Generally favorable reviews - based on 66 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 63 out of 66
  2. Negative: 0 out of 66
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  1. 100
    This game is so well designed that time after time in my playthrough I thought, "Man, wouldn't it be great if this game had X?" and then, lo and behold, X appears, like the albatross to the Ancient Mariner, except in a totally good way that doesn't cause the mass suffering and death of my shipmates. Honestly, I can't think of any reason why anyone who loves video games won't enjoy JC2.
  2. 98
    The Terminator 2 of videogames. A sequel that contained all that made the original so good, without all the boring and unrefined portions...This is by far the most fun I have ever had with an open-world game.
  3. 95
    Just Cause 2 isn't going to win any awards for its story, but it will pick up accolades for the astonishing amount of activities and collecting to do on the island of Panau.
  4. It easily blows the first game out of the water, and puts the gameplay in titles like Grand Theft Auto to shame.
  5. One of the most enjoyable sandboxes for players to experiment in this side of Grand Theft Auto. [Issue#204, p.86]
  6. The original Just Cause was a little rough around the edges but the sequel is highly polished and looks great. I could easily see myself logging a hundred hours or more in to the game, it’s probably the most comprehensive sandbox game I’ve played.
  7. Just Cause 2 is a coloring book for people who never cared to keep their art inside the lines. Pleasure is derived not from carefully staying within the edges, but ripping all the pages out and then replacing them with whatever twisted idea first comes to mind.
  8. Many games have promised a no limits playing experience, and many have failed to deliver this. However, Just Cause 2 has easily achieved this allowing you to travel to the remotest of locations and play the game in an extremely creative way, which makes it very easy to over look the repetitive nature of the mission.
  9. Just Cause 2 is a good, but not perfect mixture of GTA and Boiling Point. It offers a huge playground for every action gamer - supported by beautiful graphics.
  10. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    If you were soured towards the franchise thanks to Just Cause’s variety of glitches, repetition and a half-baked control scheme; you should totally give this franchise a second chance. Not only has Avalanche solved these problems, it has crafted one of the most exciting and entertaining open-world romps we’ve experienced in years. Plus; stripper zeppelin. [May 2010 p.67]
  11. Just Cause 2 has a ton of great content, the main story took me 16 hours with only 27% of the game completed. Anyone who wants to find every collectible in the game is going to be busy for a while.
  12. 88
    I haven't had this much fun with an open-world game in years. Just Cause 2 is over-the-top and insanely fun. There are some issues in the game's presentation and the checkpoint system is far from perfect, but Just Cause 2 is otherwise a must-play for adrenaline junkies.
  13. In one way Just Cause 2 really makes me happy. A huge world full of cities, villages and military bases the player is allowed to discover. But on the other side the weak story doesn’t really animate me to play it till the end.
  14. Play UK
    Delivers on the ambitious intentions of the original with added interest, only slightly letting itself down with some control issues that could and should have been fixed. Still the closest you're going to get to a truly playable action movie for now, though. [Issue#190, p.68]
  15. 87
    It's a game that prides itself instead on the glories of the chaos you create, the freedom of exploration and a goof-off action story to keep you in money, weapons and women. It's not for every gamer we wager, but if you're in need of a dose of true sandbox action, there are few better ways to invest your buck.
  16. 87
    Avalanche Studios has given us one heck of a game with Just Cause 2. The gameplay is pure action and the grappling hook, the many vehicles and the stunt moves give a variety of moves. The main story doesn’t bear much weight, but the bulk of the game is on the free missions and the possibility of chaos. You’re getting a huge island, filled to the rim with detail and graphically impressive. Haven’t had this much fun with a sandbox game since GTA 4, and you can be sure that’s a compliment to the game.
  17. Just Cause 2 is a thoroughly entertaining title that surpasses its predecessor and creates a very fun and open-ended game that virtually lets you do anything with the objects, vehicles and environments.
  18. Games Master UK
    All things considered, Just Cause 2 is comfortably the best "zany" sandboxer out there, and a brilliantly improved sequel to the great-if-flawed original. [Apr 2010, p.60]
  19. It might get repetitive and a bit boring over time, but in general its simply a blast to drive, run and grapple'n'parachute across Panau, simply in order to cause mayhem and chaos.
  20. As an open world game with completely unrealistic physics and a humorous mismatch of characters (there must be at least a dozen different accents, sometimes all are hilariously congregated into a single city), this game is second to none.
