Just Cause 2

Common Sense Media says

GTA-like game about killing, sex, drugs, and profanity.





What parents need to know

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

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.



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.


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."


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.

Not applicable
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.


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.

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Price:$59.99 ($49.99 for PC)
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Square Enix
Release date:March 23, 2010
ESRB rating:M for Blood, Drug Reference, Language, Sexual Themes, Violence (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Just Cause 2 was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written bySp3ctr3 13o July 12, 2010

Should Be Rated T

This game is does not take its self seriously. It is MEANT to be a crazy Die Hard like game. It is extremely fun and very appropriate for kids 10+. Remember this game is called Just CAUSE 2 not Just 'cuz 2, everything you do in the game is for a purpose. SPOILERS: at the end of the game you kill the dictator, who is trying to destroy the US, and replace him with a US friendly President. Yes, occasionally you will find things called Drug Drops, but once you touch it it disappears. When you shoot people it is very unrealistic, they fly back and get back up. It might be hard for some younger kids so to its fast-paced gameplay later on in the game. Overall, this game is supposed to be crazy, and should NOT be compared to Grand Theft Auto in any way, shape, or form.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byGryphisOne October 28, 2010
After seeing this game reviewed on the internet, I had to buy it and try it out. My short review is this. While the game has a "B Movie" feel to it and plays like a summer guy flick, it's good wholesome fun all the way around. This is one of very few sandbox style games to come out and in my opinion, it's well worth the $60. You never run out of stuff to do, so you'll be playing it for months (and months) after you beat it. The game deals with drugs and sex, but I can guarentee it's no worse then what's going down in schools today. So instead of dropping $60 on a game that your kid will beat in a month and never play again, get this game and consider your money well spent.
Teen, 14 years old Written bydrmcphil March 30, 2010

Play this game Cause it's fun

Come on. 90% of kids who have ever been on the internet have seen worse stuff that this. The game is fun because you can parachute around and use your grappling hook. Not because you CAN kill pedestrians and there is a lot of blood (which is extremely unrealistic, by the way). So yes, I would recommend this to anyone ages 14+. Honestly, I believe this game should be rated T, and I'm sick of ESRB and their terrible rating system.


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