New screenshots from Just Cause 3 have shown up online. The new screenshots – which you can see below – cropped up in a thread over on Gamespot over the weekend. A little digging reveals that the screenshots appear to have come from Germany’s official PlayStation 4 magazine, which has an interview with Avalanche and a hands-on preview in its latest issue. I’ve asked the game’s publisher, Square Enix, for comment and will update if we hear back from them.
The new shots show off more of the wingsuit and grapple features, as well as a number of new environments – including a rather fetching field of purple flowers. Unfortunately, the images aren’t in HD, and it does look like some of them have been, shall we say, “enhanced” – I’d be rather surprised if the final game ends up looking this good.
Other than the screens, the original poster – TheOpa93 – translated the text, which throws up some new information about the upcoming game.
- A release window has been set for June this year on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
- Controls have been tweaked to be more difficult, and the aiming model has been altered
- Up to 4 or 5 objects can be tethered at once
- Your grapple no longer instantly connects with objects it comes into contact with – you have to press L2
- Rico can hack anti-air guns and turn them against the enemy
- The multi-rocket launcher returns
- Destroying buildings and other objects such as statues isn’t purely cosmetic. Pieces of crumbling masonry, bricks etc. will cause damage to nearby objects
- Once you’ve entered a vehicle once, it’s permanently unlocked and can be airdropped in to make it easier to assault bases and get around the map
- Vehicles now have enhanced damage models
- Driving feels a bit loose, but the team assures that will change and that the game is currently still in Alpha
- Weapon feedback has been improved, and enemy hitzones are now more distinct
- Switching from Parachute to wingsuit (and presumably vice versa) has plenty of animations to ensure it’s as seamless as possible
- Vegetation is now a lot more dense and is affected by the wind (there’s no mention if the wind is simulated, as in Watch_Dogs, or if these animations are pre-canned
- Rico has other 2500 animations
- Rico is still able to dash from the air to the ground without taking damage, and that’s deliberate
- There are plenty of collectibles to discover
- The world should now feel more alive. Pedestrians will be questioned by police, Rebels will stage attacks against military outposts, etc. Far Cry 4 is mentioned as a comparison, as is Grand Theft Auto V.
- There’s a full day/night cycle
- Upgrading weapons and vehicles is tied to a new challenge system. You’ll need to undertake races and time trials both on the ground and in the air (including Wingsuit races), or cause as much destruction as possible within a strict time limit. There are online leaderboards so you can compare your scores to other players (there’s still no confirmed online co-op, however)
While many of these details feel like little more than the usual upgrades you’d expect from a sequel running on more powerful hardware, some of them certainly sound very interesting indeed. Destroyed scenery causing damage to surrounding objects sounds particularly fun, and I can’t help but wonder if there might be some sort of domino-esque destruction minigame, which would be cool indeed. The lack of online co-op continues to disappoint, as the developers praised the work that went into the popular multiplayer Just Cause 2 mod. It does chime with what I was told by a Senior member of staff at Square Enix a few months back, however (unfortunately, they asked for their name not to be disclosed at the time, but they are a very high ranking member of Square Enix Europe who would undoubtedly know about such things). Still, leaderboads are a nice touch if you’re the kind of gamer that bothers with them (I don’t, personally).
The fact that upgrades are now tied to a new challenge system is interesting. On the one hand, it encourages players to try out as much of the content as possible. On the other, being forced to participate in side-activities in order to make progress could end up feeling like you’re being forced into taking part in activities which don’t interest you. It will be especially annoying if you find yourself unable to upgrade a weapon or vehicle because you get stuck on a certain challenge, for instance. Hopefully there are enough of these that you’re able to switch to a different challenge for the same weapon/ vehicle if you get stuck.
Tethering more objects together is the sort of thing which can only lead to even more over-the-top anarchy, and for that reason it’s to be welcomed. Causing chaos is Just Cause‘s whole raison d’etre, so it should be great to see some of the videos that players come up with on release. Hacking anti-air guns is a neat addition that should open up more options – and suggests we’ll see a lot more enemies in the air as well as on the ground this time (the shots of fighter jets suggest that this is a rather advanced military you’re up against). Lastly, the ability to call in vehicle drops wherever you are may disappoint some, but given what we’ve been hearing about the sheer size of Just Cause 3, it sounds like a wise move so that you don’t find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere after a lengthy parachute drop, or having to trek long distances to find a decent vehicle before storming a base.
All in all, Just Cause 3 is shaping up to be a very exciting prospect indeed. If Avalanche can expand upon, and increase the variety of, the story content (Just Cause 2‘s story only consisted of a handful of missions), we could be looking at the surprise hit of the year. Fingers crossed – we’ll find out in June.
Editor’s Note: The original headline for this article referred to the shots originating on Neogaf. That was a mistake – as the article text makes clear, they in fact first appeared in a German PlayStation 4 magazine, before finding their way onto the Gamespot forums. The headline has now been changed to reflect that, but the text of the article remains the same. We apologize for any confusion.