A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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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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?
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