Feature Article

Just Cause 3's First DLC Turns You Into a Fighter Jet

Learning to fly.

If Just Cause 3 was a power fantasy before, it's quickly becoming a rocket-fueled lucid dream with its upcoming Sky Fortress DLC. As the aerial third of the Air, Land, and Sea expansion series, Sky Fortress transforms protagonist Rico into a pseudo F-15 bomber plane, complete with a shoulder-mounted chaingun and missile launcher.

In Just Cause 3's base game, the story, world, and characters all serve as a setup for the sandbox destruction that follow. Sky Fortress is no different. It follows Rico as he fights the evil Eden Corporation, which has just arrived in Medici with a gigantic flying fortress--naturally, it's Rico's job to blow it up.

I spent two hours with the DLC, and even after dozens of hours in the base game, I felt like a powerhouse with my newfound equipment. Shredding enemies with my mini gun, propelling missiles into the vital power cores of the Sky Fortress, and barrel rolling around enemy rockets creates an adrenaline rush, chain reaction type of firefight.

The enhanced wingsuit is powered by bavarium, the radioactive substance that several factions fought over in Just Cause 3's storyline, and as a result, I can soar indefinitely through the skies, performing strafing runs on enemy troops and critical structures, all without a care in the world. I could die--but it's not likely.

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Despite the increased power at my disposal, though, I'm more agile in my new form. The wingsuit allows for sudden stops, as Rico spreads his limbs to increase air resistance, only to turn on a dime in the other direction. Furthermore, the bavarium-fueled suit facilitates smoother landings than those of its predecessor, which often ended in faceplants and sudden crashes. There are less transitions between wingsuit and parachute this time around.

To further increase Rico's destructive potential, I unlocked a support drone to follow me around as a guardian angel while I laid waste to the floating base's communication antennae, anti-air cannons, and security-drone dispenser pods. The fortress itself is divided into two separate sections--much like the outposts you'd liberate on the ground--and both took about 20 minutes to completely destroy.

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Although I didn't witness any plot points or meet any new characters during my demo, Square Enix assured me there is a self-contained storyline present within Sky Fortress. But as was the case with Just Cause 3's main campaign, it wasn't an engrossing story I was looking for: it was creative destruction on a massive scale.

After only two hours, I can't speak to the entirety of the Sky Fortress pack when it releases on an unspecified date in March. But as of now, it appears I'll find that same emergent destruction in the first of Just Cause 3's trio of expansions. I'm more of a sentient armory than ever before, and coupled with Just Cause 3's penchant for domino-effect-explosions, I'm excited to play more.

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Mike Mahardy

Writer and Host. New Yorker. Enthusiast of gin, cilantro, and rock and roll.

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