I’m not worried about a lack of fun things to do, though. The grappling hooks are awesome. Rico was equipped with three in my demo, and during a raid on an enemy base, I used all of them on the same enemy gunboat, attaching it to a tower and then holding down the left trigger on the controller to tighten the cables. I slowly lifted the boat out of the sea, like Yoda lifting Luke’s X-Wing. That felt fantastic, as did attaching a couple of grapples to one civilian and two buildings on opposite sides of the road, and then pinging that unfortunate person into oblivion using the grapples as a slingshot. I pulled off a statue’s head by attaching it to the statue’s arse. And this is just one tiny corner of the world.
Many of these touches were inspired by the game’s huge PC modding community. “They did a great job of increasing the longevity of JC2 via their own persistence of modding the game,” Shakir says. “Our upgrade screen is actually called ‘mods’—it’s inspired by the modding community, because they had the infinite grapple hooks, infinite grapple distance, all those cool upgrades they did for the mod. So we incorporated that into Rico’s upgrades. He has multiple tethers, he can grapple from wingsuit and go to ground, he can increase the strength of how things duel tether. We basically modded our game in that sense, inspired by our modding community.”
I ask if, following their endorsement of the Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod, they’ll support modding officially through Steam Workshop. “We’re going to do the same thing we did last time. We’re going to make the best possible singleplayer experience, and when we get to that point where we’re near done, that’s when we’ll start to discuss what’s next, whether it’s a movie maker, supporting the modding community or whatever else.”
GTA 5 shows that a movie maker should be standard for open-world games. Just Cause 3 offers the same scope for creativity in throwing ridiculous scenarios together—a huge world, powerful tools in the hands of the player, vehicles with fun physics. The key with this series, as ever, is how long that fun will last.