Just Cause 3 Review Roundup

Read what critics are saying about Avalanche Studios' latest open-world action game.

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The review embargo has lifted for Just Cause 3, Square Enix's destructive open-world action game set on an archipelago occupied by a military dictatorship, and critics appear divided on whether it does enough to sand out.

GameSpot's Just Cause 3 review was positive overall, admiring the game's potential for anecdotes of explosive chain-reactions. Critic Mike Mahardy also expressed reservations regarding the game's overall polish, claiming it is "filled with bugs and other rough edges."

Those views are reflected, to an extent, by a number of critics at other publications. Take a look at some choice excerpts below, and beneath that a list of scores from other publications.

  • Game: Just Cause 3
  • Developer: Avalanche
  • Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC
  • Release Date: December 1
  • Price: $60/£49.99
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GameSpot -- 8/10

"When Just Cause 3 is consistent, it's a stunning display of cause and effect, as watchtowers topple into fuel tanks, which blow up nearby helicopters, which sail into oncoming vehicles. I often spent hours setting up outlandish chain reactions, or trying new gear mods, knowing full well I wasn't making any progress in the traditional sense. I was content to just sit back and marvel as it all happened." -- Mike Mahardy [Full Review]

VideoGamer -- 6/10

"There's a lot to do in Just Cause 3, it's just that doing it all isn't really that much fun. In fact it's probably a better game in retrospect than it is when you're playing it: freed from the controls and other issues, you'll remember it fondly. You'll also likely want to get back to it: there's a moreish, Ubisoft-style vibe here that encourages repeated playing. Those of you that wanted Just Cause 2 Part 2 will love what's on offer, but it all feels lesser than the sum of its parts." -- Steven S. Burns [Full Review]

Polygon -- 8.5/10

"If you can judge a game based on the moments that make you put it down for the night, Just Cause 3 is hard to criticize: I only stopped when I needed to sleep, not because I wanted to put the game down. The "did you see that?!" factor seems unlimited here, and it kept me coming back to discover what unexpected domino of explosions I could start next with a single grenade. The formula of the Just Cause series hasn't been expanded, but it has been improved. And it's rare that a game is so comfortable in its own skin." -- Ben Kuchera [Full Review]

Destructoid -- 8/10

"I'm sure you'll be seeing a ton of animated GIFs of Just Cause 3 for a while to come, due to all of the wacky things that can happen within the game. It truly is an insane, explosion-filled romp through a beautiful nation chock-full of cheeky humor. It provides some of the best open-world tools ever. This is definitely a case of "it is what you make of it," and for those with intrinsic motivation to make it the best will be greeted with just that." -- Patrick Hancock [Full Review]

GamesRadar -- 6/10

"Just Cause 3 feels less than the sum of its parts. There's fun to be had, for sure, but it's couched in a structure that's filled with frustration and, worst of all, boredom. It offers 400 square miles of world to liberate, but fails to provide enough variety to keep things interesting for even a fraction of that space. What's left is a lot of style, but very little substance." -- Phil Savage [Full Review]

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PC GamesN -- 8/10

"It's impossible to deny that there are a number of things that Just Cause 3 doesn’t do very well, and a lot of the things it does brilliantly are very similar to its predecessor. But all of this is easy to forgive when your adventure in Medici plasters a grin across your face for the duration. And so much of what could do with serious improvement, like the shooting and driving, could never live up to the joy you feel when you’re soaring through the skies or planting explosives all over a powerstation and unleashing them all at once." -- Fraser Brown [Full Review]

The Jimquisition -- 6.5

"Just Cause 3 is okay. It’s far from great, but it’s not bad either. It’s just a decent waste of time. You can expect to mine at least twenty hours from it, with far more on top if you get really into it. Personally, I feel there are far better ways to waste your time, but there are far worse too." -- Jim Sterling [Full Review]

PC Gamer -- 67

"Reducing Medici to smoking rubble is undeniably cathartic, and it provides plenty of cheap, instant thrills. But anyone who wants anything more will be disappointed. Who knows what will happen when the modding community gets their hands on it, but for now, Just Cause 3 struggles to compete with other open-world games released this year." -- Andy Kelly [Full Review]

GameInformer -- 8/10

"Medici’s three islands have an abundance of places to destroy, and I had a good time liberating the nation overall. Avalanche does a good job of giving players access to new tools just as it seems the novelty is close to wearing off, right until the end. By the time I finished clearing out the final outpost, however, I was definitely ready to move on. Medici’s a great place to visit, but I’m not prepared to make it a new home – certainly not considering the state I left it in." -- Jess Cork [Full Review]

Shack News -- 8/10

"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." -- Josh Hawkins [Full Review]

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Kotaku

"Just Cause 3 can be plenty of fun, but despite its gorgeous world and brilliant mechanical centerpiece, it remains flawed enough to leave me wondering—and wishing—about what might’ve been." -- Kirk Hamilton [Full Review]

Ars Technica

"In its brief moments of lucidity, I was in love with Just Cause 3. After a few patches, or perhaps several hundred dollars in new PC equipment, perhaps I will be again." No name given [Full Review]

Eurogamer

"Yes, there are times here when the plot is a little too aware of its own charms perhaps, and I suspect the campaign's already starting to run out of new tricks even before the halfway mark. Even so, the world of Medici snaps together so brilliantly with the game's leading man that I'm not ready to leave. And remember, when modders finally add multiplayer, this thing's going to be a riot." -- Christian Donlan [Preliminary Review]

A selection of key screenshots can be found below.

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