Just Cause 4 for PlayStation 4: Everything you need to know

Just Cause 4 is the first game in the series made solely for current generation consoles. That gave Avalanche the perfect excuse to juice their formula up with an exciting new gameplay engine that has the potential to change the expectations of what a physics engine should be.

To understand what we mean, let your eyes scan the contents below. This is everything you need to know about Just Cause 4.

What's new in Just Cause 4?

August 20, 2018 — New footage from Gamescom arrives!

New gameplay footage has arrived fresh out of Gamescom 2018. Square Enix took some time to show off more of the destructive nature of the game, including that disastrous tornado that's quickly becoming an iconic piece of this title.

The trailer shows the main character Rico chasing a tornado in his Stormchaser, the only vehicle in the game that can't get sucked up by the vortex. He eventually figures out that he has to bust up the wind cannons of the Black Hand, the group that's trying their damndest to take control of the island all this is taking place on. They use the wind cannons to keep the tornado from destroying their facilities, so taking out those wind cannons is of utmost importance for Rico.

Square Enix also showed off more of the new gameplay capabilities they've been teasing since its announcement. You'll get a look at how airlifters and boosters work to turn a cargo box into a makeshift aircraft. Take a look at the 6-minute video up above.

What is Just Cause 4?

Ever wanted a game where you could just blow stuff up in the wildest ways possible? Have you ever wanted to send a baddie sky high on the tip of a missile? Have you ever wanted to use a freaking tornado to destroy a militant mercenary base?

That's what Just Cause 4 is. It's over-the-top, raunchy, violent, and fun. And Avalanche's winning formula is getting even better with some highly innovative additions.

What's the story so far?

If you happen to be in it for the story, Just Cause 4 has a little bit to offer you. You play as long-time series protagonist Rico Rodriguez, a fearless man who seems to have developed a knack for tearing things up.

His latest musings take him to the fictional South American country of Solis, where a leader named Gabriella is mobilizing her Black Hand mercenary organization to take control of the country. Rodriguez wants to liberate the country from that damning fate.

This wouldn't be the first time Rico has gone against Black Hand, but it is the first time he's gone to their home turf. They have a bit of a home-field advantage because of it, but you can bet he'll find a way to mitigate that.

Expect the mercenary group to field a vicious army, including foes with deployable machine guns and even invisible stealth suits. We're sure you'll find some highly appropriate way to take care of them.

An amazing weather engine

With Just Cause 4, Avalanche saw fit to throw out their old engine to use an upgraded version of APEX. This engine boasts highly powerful physics rendering, and it's not just to simulate the effects of those wacky ragdoll animations we've come to love. It's to power the craziest weather system we've ever seen in a video game.

Just Cause 4 has weather, and we're not talking about a slight drizzle of rain. There are tornadoes, blizzards, sandstorms, lightning storms, and more. And they are all backed by a more realistic wind engine that'll significantly change how you approach the game.

Early gameplay demos show that a tornado is nothing to sneeze at. The massive twister can rip and roar through the environment and, in real time, rip pieces from structures, suck up and toss out debris, and other things tornadoes are infamous for. It can even pull an airplane in from the sky if it's close enough.

The beauty of this being a real-time physics-based phenomenon is that there may be some cases where you can actually control said weather. In at least one mission, you do so by destroying wind machines that are designed to keep a tornado from being able to rip through specific areas. Black Hand uses these machines to keep their base safe, and Rico can destroy them to wreak a whole new type of havoc on his enemies. It's not quite the God hand you might have hoped for, but it's close enough.

We're not sure how other types of storms will look or be handled, but if as much time were put into them as they were into tornadoes, we're in for a treat. Avalanche's developers supposedly spent tons of time studying wind and weather patterns, so much so that they might even be able to pass a crash course in meteorology.

On the less crazy side of things, the weather system also shines in the form of diverse biomes. There are four biomes within the massive world of Solis, including jungle, planes, snow, and desert. Each of the biomes has two sub-biomes. We're not exactly sure how that'll be presented in the game just yet, but it sounds like there will be a great variety of conditions to behold as you make your way from one corner of the map to another.

Classic Just Cause gameplay

Despite the substantial changes to the game engine, this is still a Just Cause game at its core. That means this game is still all about finding creative, insane ways to kill your enemies, move across the map, and get into general nonsensical activities.

So, yes, that means your parachute and wingsuit are still vital pieces of your kit. Things become a lot more dynamic, however, when you have to factor heavy winds into your base jumping equations. If you're not careful, you might even find yourself sucked in by one of those tornadoes.

The grappling hook also returns, and it's getting a whole new suite of abilities to play around with. Mods allow you to change how certain things on your grappling hook works. The retractor ability, for instance, can be augmented by an electricity mod to make for an electrical blast when you make two objects collide.

You can also use it to attach booster rockets and balloons to, well, whatever it is you want. And that naturally includes humans. Early gameplay demos have shown the ability to send a shipping container into the sky using balloons, and then blast it across the map by activating the thrusters on the booster rockets.

Creative gamers will find no shortage of ways to bring destruction to Black Hand, though even the casuals will have the chance to make some noise thanks to an upgraded weapons system. You'll have a ton of different weapons to use in the game, and some of them now have alternate firing modes, attached grenade launchers, and more.

Vehicles also remain a vital piece to the puzzle, and they're more important than ever before. Your best friend will be the Stormchaser, a yellow truck that can somehow withstand the pull of that twister we talked about earlier.

But if you really wanted, you could choose to drive right into the tornado and launch your car into the air to pull off a stunt that's truly special. Other vehicles won't be so forgiving, so if you find yourself hopping into a jet, a hovercraft, or whatever else you want to use, make sure you aren't taking them straight into the belly of the storm (unless, of course, you really want to).

Pre-order details

Pre-order the standard Just Cause 4 to get the Day One Edition, which includes the Neon Racer Pack. You'll get neon versions of your Stormchaser, wingsuit, and parachute.

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The $89.99 Gold Edition is also available. With it, you'll get the Neon Racer Pack, plus the expansion pass that gives you access to all three expansion packs when they become available. There's also the Golden Gear Pack, which contains a golden shotgun that has a ricochet tracer ability, a golden parachute, and a golden wingsuit.

You can even get your hands on some of Black Hand's weaponry, including the Stealth Micro JET that features retractable wings and stealth optic camouflage, as well as a wingsuit that improves your missile capabilities. Finally, you'll get to play the game one day early.

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When can you play it?

Just Cause 4 launches December 4th, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Those who get the Gold Edition play it one day early, on December 3rd, 2018.

Quentyn Kennemer