So today I thought I would do a double feature review of two games I have played recently. Let me know what you think of Just Cause 3 and FIFA 16!
Just Cause 3 (PC)
Rico Rodriguez is back to topple another dictator in control of a small archipelago. As this is the synopsis of every game in the Just Cause series, I’m starting to think ‘take over an archipelago’ is step one in a dictator self-help guide. However, this time, the small archipelago is Rico’s Mediterranean homeland of Medici, making his reasons for liberating the fictional national all the more personal.
If you are interested in this game, I’m going to give it to you straight- there is not a plot per say. Sure, there are series of missions that progress you through the game but the real content is simply exploring the beautiful open world, causing as much destruction and chaos as you can find. To do this, you have the wingsuit-parachute-grappling hook transport trifecta which can theoretically give you perpetual flight around the islands. You can also use your grappling hook to tether two items together and then retract the tether, causing people to smack into buses, jets to nosedive into bridges and statues of the glorious leader to destroy themselves via a face palm. If straight-up explosions are your thing, Rico comes with unlimited triggered explosives, which you can put down 3 at a time.
Your loadout can be changed semi-frequently on the fly by creating a care package and signalling for your fellow rebels to drop it off for you. Weapons and vehicles for the ‘rebel drops’ are unlocked as you liberate more stuff and collect more vehicles. Outposts and military bases will have weapon lockers if you need something new in the middle of a fire fight.
While the destruction is cinematic, it is also repetitive with little difference in the layout and design of the towns, bases and outposts you liberate. It may be somewhat formulaic but at least the explosions are cool, right? Also, as the game is still relatively new to the market, be aware that a number of bugs and glitches still remain.
Overall, the game is a good romp but is nothing new in the open world FPS genre. However, it outperforms similar ‘liberation’ based games such as Far Cry 3 and 4 due to its more liberal approach and humorous atmosphere.
My rating- 7.5/10
FIFA 16 (Xbox One)
And speaking of somewhat generic games…
I am not the biggest sports fan. I casually follow American Football at the college and professional level and I am aware of what goes on in the other popular sports such as soccer but sports games are rarely something I play. The same can’t be said for my friend Mark, who is a keen sports fan and will usually update his FIFA each year. And so, when I visited Mark while back home for Christmas, we played FIFA 16.
To me, the definition of ‘fun’ in FIFA games appears to have shifted. When I was in that soccer phase all boys appear to go through, I remember FIFA as being a game where you could sit down and play as your favourite team and match them up against sides you had never heard of. Now, it seems that FIFA is very much a game about simulating a genuine football match. Sure, you can play as Morecambe (a 1 star team) and play Brazil (a 5 star team) but don’t expect to win, unless you are a masterful player of the game. And no, you can’t glide over the pitch by spaming the slide tackle button, like you used to do be able to do. EA has brought realism to the FIFA party and I’m not a fan.
Furthermore, for a game that only requires mechanics tweaks and roster updates before the newest version is ready, the mechanics are pretty poor. The best way to tackle someone is to run in front of them or just charge your player into them and your players will just pass to empty spots on the pitch or the other team, despite your best efforts to play a good passing game. You still can’t control the keeper and so if the opposition has a chance to score, you are at the mercy of the game’s unpredictable AI. Speaking of the game’s AI, I don’t know why but the referees are really card-happy AND oblivious at the same time, booking you for the slightest offense and then other times, completing ignoring blatant fouls and rule violations
In my first blog ever, I mentioned that FIFA was introducing female players for the first time and the result is mixed. While there seems to be no disadvantage to playing as a women’s side, you can only play as the women’s international sides…and only play matches against the women’s international sides. It will be interesting to see whether FIFA 17 will increase the choices avaliable when choosing female sides.
Overall, the FIFA franchise has shifted far away from the games I used to play. While not my cup of tea, if you are looking to experience a serious soccer without having to go outside, FIFA may be the game for you.
My rating- 5/10