  21. For all its slight foibles, Just Cause 2 is hugely entertaining, and despite the creeping feeling of repetition beginning to set in as you destroy your 500th fuel tank or collect your 1000th item, there's more than enough freedom to pull off ludicrous stunts and experiment with your weapons, vehicles, parachute and grappling hook to make you want to extend your stay in Panau's sandbox paradise indefinitely.
  22. 85
    It is good for a game not to take itself too seriously and let the player participate in its eccentric craziness.
  23. Just Cause 2 is an amazing title and certainly looking to be one of the best sand-box games of the year. It may not reproduce Grand Theft Auto IV's immersive storyline, but the level of fun to be had in Just Cause 2 is virtually unparalleled.
  24. 85
    Just Cause 2 gives you a quick story, one that certainly is not short. You'll fly with high speed through the different beautiful areas and varying landscapes. So Just Cause 2 is absolutely a must have!
  25. 85
    Although it's not an original game, Just Cause 2 takes standard ideas and pushes them to the extreme. While it might be lacking in originality and flair, there is no doubt that it's fun and at times thrilling, in a violent and destructive kind of way.
  26. It’s a game to lose yourself in, forget about what you’re supposed to be doing and just to explore and experiment. The Avalanche Engine 2.0 is a remarkable beast and Panau Island is a place that deserves to be explored by the masses.
  27. It doesn't have better shooting than Far Cry 2, better destruction than Red Faction, a better story than Grand Theft Auto, or better graphics than inFamous. What it does have, however, is fun, and what Just Cause 2 does, it does well.
  28. Just Cause 2 does what so many other open-world games try to and usually end up missing the target. Its huge world, insane gameplay, and amazing visuals will keep you blowing stuff up into the wee hours of the morning and not even blinking an eye.
  29. Avalanche has done a phenomenal job of capturing the most important element of any video game, and they've done while giving you one hell of a play.
  30. Just Cause 2 is brainless action at its best. A crazy game with astonishing situations all along that doesn’t take itself too serious.
  31. 84
    True, some elements of the game are by the numbers but when you’re dangling, one-armed, off a helicopter, taking out chasing vehicles with a rocket launcher, you can’t help but forgive Just Cause 2 some of its shortcomings.
  32. 84
    Just Cause 2 is huge. It has a big world to play in, you can drive, fly or sail to your destination and while you are on your way to get there you can do a lot of crazy stunts. This game is fun, really fun, with nice gameplay and graphics. The audio isn’t bad, but could have been better. If you like open world games and fun, then Just Cause 2 is surely a game for you!
  33. Just Cause 2 is way better than the first episode, much more action packed than the usual GTA style game, and also grants great fun thanks to the well devised grappling hook's mechanics. But the game it's not all just about shooting and grappling we can also drive more than one hundred vehicles and fly choppers, Cessna and powerful jet fighters.
  34. Panau, gorgeous and decorated with snowy peaks, deep jungles, and desert stretches, is the real main character.
  35. Sure, the missions get repetitive and the vehicle handling stinks, but for all that, Just Cause 2 is just plain fun.
  36. While it turns out more silly than satirical, the beauty of the game is Panau itself. An island nation that is interesting to explore and despicably fun to demolish.
  37. Pelit (Finland)
    Just Cause 2 delivers delightful, though at times repetitive, symphony of destruction. Up to par graphics and beautiful world keeps in its grip. [Mar 2010]
  38. Just Cause 2 is a sequel that outdoes the original with gripping gameplay, exquisite visuals and a variety of missions that will keep you playing longer than you might expect. If you're an action fan, you need this.
  39. Avalanche makes us proud to be swedes: an exhilirating sense of freedom coupled with that timeless satisfaction of just blowing stuff up makes Just Cause 2 a highly recommended action game.
  40. One of the most technically accomplished games around, Just Cause 2 succeeds in delivering both the best-looking and most pleasant open world to explore and some of the most thrilling and diverse ways of moving through it. Its thrills are intense and, for the first few hours, come fast and dizzying, dulling only when you start to see the dry order that lies behind the chaos.
  41. Just Cause 2 is a gorgeous, fun, rollercoaster of a game. It's far from perfect, but its best qualities shine through, leaving the lacklustre gunplay as more of a mildly unpleasant aftertaste than a meal ruining disaster. It's a game that begs to be messed around with, for you to discover new ways to use the tools at your disposal and to take it all in the light-hearted way the developer intended.
