Just Cause 4 has remained under the radar this holiday season, overshadowed by other big releases like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Fallout 76. In the month of December, however, Just Cause 4 is the biggest launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The fourth entry in the over-the-top open world series from Avalanche Studios lands on December 4. Based on the footage and details revealed so far, Rico Rodriguez’s latest adventure is shaping up to be his most bombastic yet. Here’s everything you need to know about Just Cause 4 ahead of its launch.
A new location called Solis
Just Cause 4 sends Rico to a new fictional South American country called Solis. Solis was inspired by Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. The open world map is the largest in series history and features many unique set pieces, from rainforests to commercial cities to caves to temples to deserts to dense pockets of wilderness.
Although Rico squares off against the familiar Black Hand mercenary group, he will meet the army’s leader, Gabriella Morales. For those who remember, the Black Hand serviced the main bad guys in Just Cause and Just Cause 3.
We should learn more about the history of the Black Hand in Just Cause 4, as Solis is the group’s homeland. At the beginning of the game, Rico learns that his father worked for Black Hand, compelling him to visit Solis to investigate.
Game-altering weather events
One of Just Cause 4‘s coolest features is its weather system. In Solis, you’re likely to get caught up in a wide array of game-altering weather events. From tornadoes to blizzards to sandstorms to terrifying lightning storms, all of Just Cause 4‘s weather events are large spectacles that will threaten Rico’s livelihood and the way you play.
You can also use weather events to your advantage. For instance, Rico can actually drive a vehicle straight into a tornado in order to vault into the air. If that sounds crazy and unrealistic, it is, but the Just Cause series has always been over the top. Just Cause 4 ups the ante.
Each weather system is tied to a certain biome, so you won’t endure a tornado and blizzard at the same time.
Travel options aplenty
Since Solis is so large, you won’t want to travel on foot very often. Luckily, the world is populated with many travel options, including sports cars, construction vehicles, planes, micro-jets, hovercrafts, Rico’s signature parachute, grappling hook, and wingsuit. There’s also a jetpack, which is particularly cool. It really just looks like he has a rocket tied to his back, but you can use this to travel quickly through the air.
Your overall goal in Just Cause 4 is to amass an army capable of taking down the Black Hand. This plays out non-linearly. Players can choose the order they want to complete objectives, and the world around you will react accordingly. It’s unclear how this freedom will affect the story, but in a game that’s hell-bent on letting players create chaos at every turn, it makes sense.
Customizable weapons and items
For the first time in the series, weapons and key items can be customized. Rico’s well-known grappling hook can be modded to add tethers and air lifters. Basically, you can send balloons into the air and then grapple onto those balloons. This means you can create a grappling opportunity at almost any time. You can also hook a tank up to a set of balloons and fly it into an enemy base.
Each weapon in the game has a secondary set of ammunition that focuses on destruction. Based on the trailers we’ve seen so far, you’d be lucky to go a couple of minutes without blowing something up. There’s even a huge bomb that can float into an enemy’s base and blow it to smithereens.
The customization options are seemingly endless and are tailor-made to give players the freedom to create as much pandemonium as they want. Look for Just Cause 4 to have much more depth and versatility in terms of mechanics thanks to the customization features.
The Frontline is where you test your skills
Just Cause 4 has a new feature called “Frontline.” In these optional areas, the battle is already raging on when you arrive between Solis rebels and the Black Hand. Frontline war zones have been described as more difficult challenges, so they sound like good opportunities to see how you stack up in a full-scale battle.
Will there be DLC?
Just Cause 4 has an expansion pass for $30 that includes three DLC packs. The first, called Daredevils, is expected to launch in early 2019. Daredevils seems to have a racing focus. Judging by the name, we can probably expect lots of wild stunts. While Avalanche Studios hasn’t revealed anything concrete about the DLC packs, the teaser trailer hints that the weather will be even more chaotic in at least one of them. The second piece of DLC, Demons, could possibly bring literal demons to Solis. As shown in the trailer, the animals are running away from something and traffic has stopped dead. The plot of the third and final expansion, Danger, is harder to peg.
If you purchase the season pass, you’ll get seven days early access to each piece of DLC.
Avalanche Studios was hiring in 2017 for a multiplayer team, according to studio founder Christofer Sundberg. The studio even hired the lead developer behind the Just Cause 2 fan-made multiplayer mod. Despite these moves that hinted at multiplayer in Just Cause 4, the game is single player only.
Special editions and release date
Along with the standard edition ($60), Just Cause 4 will have a Digital Deluxe version and Gold edition. The Digital Deluxe version, available on Steam, PSN, and the Xbox store, is $70 and comes with 24-hour early access, a Black Hand-themed wingsuit, special micro-jet, and the Deathstalker Scorpion pack (muscle car, assault buggy, explosive rifle).
The Gold Edition ($90), also available on Steam, PSN, and the Xbox store, comes bundled with the expansion pass, all of the Digital Deluxe bonuses, and the Golden Gear Pack, which includes special weapons like the Golden Gear Shotgun. The Golden Gear Shotgun’s secondary ammunition locks onto enemies and can even bounce off of walls.