“Grappling hook? What’s a grappling hook?”
This is the main question that fans of Just Cause 3 may ask themselves as they play the ‘Sky Fortress’ DLC. While this may intrude on one of the tools that has been instrumental since the beginning, it does allow for players that have not been eager to complete the campaign, or even liberate all the territories, to have fun in causing destruction from the sky using your new wingsuit complete with a machine gun, rockets, and booster.
From the start, players will notice a slight shift in the way the story is presented as there are no in game engine cut scenes for the DLC; they are replaced by still images instead with the voice overs, and occasional animation. At first, this may cause an eye roll of two as some may consider this change as lazy for the narrative. However, once you fly towards the Sky Fortress, you will see that some elements may have had to been put in the backseat or on the cutting floor for a decent reason.
The main plot of Sky Fortress is pretty generic as an evil corporation, named Eden, is attacking the citizens of Medici to take the material known as Bavarium. During the DLC’s campaign, you will fight mostly drones that are all controlled by an artificial intelligence, and soldiers carrying advanced automatic weapons that you can use. The meat of the story is when you first reach the sky fortress while rest is liberating a couple of more areas on the map; blowing up drones, towers, and such. Fortunately, the most fun and time that is spent is the unveiling of the fortress as you fly around it and underneath it to take out drones and other pieces, but the end of the story is a bit predictable and the final “battle” is very lackluster unfortunately.
The Sky Fortress is grand in both its appearance outside, and inside as well. In fact, it took some time to even realize that it is possible to fly underneath the fortress and land inside it. Some may not think much of it, but the sky fortress is a feat for the developers because of the consistent frame rate between flying around the fortress and shifting to the innards of it. While there are some parts that don’t use the new wingsuit consistently, there is still fun to be had regardless due to the fact that you now have the ability to travel the map without ever having to use your grappling hook. Don’t get me wrong, you will still have to use it occasionally, but never to travel from place to place.
While the ability to fly is the DLC’s greatest asset, it does have some flaws in the weapon department. As with other abilities in the game, you can upgrade the new wingsuit and it weapons by doing challenges. If you choose not to participate, you will have to wait for your machine gun to cool down and for a new rocket to load longer than necessary than anyone would like, but it’s not the worst thing to deal with.
The aiming is a task as you will only have your reticle if the camera is directly behind Rico. There is no aiming when you are turning and sometimes if you gaining altitude. While the ability to fly is great, when you have helicopters on your tail that are locked on, it is hard to fight back; but then again you can just boost yourself away from the action and come back. There will also be those pesky times when you crash land, and try to take off only to realize that there is something above that you will run into.
In spite of the removal of the in game engine cut scenes, predictable story, and the aiming issues that are pretty minuscule in the grand scheme of things, Just Cause 3: Sky Fortress DLC is a great start and provides those who are intimidated by a huge map to go and complete more of the game. While some may argue that it takes away from the grappling hook, and the taking of different vehicles, I say that it takes Just Cause to a whole new, great level, and I am curious what Avalanche have up their sleeve next.