  42. A huge improvement over its predecessor, Just Cause 2 is a blast to play, offering a vast island to explore and great ways to do it... Unfortunately, the repetitive mission design and lousy script keep this from being a truly classic experience.
  43. Avalanche have managed to make the game feel alive with improved AI, plenty of rounded characters and a smooth learning curve assuming you take early advantage of the flexibility of the game’s key element: the grappling hook. Do so, and you’ll have nothing but fun.
  44. Just Cause 2 is pure fun. Panau Island is the perfect setting for a game like this, and it offers loads of places were to unleash the hell with big explosions and crazy fights. The graphic is sharp, and the global impression is always good. The game is just a little bit repetitive, but it's a quite small problem for this kind of experience.
  45. Chocked full of insane action and plenty of creative opportunities, and knows that ultimately it's all about having fun. It's a brash, no-brainer experience that gives everything you want from a sandbox game, but lets make sure the combat ramps up a notch in the next title.
  46. Just Cause 2 is an excellent game with some weaknesses that lower the overall quality of the game. But if you love extreme gameplay, you should to give a chance to this action and discover how beautiful Panau can be.
  47. Crazy stunts, a huge gameworld, and a playful attitude help Just Cause 2 overcome its annoyances.
  48. The island of Panau is like an amazing vacation filled with explosions and action. Just like a real holiday, you want to go home sometime but for as long as it takes Just Cause 2 is about as crazy and fun as an open world game can be.
  49. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    It succeeds throughout because every element feels like it's pulling its weight. Flying, driving, shooting, free roaming chaos, linear missions: Everything feels big and in your face. [Apr 2010, p.94]
  50. Just Cause 2 is very open when it comes to space, but not content. Nevertheless, it is a fresh gust of air that brings traditional action into something new. Forget story and common sense, Rico Rodriguez doesn’t apply to those earthly rules. “Ah, there’s my ride…”
  51. It could have been a bit better, but Just Cause 2 is a great videogame with good graphics, and a specially fun one during its first ten hours.
  52. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    There's just so much to do here and, when our creativity's at the top of its game, it's just so much fun to destroy. [May 2010, p.67]
  53. Just Cause 2 delivers a huge amount of vehicles, tons of enemy bases and installations to liberate and gameplay so extreme that you'll end up giggling in front of the screen.
  54. Just Cause 2 succeeds in its primary aim of dropping you into a ludicrously over the top action movie. The missions may not be very involving, but there's no denying that with the right tools there is a lot of destructive, albeit mindless, fun to be had in this picturesque playground.
  55. Though it has a fair few flaws, Just Cause 2 remains a high octane love letter to anyone who delights in exploration and destruction.
  56. AceGamez
    It’s is a huge-improvement over its erratic predecessor and the kind of top-notch, no-holds-barred, sandbox action game many people hoped Mercenaries 2 would be a couple of years ago.
  57. 'Just Cause 2' is an over-the-top sandboxed advocate for destruction.
  58. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Big, ballsy action let down by weak combat and nonsense story. [May 2010, p.92]
  59. The predominant factors in Just Cause 2 are unrealism and destruction, and it is these same factors that provide a fun never seen before.
  60. Just Cause 2 is the ultimate transition of the explosion-filled, stunt-heavy blockbuster action movie to the videogames medium. The spectacular grappling hook action takes place on the beautiful, humongous fictional island state of Pauna. The few flaws don’t hurt the overall experience at all.
  61. Just Cause 2 is essentially the video games equivalent of Die Hard. The story is not that interesting but, by God, the explosions and fun you'll have along the way are so worth it.
  62. If it weren’t for the bloated playtime and weak set of characters, JC2 would have reached its full potential and become a true franchise title.
  63. If there was one word I had to use to describe Just Cause 2, it would be 'ridiculous'. The game never takes itself seriously, which, for the most part, is a good thing. However, sometimes this lackadaisical approach extends into areas where it shouldn't, resulting in an often unpolished, even amateurish experience.
  64. Just Cause 2 can hardly be called an average game. It's a good one undermined by a selection of mediocre elements, and it's all the more frustrating this time around because Avalanche shows us glimpses of just how much fun two weeks on holiday with Rico should be. [Apr 2010, p.96]
  65. Just Cause 2's exploration and destruction isn't even that in-depth; it's quite generic, actually. Last year's unfortunately overlooked Red Faction: Guerrilla was far more explosive and destructive than Just Cause 2, not to mention an overall better looking, playing, sounding, and interesting game.
