'Just Cause 3" is the explosive sequel to Avalanche's story of Dictator-removal specialist Rico Rodriguez. This time, however, he isn't simply facing off against another tyrant. Rico has returned home to Medici, a country he was banished from, to help his friends throw down their own evil tyrant named Sebastian Di Ravello, and restore control to his once peaceful home. With more than 400 square miles to explore, and cause chaos, "Just Cause 3" is a bombastic adventure just asking to be savored.

Welcome home Rico

"Just Cause 3" begins in typical "Just Cause" fashion. Thrust right into the action, players are instantly given a taste of what the game has to offer, before being thrown headfirst into the game's evolving storyline. It's a more fast-paced entry point than most games tend to offer these days, and it really helps to hit home with the level of destruction and chaos that players will be able to cause.

From here players will be introduced to the "Just Cause" staples, the parachute and grappling hook. But the nifty gadgets don't stop there, as players will also pick up the wingsuit within the first 15 to 20 minutes of game time. This means you'll effectively have every form of transportation you need early on in the game, which keeps the pace rapid from the very beginning.


Shock and awesome

Even for a series defined by causing mayhem and explosions, "Just Cause 3" delivers. Armed with infinite C4 and many more explosive throwing weapons, Rico is ready to take down any chaos items he comes across -- and they are everywhere. This time around Avalanche has taken a new approach to the towns and cities pockmarking the islands of Medici.

Now responsible for liberating the towns, Rico must destroy every Chaos object within the town's border. Then, and only then, can he place a rebel flag over the town, which marks it as a free city. You'll then have to continue to do this until you've liberated the surrounding region and province, which will weaken Di Ravello's hold on the nation.

It can prove annoying when campaign progress is gated behind liberating areas, but the core loop of causing chaos is so enjoyable that it's easy to overlook. What could have been a tedious exercise in busywork instead felt like a gentle path toward the requisite insane combat and destruction scenarios. This is a series all about wanton havoc, and "Just Cause 3" captures that perfectly.

All the open-world freedom and gameplay tools come at a slight cost, though. I experienced a few graphical glitches, and the ragdoll effects had a tendency to occasionally go overboard.

Wingsuit extraordinaire

The most prominent new mechanic, the wingsuit, is one of the most useful items in the entire game, and helps further refine an already smartly realized traversal system. Not only can you wingsuit down mountainsides and experience beautifully crafted vistas, but you can also use it to quickly infiltrate and exfiltrate towns and fortresses as you work to liberate Medici.

Pair the wingsuit up with the grappling hook, and you can find yourself soaring through the skies of Medici for extended periods of time. My longest record so far is around 10 and a half minutes, and I'm sure it's possible to go even longer. All round the wingsuit is a nice addition to the "Just Cause" armory, and I've really enjoyed my time with it. I have had a few gripes with it though, as you can't simply stop using the wingsuit, instead needing to open your parachute to end it. This small difference makes precise landings almost impossible. This isn't altogether a huge issue, but having a grappling hook I'd expect Rico to be able to close his wingsuit and reel himself in, which I haven't been able to do.

The assortment of different mods available throughout the game's many challenges also spices things up, allowing you to have homing grenades, thruster C4 and an assortment of other options that help to keep the carnage from growing dull.

Toppling tyrants

Rico's latest adventure is a welcome addition to the "Just Cause" family. There is plenty of destruction to cause, and plenty of room to explore the world however you want to. It's a welcome amount of freedom from the action-packed linear games we seem to have gotten used to, and I'd easily rank it among the best of the open world games that the current generation of gaming has to offer. "Just Cause 3" is more than worthy of sitting on your shelf next to games like "The Witcher 3" and "Fallout 4," so don't miss out on this action-packed ride.