Top Five Things To Tether To Other Things (in Just Cause 2)

19 Apr

The grapple hook in the original Just Cause was a toy, a pathetic piece of string with the reel mechanism from a fishing rod attached. It doesn’t even belong in the same sentence as the glorious wrist-mounted piece of sci-fi magic that you wield in the sequel. The new grapple can attach to anything but water and thin air, it practically teleports you from A to B (faster than most vehicles, in fact), and utilises it’s ‘infinite rope’ witchcraft to allow you to shoot out the other end of the tether, resulting in anything with mass (and not nailed down) likely to hurtle towards each other with a comedic elastic twang and no small degree of blunt force. It’s an immensely satisfying weapon, but be a little creative and it turns out to be quite the – well, toy.

5) A helicopter attached to a car

You can do this with anything – bikes, propaganda trailers, severed heads of statues – but for efficiency I went with the simple taxi. I think there people in it, as the wheels spun and the occupants accelerated pointlessly in an attempt to escape from being used as a mobile wrecking ball. The rope itself was impressively resilient, as even when using this poor car as a gigantic airborne mace to destroy a series of fuel silos, it held firm and taught. It only broke when I made an emergency landing and bailed out, only for an opportunistic policeman to steal the chopper. Denied the chance to shatter my spine with a flailing automobile, he blew me up with the mounted rocket pods instead.

4) Yourself, to anything tall

The engine that powers Just Cause 2 deserves to see the glint of at least seven industry awards. On the ground, an absurd amount of explosions, rattling submachine guns, roaring engines and badly voice-acted soldiers can appear on screen without choking the bright, silky smooth graphic output. Go higher and incredible draw distances make for sprawling cityscapes, icy mountain peaks and expansive orange vistas. This is the only game I can think of where, stood at the right spot, you can see the entire game world (which itself is awesomely massive) with one spin of the camera. So, find a nice high spot, admire the view for a bit, then freefall off.

3) Passers-by to a wind turbine

No screenshot because, frankly, achieving this is a bitch. Snaring the victim on the ground is easy enough, but hitting a rapidly spinning blade with the other end of the line is based more on luck than aim. That said, the result is hilarious. Smaller targets of your inefficient but sadistic wrath (such as people) will propel into the air like being swept away by Superman; only, unlike with Superman, they’ll probably end up in a crumpled heap on the ground seconds later. There’s no consistency with the strength of the wire – although it will gladly stick a saloon to an attack helicopter like glue, not even freeing the driver when his vehicle is repeatedly smashed into explosive containers, it simply gives up and snaps when trying to fling a civilian around a giant windmill. Luckily there’s still plenty of scope for ruining people’s days, and even bigger objects like vans will, when tied to the turbine, flip spectacularly backwards like Megatron punched it in a case of mistaken identity.

2) Bar staff to the floating half-brothel half-Zeppelin where they work


The Mile High Club, as it’s suitably named, doesn’t take kindly to non-paying customers. Every barman packs a shotgun, and even some of the strippers carry assault rifles. In response to their poor service, I kidnapped one with my magic rope and stuck him on the outer hull of the aircraft, pointing and laughing until it snapped.

Did you know: it’s not accurate to call it the Mile High Club, as it is roughly only a kilometre above sea level. I know because this is how high I base-jumped from in order to follow the waiter and watch him plummet into the ocean.

1) A passenger jet to whatever car you’re driving


Despite not taking the weight of a barman later in the day, the grapple line really came through for me here. Airliners regularly take off from the International Airport, and even though I could hijack one easily I thought I’d hitch a ride instead. The sense of speed experienced as the plane takes off, dragging you behind in a meagre four-wheeler, is much greater than if you were flying the plane yourself. Unfortunately, the thrill of dangling quite literally by a thread from a 747 didn’t last long – that evil bastard Physics caused my car to swing violently shortly after take-off, and the slightest contact between me and the fuselage caused the entire thing to go up in flames. I parachuted to safety, mind. Not that it’s much consolation to the passengers.

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One Response to “Top Five Things To Tether To Other Things (in Just Cause 2)”

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  1. Steam has insane Christmas sale, somehow not bankrupt « The Talking Stove - December 20, 2010

    […] Of course, if you fancy a bit of go-anywhere open-worlding but Fallout is a bit too gloomy for you, JC2 is the bolded, brashest, and now most parsimonious alternative. Its pyromaniac credentials are all there – quadruple-barrelled rocket launchers, fighter jets, tanks – but it shines with a slickness that the original lacked. With the reusable parachute and simple genius of the new grappling hook (infinite wire, duel-end tethering, generous range), playing JC2 feels superbly kinetic. Steal a plane! Jump out! Freefall to the ground, opening your chute at the last second! Glide over to a parked motorbike! Tie an enemy to the back! Leap on and drive off! Ignore the screams! Doing all this – and more – feels much easier and intuitive than the ensuring destruction might suggest. In a market where most action games give you two assault rifles and a corridor to play with, Just Cause 2 demonstrates a refreshing reluctance to impose endless limits on the player. And did I mention you can do these? […]

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