico a rocket boost to allow for quicker flight and propulsion boosts. This new wingsuit essentially turns Rico into a human fighter jet, granting him a machine gun on his back and a barrage of missiles. Like Rico's neverending supply of C4, Rico has infinite ammo for both the gun and the missiles, though his weapons will overheat from overuse. Like other parts of Rico's inventory, the Bavarium Wingsuit can be upgraded in different ways, such as greater missile capacity or a quicker charge on the thrust.

The new wingsuit can also be used to rocket towards new heights, which brings up the newest setting of the expansion. Rather than formally expand the island of Medici, players will find that a sinister new entity has made its way into the island's airspace. The Eden Corportation hovers over Medici with its own evil intentions and is deploying some of its own forces down on the island, like hostile sky drones and other new enemy types. The objective of the Sky Fortress story is to put a stop to the Eden Corporation by taking the fight straight to its flying carrier hovering overhead.

While the Eden Corporation will pop in an hour into the main story, those just starting out are not advised to head straight for the carrier. That's because it's armed to the teeth with machine guns, flying drones, and heat-seeking missiles. Just landing on the carrier safely is a feat in itself, but once players are able to make that safe landing, they'll find 3-4 hours' worth of story objectives and side challenges, including flight challenges and liberation missions. One of the side challenges had me testing out the new wingsuit by flying through rings and avoiding enemy fire by performing barrel rolls and exercising evasive maneuvers.

Fortunately, even atop a flying carrier, Rebel Drops still function as normal. That means it's possible to drop giant vehicles or highly-destructive weapons at any time. This includes some of Rico's new toys, like the Bavarium Splitter assault rifle and the Eviction defense drone. The latter is a personalized attack companion that can take to the skies and open fire on any hostiles that come within Rico's vicinity. The Eviction drone isn't invincible, but it takes a lot of punishment before it goes down, making it an ideal tool for more difficult missions. Even after the Eden Corporation is dealt with, Sky Fortress DLC owners will be able to take the new wingsuit, rifle, and drone out into the main game for new ways to wreak havoc across Medici.

The Sky Fortress won't be the only new content coming to Just Cause 3 this year. Next on Avalanche's docket is the Mech Land Assault DLC, the 'Land' part of its 'Air, Land, and Sea' expansion road map. Avalanche isn't revealing many details about this add-on, other than it will feature a massive mech called the Anvil. This machine stands on four legs, but can rotate its base quickly for full 360 degree controls, making it feel like a maneuverable tank. A gravity gun was also confirmed last week, but Avalanche noted during our meeting that the weapon is in the testing phase.

Lastly, there's the Bavarium Sea Heist, which will act as the 'Sea' portion of the expansion pass. No concrete information was given on this expansion, other than it will take Rico out into the seas of Medici for the first time.

Avalanche is putting the finishing touches on Sky Fortress and expects it to be available in the next month. Mech Land Assault will release two months later and Bavarium Sea Heist will hit two months after that. The individual DLC will be available for $11.99 or as part of the Just Cause 3 Expansion Pass, with Expansion Pass owners getting DLC access a week early.

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