Just Cause 2

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Just Cause 2 Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
GTA-like game about killing, sex, drugs, and profanity.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 38 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 119 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

You do play as a "good guy," a secret agent working for the U.S. government, but you're killing countless people in order to achieve your goals. Therefore the message it sends to players isn't very positive, but you're led to believe you're doing this all for good -- and the enemies are primarily gang members. As with games like Grand Theft Auto, you can shoot or drive down civilians but are penalized by risking capture by local militia (a "heat meter" goes up when you do these bad things in public).

 

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Rico isn't a bad guy, no, but he has no qualms in killing people to get the job done -- including the assassination of key figures -- so this doesn't make him a good role model.

Ease of Play

Despite some targeting issues, the Xbox 360 version of the game is fairly easy to pick up and play, plus the tutorial and manual outline the main control schematics well.

 

Violence

Just Cause 2 stars you as a secret operative who uses violence, primarily, to track down a rogue agent and disrupt the gang dynamics on a fictitious South Asian island run by a dictator. Players can shoot all kinds of guns, toss grenades, and use a grappling hook while fighting enemies. Red blood can be seen coming out of baddies during combat as they fall to the ground. There is no gore in this game but there's plenty of gunplay and blood.

Sex

While there is no nudity, the game deals with sexual themes, such as one mission that has you escorting a prostitute to a brothel called the "Mile High Club." Some language in the dialogue refers to sex, such as "exchanging bodily fluids" and "deviant sexual habits."

Language

A few swear words can be heard in the dialogue including s-- and a--hole -- and their Spanish equivalents, too, as the lead character is of Latino descent. The profanity isn't too excessive, however.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

No drugs are seen int he game (other than in crates) but there are a number of missions related to drug dealing and smuggling -- though you're not the one doing it -- as well as references to drugs in the game's dialogue, including opium, heroin, and cocaine.

 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Just Cause 2 is like Grand Theft Auto on an island. This open "sandbox" game has you perform many missions, which includes killing people and hijacking cars, therefore it's not an appropriate game for players under 17 years of age. Much of the action revolves around combat and stunts. Players can use many kinds of weapons to dispose of enemies. Blood can be seen after shooting enemies, and their bodies might flail or fly around realistically if the physics dictate it (such as an explosion that deonates in the middle of a group). The game also deals with mature subject maters like sex and drugs. Profanity can be heard spoken by the game's protagonist and others.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byEmmett. Sum March 6, 2016

fun

only cartoonish violence no swearing
Parent of a 14-year-old Written byParenting212 April 25, 2010
I watch my son play this because I thought it would be something like Grand Theft Auto because when i saw him playing that, boy was he in trouble. But this game... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byCyanStone July 27, 2015

13 and up

This game is NOT for kids.
Most people say there are only swear words like:
'sh*t' or 'jesus christ'
But if you jump on someone's car,... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 7, 2014

This might help

Here I will describe why it is rated M for.

1. Language
During some missions they shall say things nothing worse than the B word.

2. Sexual Themes
There is... Continue reading

What's it about?

It might not have the marketing muscle as other recent games, like God of War III or Battlefield: Bad Company 2, but the sequel to 2006's Just Cause is generating a lot of buzz among action fans. In JUST CAUSE 2, you return as Rico Rodriguez, an undercover U.S. operative on the fictitious South East Asian island of Panau to track down a former friend and mentor turned rogue agent, who has disappeared with top-secret intel and millions in Agency money. The story also involves the island's oppressive dictator, Baby Panay, and the three rival gangs who are waging war in Panau. As with its predecessor, the game delivers a huge, open-ended "sandbox" in which to accomplish all your missions, which range from search and rescue to demolition to assassination.

Is it any good?

Yes, Just Cause 2 is a well -developed mature game. It delivers an exhilarating action experience because of its thrilling and varied missions, enormous island (more than 400 square miles of jungles, cities, mountains, and beaches), many dozens of vehicles you jump in and control (covering land, sea, and air) and clever use of the parachute and grappling hook to pull off fun stunts while fighting (or evading) baddies. For example, players can dive out of a helicopter (or base jump off a building) into a heated gunfight, or fire the grappling hook to stop a vehicle and then reel in an enemy, or become vertical in seconds by pairing the grappling hook with the parachute ("slingshoting"). There are some aiming issues, and a couple of graphical bugs in the game, but overall this surprise sequel delivers an explosive adventure for older players.

Platform Note: All three versions of the game look and play virtually the same.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it's ok for a "good guy" to use violence to accomplish missions. Are we more forgiving of other secret agents in media -- such as James Bond -- or should it be ok in video game form, too? Is there a double standard here? If Rico is taking out thugs, who are murderers and drug dealers, does that make killing them more accpetable than innocent civilians? Or is taking someone's life wrong regardless of the victim?

  • Families can also talk about the impact of violence on players. Do you think you are unaffected by playing a game about shooting others?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
  • Price: $59.99 ($49.99 for PC)
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release date: March 23, 2010
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood, Drug Reference, Language, Sexual Themes, Violence
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

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