Video games have evolved from 8-bit dotted pixels to movie-like realism, forcing your eyes to question the difference between the virtual realm and our very own reality. We can no longer deny its current state as both a work of art and a source of escapism to millions spanning the globe. Behind the gamer scores lies layers of provocative story lines and emotional relevance to several areas we find applicable to our lives (See Halo, The Last of Us, Bioshock, heck even the story mode of Call of Duty). – and if you think gamers are a bunch of nerds, just look at the 6 digit paychecks offered to E-Sport Gamers, and you might justify that look that someone just relieved themselves in your coffee mug.
Due to my busy schedule I’ve skipped many open world adventures (Sorry Skyrim) and opt for linear games for the majority of the time. At times, I’ve forced myself to make time for stellar experiences such as The Mass Effect Trilogy (let’s not discuss the ending), however while juggling my business, fitness and personal responsibilities I don’t have the luxury to traverse the vast digital landscapes that demand I dedicate my time and soul to reap its benefits (Open World Fatigue Dude?).
Behind my fitness and entrepreneurship drive, lies a sincere admiration towards all art forms from poetry, music, film production to, yes…video games. To push and broaden the spectrum of my writing I would love to discuss other ventures and topics from time to time. A disclaimer though, my aim is not to review media or give a numbered score. In my opinion each experience is different, and I admire all developers and artists that dedicate their years and life to create products we enjoy and are inspired from*. Therefore when I discuss anything, I would like to keep it story-driven similar to my fitness articles, and how I’ve applied the given art medium towards my life.
With that said, I’d love to discuss my experience with Just Cause 3. Don’t worry I haven’t applied arson to my life, however it is an open world experience (reader awkwardly stares at Mo).
*Kanye West is not included in this statement.
Having played Just Cause 2 previously on the Xbox 360 (although I skipped the original iteration of the series) I knew what to expect from the game. Chaos. You can grapple into anything imaginable. Human, Cow, Plane. Imagine ejecting from an exploding plane, latching on to an enemy airplane with the option to take it over, latch it on to a neighbouring pilot watching them spin towards each other before gracing your way down to earth and falling perfectly on a bike to make a get away. Think 80’s/90’s movie action casting you as the director.
The story revolves around your character Rico who is a rebel determined to liberate both his homeland and his peeps from the hands of an evil-yet-hilarious dictator. The dialogue is purposefully cheesy to match the over-the-top action.
Although some missions were repetitive (even the dialogue makes fun of a recurring ‘Follow the pipes’ mission, it didn't stop me from enjoying the game. As I mentioned earlier I don’t have time to pledge allegiance to a given open world realm ( yeah they remember, especially after you contradicted yourself a paragraph later and decided to talk about this open world game) – fair enough, but this game was separated into 3 Acts with 8 missions making up each one. I allowed myself to play a mission a day on the days where I had 40 minutes or so to spare (6 am before the gym and work). Between certain missions you are asked to liberate certain areas to access the next part of the story. When I was short on time I was annoyed that I had to side track and free a city to proceed however as I got into the high octane action I starter enjoying this part of the game even more then the missions.
Favorite Achievement: …without bullets!
Destroy every Chaos Object in a Military Base without weapons, grenades, or planted explosives.
I enjoyed this one because I had to liberate an entire army base without using a single bullet or vehicle. By the time I looked up achievements to do, I had already liberated the easy camps. Trying to latch on to vital base facilities and pull them apart without the help of ammo, while being gunned down by army personnel, tanks and copters is a hell of a story to tell the kids. (What do you mean my kids aren't going to be gamers) #forevernerdy
Win a Free Island!:
Another cool thing about this game is you can enter to win a real life Free Island!! The person with the highest Chaos Score on the leader board three months after the games release takes home the prize! However the studio warns that they don't offer transport to the island or insure its habitability! Nice one Square Enix, come back to me when you can offer a date with Lara Croft – I’ll be first on that leader board, and probably end up sleeping on the couch as a result.
Mohammed Al Khalifa
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I'm trying to push my writing to cover my life spectrum and the things that move me, from fitness, entrepreneurship to all forms of creativity (including gaming, music, filming and poetry/writing).
Feel free to write me on firstname.lastname@example.org / or stalk me on my social media feeds
Xbox Live Gamertag: Nervebullet