  66. GamePro
    While it's insane stunts and action-packed firefights ooze their own brand of explosive charm, Just Cause 2 falls victim to an unwieldy mission structure and unfortunate lack of variety. [April 2010, p.86]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 347 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 347
  1. justathought
    Mar 30, 2010
    The reviews of this game have been quite harsh. One claimed it was a toy not agame due to the thin plot, surely addictive gamplay is the The reviews of this game have been quite harsh. One claimed it was a toy not agame due to the thin plot, surely addictive gamplay is the deciding factor. This game is packed with fun gameplay and allows you the freedom to be creative. It looks awesome on a PS3. Zero screen tear with a huge beautiful environment. The water effects are amazing when the sunset ripples on the surface. You can even see the rock rippling under water when in the shallows. And best of all you can dive and swim among the seaweed and coral. Mission repeatition is not a problem, because you try different creative strategies. This varies the gameply. I don't mind the B movie voice acting because it is done on purpose for a laugh. It is a caricature of fun, not gritty realism. That sentence just about sums up the whole game really. It goes down as a classic in my book. The grappling hook implementation is a stroke of genius. If you love to explore in a huge tropical paradise, then you will be in heaven. The gunplay isn't as good as Uncharted 2, but it's not as bad as often claimed. One reviewer claimed the weapons were under powered, this is not true because he simply rushed through the main quest without searching for any of the secret weapon upgrades. Some even complain that the map is too big. How can you have too much of a good thing. The island of Panau is full of interesting detail. Everywhere you go, you come across all sorts of installations and settlements. This is a must have game, even if you just want to randomly dip your toes in and don't have the patience to finish it. The people that won't enjoy it are those who lack creativity and need to be led by the hand with a strong linear story. This is atrue sand box. You make your own story in a spectacular real time action movie. Full Review »
  2. mbx
    Jan 9, 2013
    Not quite a 10, but close. As an open world game one may feel inclined to compare this game to titles such as GTA 4, Sleeping Dogs, etc. ThoseNot quite a 10, but close. As an open world game one may feel inclined to compare this game to titles such as GTA 4, Sleeping Dogs, etc. Those games do not compare (although sleeping dogs does run on the same engine). For sheer chaos, Just Cause 2 blows those titles away. You can really **** **** up, just cause you can, and that's the brilliance of it. Why? Cause **** you....That's why.

    Gamers looking for a story should look elsewhere as this game's story is horrible. The thing that saves it is the fact that the game has a sense of humor; it takes its absurdity and runs with it, and that commands respect. It's good they didn't take it seriously. Cons: Voice acting, Story. The voice acting is like a mix of dialect from 5 separate languages.

    There is a massive world for you to explore, many bases, villages and cities to destroy, and it's quite long if you want it to be. Otherwise you can long in casually and **** **** up, just cause you can.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 10, 2011
    I really feel some games fall victim to some weird "reviewer" framework that has developed over the years. This is the case with Just Cause 2.I really feel some games fall victim to some weird "reviewer" framework that has developed over the years. This is the case with Just Cause 2. The critics feel compelled to go through a checklist of subjective cons and pros to calculate a score. Voice acting, check, graphics, check, physics check, compelling story, check, character models lip sync correctly, check, 20+hours of gameplay, check...etc. Now video game shopping has become like TV shopping! I'm looking at features and technical achievements when really I want to know is this product going to provide me with X amount of fun and experiences. Do the character's lips always sync correctly in Just Cause 2? No. Is the story super compelling and interesting all the time, not really. My only real knock against the game is that quite a few of the faction side missions are identical, which is a bit lame. But all the technical knocks, story, missions and other flaws of this game, it is still great fun, and that's what counts. A lot of other reviewers have described the WOW factor at thinking "I wonder if I can do this.." and always having the answer be YES in this game. That's what sandbox gaming is about. This game is fun period. I played over 12 hours before even attempting the first story mission. I might not make it to the second one! I've already got my money's worth from this game. So go read the positive critics reviews if you're on the fence, and if the gameplay sounds like something you'd like, you have to try this game out. But anyone who gives this game a low score needs to go review mobile phones or something, your talents at reviewing are being wasted on games :) Full Review »