Mixed or average reviews - based on 57 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 57
  2. Negative: 0 out of 57
  1. 100
    A gaming triumph and a truly next-generational offering - indeed, it's offering next generation gameplay for PS2 and Xbox owners too, and anyone wanting a taste of where gaming is heading really needs to pick this up now.
  2. Fans of the Nintendo SNES classic "Pilotwings" will literally jump at the chance to parachute from any of the aircraft for spectacular views of the vast landscape below. There is bound to be a sequel, because this original is so good.
  3. Just Cause is brilliant because every player has the chance to carve their own personality into how they play. Most games have a create-a-character mode – Just Cause has a create-a-video game mode!
  4. No game has ever afforded this level of freedom, and it's simply breathtaking to behold. [Oct. 2006, p.56]
  5. 90
    The frenetic immediacy of the uprisings and the power of their resulting fire fights is thoroughly entertaining as well as graphically hard hitting - despite the obvious "Far Cry" similarities. The sense of absolute speed when behind the wheel (or controls) of some of the game’s more ‘beefy’ land and sea vehicles is always thrilling.
  6. One of those amazingly fun, carefree games and doesn’t take itself too seriously. The action is hectic and breaks every law of physic and though the gameplay isn’t that varied, it’s still quite fun.
  7. Fuse together "Grand Theft Auto's" open-ended game world, "Mercenaries" militaristic vibe, "Far Cry's" tropical vistas, and the movie "Desperado's" titular hero, and you got Just Cause in a nutshell. [Nov. 2006, p.72]
  8. 85
    With plenty to see and do and a large variety of ways to cause chaos and mayhem Just Cause will satisfy any gamers appetite for destruction.
  9. 85
    The sheer capacity of things to do in San Esperito is enormous and usually overwhelming.
  10. 83
    A damn good sandbox game that is filled with all types of crazy action, and will provide many hours of satisfaction.
  11. A laugh-out-loud, gun toting riot of action. [Nov 2006, p.67]
  12. Avalanche’s greatest achievement is that it has created an open, vehicle-based videogame that does not feel like GTA in any way, shape or form, be it thematically or mechanically. [Nov 2006, p.110]
  13. Almost like "GTA" without any of the character. For these short bursts of satisfaction alone this is more than worth getting - however, don't be surprised when you end up switching off halfway through a mission and start praying that "Mercenaries 2" will fill the hole. [Issue # 11, p.80]
  14. After you liberate the island and eliminate the dictator, there is simply no other reason to put the disk back in your system. The island looks pretty and there are plenty of attractions to see, but once you spend a little time there, you are ready to leave.
  15. Stealing cars, shooting bad guys – it’s all pretty familiar stuff at this point, but Just Cause takes the formula and adds in amazing stunts and the freedom to take to the air in a variety of ways. That alone makes this title well worth a look for action fans.
  16. Has a fun, over-the-top attitude and a great looking world to explore. Unfortunately, the missions repeat a pattern and get boring fast. Still, good entertainment in short doses. [Oct 2006]
  17. A delicious experience, containing some of the sweetest moments in any console game. The astonishing environment alone is enough reason to give it a shot. However, it's not quite compelling enough as an adventure to make you want to see the set missions through. [Oct 2006, p.82]
  18. Side missions are extremely repetitive, and with the main quest being kind of short, replay value isn’t as high as you’d expect from such an enormous set of islands.
  19. Just Cause had potential to be a GTA-style game on par with the GTA series itself. Unfortunately, a short story mode and a lack of much else to do robs this game of its staying power.
  20. A game that delivers on some promises while completely losing sight of others. The overall gameplay is fun, but a few bugs tend to frustrate the experience.
  21. It’s often a glitchy and shallow experience, yet you’ll have an absolute blast playing it.
  22. For the most part, though, Just Cause pulls players along with a promise of bigger and badder weaponry.
  23. It is a fun game with some cool ideas, just one with its share of problems. If nothing else it tries a few new things, which is more than you can say about many games. [Oct. 2006, p.93]
  24. Just Cause is able to justify its relative brevity and disrespect for physical law with some extremely visceral and often satisfying action.
