previews\ May 12, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Just Cause - 360 - Preview

E3 2006 First Look Preview

A few different things pop into my head when a developer says, “No, you can’t have the controller.”  First I assume the game is too early in development for anyone but the developers to get anything out of. They’re better suited to show us the potential of the game at that stage in development.

If the game is far along, then only two options remain: either the content is so good they must keep it locked down until the game is released, or it could mean that the game isn’t living up to expectations.

I had no expectations going into Just Cause. I had heard about it in passing but had no clue as to what it was really about. Magnus Nedfors, lead game designer, showed us exactly what he has in store for this spectacular game. What he revealed left the crowd stunned, excited, and anxious to get our hands on the controller.

In 2001 Grand Theft Auto 3 revolutionized driving and action games with seamless controls. Just Cause looks to do the same in 2006, but not just for cars – for planes, boats, helicopters, and other vehicles as well.

The game world is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) I have ever seen. There are hundreds of miles to explore, and while you can get to most places on foot, the quickest way to any location is to steal the fastest vehicle available.

Let me take you through two of the game’s coolest possibilities for grand theft auto:

(1) You get into a helicopter and begin searching for an enemy. Air travel allows you to navigate much faster, and within no time you’ve found the enemy. He’s driving a truck, and just behind him is a small black car. “Hmm,” you say to yourself. “What are my options?”

Answer: limitless.

Instead of landing the helicopter, stealing a vehicle, and tracking the enemy on the ground, you can parachute out of the ‘copter, land on top of the vehicle behind your enemy, steal it, and ram into the enemy from behind. Words cannot compare to the effect of seeing it actually happen.

(2) Suppose you’re being chased by a bunch of enemies and you just can’t shake ‘em. You’re cruising through mountainous areas, enjoying the scenery and looking for some fun. It dawns on you that, should you accidentally fly off a cliff, your enemies might follow and fall to their deaths.

You take chance, leap off the edge and, as the vehicle glides through the air and begins to take a dive, you jump out the window and parachute to safety.

In another scenario, we saw him hang from the wing of a plane, jump off before it peaks, skydive for a brief moment, release parachute, then land on top of another vehicle to steal it. You can also jump from the roof of a vehicle, land on the roof of another vehicle, and steal it as well.

With over 250,000 acres to explore (the largest environment of any game, according to Eidos) and so much freedom in the choices you make and how you tackle a situation, Just Cause just gave me cause for an immediate pre-order.


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