Hands-on with Just Cause 4: We flew a Zeppelin into a tornado

Just Cause 4 Tornado_Dive_Nov8th_2pm_GMT Screen

Square Enix invited Nerd Reactor to get some hands-on time with Just Cause 4 before its release date next month What we’ve experienced is Avalanche Studios adding more bells and whistles into the upcoming third-person action sandbox game. As rogue agent Rico Rodriguez, your goal is to investigate an installation that’s causing extreme weather in Solis, a fictional South American island. In a game where you can parachute and glide with your wingsuit almost anywhere, you’ll also be dealing with tornadoes, sandstorms, blizzards and rainstorms.

During the first part of the hands-on Just Cause 4 demo, I did missions to help me acquaint myself with Rico and the supporting characters. We’re introduced to Gabriela Morales, the leader of the Black Hand, a private army up to no good that’s responsible for the extreme weather. The missions allow players to learn the ropes of using different weapons and gadgets. In no time, I was shooting at vehicles with the airlifter (a gadget that attaches a balloon to an item) and launched them towards the sky.

The real fun started with the second portion of the Just Cause 4 demo since I was given hours of free reign to do whatever I want in Solis. I started out at a pier with a carousel and decided to attach boosters on each horse. I activated the boosters, and the horses spun around and around. (You can also mess with other objects including turbines.) Next up, I decided to attach boosters to random people at the beach. They flew and twirled all around, like a rocket flying crazily in the Rocketeer film. To take things a step further, I attached an airlifter to a person, and then attached a booster. They flew up in the sky, and then with the booster, they flew away and disappeared into the distance.

I saw a Zeppelin flying, and I wondered if I could hijack it and fly it into a tornado. I hijacked a nearby seaplane and started flying towards the Zeppelin. I then jumped out of the plane and used the wingsuit to guide myself on top of the Zeppelin. Once there, I entered the Zeppelin and looked for the tornado. It’s not that hard to find since you’ll see it in the distance. It was far away in the middle of the island, and the Zeppelin was too slow. I decided to add boosters to the back of the Zeppelin. It was tough since I had to jump out and attach myself onto the back of an airship. With enough boosters, I was able to travel at a speed of 140kph. The bad news was that the boosters were shooting at an angle, so I was flying at an angle. The tornado got bigger and bigger as the airship got closer. This thing is a beast, and the Zeppelin was able to handle going inside, but not for long. As you can guess, it blew up with me inside it, but I felt accomplished.

The tornado in Just Cause 4 is a lot of fun, and there are many cool things you can do with it. You can drive a car into it, causing it to lift the car up and spin it around. Shooting a rocket will have it travel around the tornado. The tornado can also launch Rico with the parachute deployed, and with the wingsuit, it can help Rico glide higher into the air.

I was able to mess around with very fun weapons like the lightning gun and the wind gun. The wind gun is great for blowing away a group of enemies. You can also use it on top of a car to launch it and yourself into the air. As for the lightning gun, the primary trigger fires a stream of lightning while the secondary causes a lightning storm. I did this at the airport, and lightning came from the skies and hit the planes trying to take off. It was chaos, and it was beautiful.

“We were blown away by the reaction in Just Cause 3 with the creativity we saw in the players,” Lead Mechanics Designer Hamish Young tells Nerd Reactor. “We built JC3 to enable creativity, but when we saw it in action, we didn’t go far enough. It was obvious that there were lots of things we could do to kind of expand the toolset the player has and give them more options and add new elements that maybe they haven’t thought of.”

“We mostly leave it to the players to figure it out,” explained Narrative Designer Benjamin Jaekle about guiding players on using the tools. “What we try to do in the stories is give you a grounding in the possibilities of the system. You played the intro missions where you were shown a balloon. You can use a balloon to lift a thing into the air. ‘Oh, that’s interesting.’ And over here you can use a rocket to push something through the air. And then you put those things together, and we try to encourage creativity without being super heavy-handed.”

“When you kick the game off, Rico comes across an adversary he can’t kill,” Young said about the extreme weather. “Rico finds a way to use it to his advantage, but there are also things that are dangerous for Rico. The sandstorm isn’t just poor visibility. It’s also very high wind, so you have a combination of poor visibility but also containers coming out of the gloom. We’re constantly trying to think of ways to change up how the game plays in very concrete ways and change the tactics for what Rico needs to do.”

Just Cause 4 will be available for the PS4, Xbox One and PC on December 4, 2018.

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