  25. The looks, story line and huge amount of missions and freedom that gave this game so much potential are greatly let down because of the glitches, bugs and terrible AI.
  26. It’s one of those situations where I felt the potential wasn’t close to being met—what looked like it was going to be a big sandbox of exciting jungle warfare quickly revealed itself as a fairly small rubber stamp. Too bad.
  27. Just Cause does have the qualities of an addictive game, but there isn’t enough substance to keep you interested for very long. And for all its fancy stunts and gun battles, the nannying controls take away the element of skill, making the whole experience feel a bit shallow.
  28. For all its quirks, the overriding impression of Just Cause is favourable. There’s an almost childish enthusiasm at work here – and an unparalleled sense of freedom that can be enjoyed just as easily as it can be criticised. [Nov 2006, p.82]
  29. If you can look past the bugs, brevity and repetitive nature of Just Cause, there is a lot to enjoy for the action enthusiast: abseiling behind speeding cars, insane parachute drops, massive amounts of gunplay and beautiful graphics to name just a few features.
  30. Perhaps it is only the desire to see more of the scope of the world (and hope for more variety) that keeps you going, but when you can count on your fingers the time it takes to finish the story missions, I wonder if my completist attitude will be enough to push me to claim the entire map as my own.
  31. A terrible shame and no mistake. Just a little variation in the missions would have been enough to send the game into the upper echelons of greatness. As it stands, you’re looking at a massive amount of style over not a great deal of substance.
  32. Just Cause's biggest draw is its huge island setting, but it's also what prevents the game world from feeling truly alive. As much as soaring through the sky in a fighter jet, before freefalling hundreds of feet, and then parachuting to your target destination is great fun, that's pretty much what you do, over and over again.
  33. Once you look past the clichéd plot, production and associated oddities (where does that parachute go?), there’s a small amount of intense fun to be had with Just Cause. It is a shame that Avalanche didn’t take the absurdity a little further and develop a deliberate sense of humour to the game and Rico Rodriguez, other then the strong suspension of disbelief you will need to get going with the game.
  34. What really keeps this game from being a success is the issue of length. The main story isn’t particularly long, and though there are side missions to do for either faction, these aren’t nearly as engaging as the story missions.
  35. Just Cause offer’s some interesting gameplay elements and is definitely worth checking out if you’re into sandbox style gameplay. The only real complaint that can be levied against Just Cause is its lack of depth and polish, which makes it better suited for a rental.
  36. 70
    It doesn't possess the solid competence of a game like Saints Row, but a different setting, new toys, and a gameplay experience that's actually a bit fresh have more than made up the difference.
  37. 70
    This game is more a sandbox than any other created, and thus the only people who will really be able to enjoy the game are those who have the imagination to make their own fun in a world. For many, this will cause JC to fall into the shadows of "meh", but for creative gamers, it'll be the best sandbox game you will ever own.
  38. The stunts, however, steal the show, and really elevate the game beyond its limitations. From skydiving and parachuting onto the top of moving vehicles to jumping out of helicopters or launching tow cables at passing cars, Rico can do some things that games haven’t allowed players to do before, and there’s a lot to be said for enabling new frontiers.
  39. Just Cause simply has too little substance to propel it to great status and I think most gamers will find the flaws adding up to make a tiring gaming experience rather than the fun one it should be. That’s not to say the game isn’t fun, because it is, just not all the time.
  40. A fun, over-the-top, don’t-think-too-much-about-it kinda game that offers quick flashes of surreal mayhem between moments of quiet exasperation. The main problem is simply that Just Cause doesn’t offer enough diverse content to keep its incredibly large world fun.
  41. 68
    The lack of depth really comes through once you get more than about 10 hours into the game and the monotony of doing the same side quests over and over takes its toll. After that, it comes down to how much fun you can create by yourself.
