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Why "Just Cause 4" Is Awful

Michael has been an avid gamer and part time writer in more decades than he cares to remember.


Ok, so I bought Just Cause 4 with high hopes, having played JC 1, 2 and 3 and having thoroughly enjoyed them. What could go wrong right?

As it turns out, quite a lot!

Let's take a look at some of the issues users are experiencing.

  1. Extremely poor textures for a PC game
  2. Terrible water
  3. Bugs
  4. Dumbed down gameplay and features from previous games removed
  5. Short playtime for an open world game
  6. Poor physics

We'll take a look at these points one at a time.

1. Poor Textures and Graphics


Some of the texture work looks like it was created for an Xbox 360, not the current gen of consoles and certainly not for the PC super race. Sure the FPS (frames per second) are suitable high, but this seems to have come at the cost of graphical fidelity.

Explosions and particle effects are extremely pixelated, especially at a distance and pop in is noticeable

Also worth noting are the awful cutscenes. These are some serious PS3 level quality. My FPS reader shows 60fps, but it's janky as all hell and looks less than half of that. Jerky animations top it all off and make it more like watching an old VHS tape than a cutting-edge video game.

2. Water Problems


What's so wrong with the water you may ask? Well, it's seriously flat, has poor colour saturation, has no waves to speak of, muddy looking textures and boats leave no discernable wake behind them. Oh, and don't get me started on the waterfalls!

Look, this is best served by a trio of videos from JC 2, 3 and finally JC4. It is quite apparent that the water from the first two not only looks better, but has better physics behind it too.

3. Bugs

Users are reporting intermittent to constant and regular crashing to desktop and freezing, requiring a reboot of the PC.

Oh, worth mentioning it uses Denuvo as copy protection. For those not in the know, Denuvo is said to affect performance and needs a pretty constant internet connection to talk with its servers. It is also rumoured to leave bits of itself behind after a full uninstall.

One last point, the menus don't seem to work properly either with a mouse, but seem ok with a joypad!

4. Dumbed Down?

Yup. Lots of users are complaining that the progression system is much reduced from the previous game. This is mostly due to the fact that pistols, grenades and C4 explosives are removed from the game. That's right, no more 'nades...

Granted, the upgrades for the grapple are fun for a while, but it's ultimately as deep as a puddle.

Also worth mentioning is the gameplay cycle, it's so basic and dull. In previous games to take over bases required masses of destruction. Now it's a simple mission and to complete an area requires the same boring old side activities. Drive through rings, glide through rings, fly through rings. You get the idea.

Taking over bases was one of the most fun parts of Just Cause. Now there is very little need for chaos and destruction—such a shame.

5. Short Play Time

According to several users on the Steam discussion forums, the playtime is between 7-15 hours without completing the flying through hoops side activities.

So, a 15-hour story for your 60$ in an open world sandbox game.

This is in my opinion simply not good enough.

6. Poor Physics

This is how planes take off

This is how planes take off

So, vertical take off passenger jets aside what else have I found?

Well, how about a jeep that will only drive on its rear wheels?

And when you shoot water, the splash occurs BEFORE the bullet or shell actually reaches the water? Are we having fun yet?

Vehicle handling seems a step back from JC3, especially the boats. They just aren't fun at the moment. Speed seems off too. I was taxiing an airplane at 120kph (74.5 mph) and was able to turn like the plane was running on rails!

Occasionally lightly bumping will result in the character or vehicle flying thousands of feet into or across the air.

In Conclusion

As much as I was looking forward to this game as a lover of the entire series, I simply cannot recommend it at the moment.

I am sure that Square Enix will solve many of these issues, but the core gameplay mechanic is not something that can simply be patched away and even with all the other issues fixed, there is not enough of a game to justify the cost.

Thumbs down for this one, Just Cause 4 is not worth a buy

© 2018 Michael Murchie


Luci Minea on May 07, 2020:

I've played 2 and 3 and I have a lot of fun, but with 4 the experience was crap. I unistalled it after 40 minutes and I never want to try it again.

Camera movement for shotting si slow, it's ok only with enhanced precision mode. But with the car or, worse, the helicopter, the direction is almost uncontrollable. Just not playable !

NGXalpha on January 10, 2019:

i bought JC4 with such excitement from the previouse game which was just overall an amazing game i think they really nailed it with JC3 and even JC2 was a fun game for me and my friends to play and talk about but then JC4 comes out with totally different controlls and weapon systems and grappling and its frustrating at first im not one to complain about graphics but just the overall way the game works feels like this was a game made by a completely different co. im just really upset with it overall and would recomend if you are looking for a good way to pass time and have fun to go play the third installment.

Michael Murchie (author) from Parts Unknown on December 10, 2018:

Totally agree, I've gone back to JC 3 and even JC 2 looks and plays better. Way to kill a franchise Devs !

NeoMorph on December 10, 2018:

I gave up playing this POS game. How is it that a game can look worse than its predecessor and yet play worse too. The so called feats are either ridiculously easy or stupidly hard. There is one that you have to go through 10 rings but I couldn’t figure out how to do it because there was only 3.

And what is with gravity... or lack. I literally have to nose dive the parachute to get to the damn ground now. It’s gone so far beyond arcade level play to a ridiculous caricature of arcade play.

And those controls... you used to be able to do so much more... just trying to get onto a vehicle is a right pantomime now. I’ve even stalled in midair in JC4 and the game can’t figure out what to do. AND IT’S LAGGY ON TOP.

To say I am disappointed is an understatement.

Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on December 06, 2018:

Of course! No problem at all. Did you buy Fallout 76, then? I'm so sorry to hear it if you did! Apparently, they have been terrible at giving refunds too even though the game is basically broken. I was thinking about buying it but people were quick to say it sucks so I dodged a bullet there. Shame really, because Fallout 3 is one of my favorite games of all time.

Sorry I've gone a bit off-topic, as I know this article is about Just Cause 4. I never played JC actually; there are so many more games I'd play if I had the money to buy them. I'll be sure to give JC4 a wide berth thanks to your warning.

Michael Murchie (author) from Parts Unknown on December 06, 2018:

Totally agree on Fallout 76, got stung by that one too...Thanks for taking the time to read and comment !!

Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on December 06, 2018:

A lot of new games of series have been disappointing recently, notably Fallout 76 and Mass Effect: Andromeda (though I’m enjoying the latter). I’m sorry you’re having such a bad experience with Just Cause 4 and manage to get some kind of compensation.