The Just Cause series has a knack for holding your attention in short bursts. It can cause you to grit your teeth as you wingsuit so close to mountains that you can taste the snow-spray, and grapple-hook up to helicopters to escape the mushrooming flames of exploding bases. It also gives you the freedom to tether a goat to a balloon, hook yourself onto it, and float off into the stratosphere.
The thing is, while there are a few new twists in Just Cause 4, it’s by and large the same old shtick, which is more evident than ever this time round. Just Cause has never really known what to do with itself when the adrenaline dies down and you have a moment to catch your breath. Its map-painting missions are protracted, its basic systems are creaky, and some of its design changes are ill-advised.
And yet, thanks to some sparing improvementsmostly in the way of chaos-causing gizmosJust Cause 4 is still capable of charming me.