  42. A spectacularly unrealistic collision of "Grand Theft Auto's" swipe-anything-that-moves sensibilities and "Mercenaries'" revolutionary warfare.
  43. Just Cause was filled with a lot of great ideas. It had the potential to be an awesome game, but what comes across as unsurety on the part of the development team really hampers it.
  44. 65
    On the one hand it provides some unique experiences and some great moments, with a superior sense of speed and exhilaration. On the other, there are too many instances of uninspired design and rushed completion.
  45. It's obvious the game could've used another couple of months in development, and with a more engaging protagonist, perhaps some branching narratives and a vastly overhauled driving experience, Just Cause could have been a real show-stopper.
  46. 64
    Clipping issues are everywhere, and not comical ones like GTA or Saint's Row. While playing, I've been shot through buildings, implanted in the ground, and stepped through cars.
  47. With brainless autoaim combat, forgettable missions and little in the way of challenge, the flash stunts and crazy moves can't hide Just Cause's flaws, and ultimately, rather than being some sort of "GTA"-beater, it's more of a poor man's "Mercenaries," ludicrously padded out with hundreds of entirely worthless side missions that sprawl over uninteresting terrain.
  48. Because of the unrealistic physics, you don’t feel vulnerable. There’s no risk involved running around the jungle wearing only y-fronts with a knife between your teeth, because you’re invulnerable to lengthy drops and those notorious life-enders called bullets. It’s this lack of fear that makes the save system almost neglectable – why bother saving my progress when the missions are all the same? Why bother saving when it’s almost impossible to die?
  49. This high-octane actioner perfectly showcases the 360's graphical power, but is sadly hampered by its lack of depth and repetitive missions.
  50. And the world is huge. If it was more packed with opportunities for us to use those tools and stunts, this could have been a GTA-killer.
  51. For a game that tries hard to create a flamboyant image for itself, Just Cause simply lacks the punch and the personality to truly deliver on that front.
  52. It doesn't come close to living up to the concept. Unexpectedly glitchy, terribly repetitive and incredibly easy, Just Cause might be fun for a rental, but even the most die-hard fans of sandbox games will want to look elsewhere for their fill.
  53. Perhaps with a little more time spent on the combat and a longer story, Just Cause could have been a much better title.
  54. 60
    Offers too little, too late to make an impact on Xbox 360. The stunt aspects may be worth a rental to check out, but "Saints Row" bullies this game around on all fronts -- giving it a wedgie in graphics, a wet willie in physics, and the ol' lead pipe to the kneecaps in terms of side missions.
  55. Sloppy vehicle handling, some bugs in the design of the missions and the endless travel means it doesn't hit the same high notes as GTA and others, but the mindless action is still good dumb fun.
  56. 50
    Fun, then, in moderate doses and more a tantalising promise of things to come rather than an essential early entry in the 360 canon.
  57. As an admirer of all things unusual and unusually entertaining, Rico's bizarre parachute tricks justify the four to six hours it takes to complete the campaign, but once the novelty wears off, there's not much here to merit a second glance that hasn't been done better by other games - mission accomplished, but just barely.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Mar 4, 2012
    Let's break this down,nice and neat,real very real.This game was made in 2006 where games wish they could be as versitile,as amazing,as a game with infinite replay value.The map is bigger then most open world racing games excluding Fuel of course.This is kinda the ground work of how they produced Just Cause 2 after it being in production for 4 years.Get this,even though just Cause 2 took everything awesome about the first one and exploded on the scene as an out of this world game,the game is just merely bigger than the first game.Just a little bit bigger,can you believe that,that is why you have to look back on the first Just Cause and think that it is nothing less than a masterpiece and a step in gaming that shows you how serious gaming really is.To this day ,(almost 7 years later),I still play this game here and there but I admit that I play part 2 more now but to all you gamer's,play this,love this,live this! Full Review »