Just Cause 2 screens say you want a revolution

by: Randy -
In January of 2008--that's over a year ago--Eidos announced Just Cause 2, the not-exactly-asked-for sequel to 2006's sandbox stuntman extravaganza.  On paper there were many things to like about the original:  espionage, revolution, a healthy disregard for the laws of physics, and all that just as a starter course.  But in action, the original Just Cause made leaping from airplanes, parachuting, boat-jacking, car-jacking, helicopter-jacking, everything-jacking and the overall business of being a CIA Cirque du Soleil operative a somewhat pedestrian affair.

So when the Brand Manager at Eidos tries to prompt some too-soon nostalgia for protagonist Rico Rodriguez's high-flying hijinks, we may politiely keep our arm-folding and eye-rolling curbed in person, but it's going to take more than that to put us on the couch for this series.  "Remember everything you loved about Just Cause, then take it to the next level:  vehicles , stunts, weapons, freedom, grappling hook, action, everything," says Eidos.

Well, no.  In fact we don't remember a grappling hook.  I doubt the Asian island of Panau much resembles Spider-Man's Manhattan, so we'll see how far revolutionary-turned-bionic-commando Rico Rodriguez gets with that swingin' addition.

"The game world is even more incredible in Just Cause 2," Eidos continues, "and Rico has done a bit of growing up, so expect quite a few new surprises up his sleeves."

That's entirely too vague to bank any confidence in.  But if "growing up" is in silent response to the maturation of GTA IV, then I seriously wonder if developer Avalanche Studios has the wherewithal to bring the drama.  More of the same would only equal an extra ridiculous experience as far as open-world gaming is concerned, and with nothing else on Avalanche's resume beyond Just Cause, we don't know what else they're capable of otherwise.  Perhaps they're a force to be reckoned with now that the tarp's been thrown off of them.  Perhaps they'll hit a sophomore jinx on a property that wasn't endlessly exciting to begin with.  I personally didn't find Just Cause sparking my interest, but I'm also relatively stuffy about how I like my sandboxes prepared, which is nothing that this series would ask you to do with a straight face. 

Either way, Square Enix, the newly-minted Eidos owner, doesn't waste any time promoting long-forgotten products.  Here's 19 screens' worth:
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