Just Cause (video game)

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Just Cause
Box art, featuring Rico Rodriguez
Developer(s)Avalanche Studios
Publisher(s)Eidos Interactive
Director(s)Christofer Sundberg
Producer(s)Fredrik Sjöö
Designer(s)Magnus Nedfors
Programmer(s)Andreas Thorsen
Sara Roos
Fredrik Lönn
Artist(s)Stefan Ljungqvist
Writer(s)Odd Ahlgren
Matthew J. Costello
Neil Richards
Composer(s)Rob Lord
SeriesJust Cause
EngineAvalanche Engine Edit this on Wikidata
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360
  • EU: 22 September 2006
  • NA: 27 September 2006
  • AU: 29 September 2006

Just Cause is an action-adventure video game set in an open world environment. It is developed by Swedish developer Avalanche Studios and published by Eidos Interactive, and is the first game in the Just Cause series. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Xbox 360. The area explored during the game is described as being over 250,000 acres (1,012 km2; 391 sq mi) in size,[citation needed] with 21 story missions and over 300 side missions to complete.[1]

As of 23 April 2009, it has sold more than one million copies.[2] A sequel to the game developed by Avalanche Studios, published by Eidos Interactive and distributed by Square Enix, titled Just Cause 2, was released on 23 March 2010. Just Cause 3 was revealed on 11 November 2014 and released on 1 December 2015. Just Cause 4 was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on December 4, 2018. From October 2018, five weeks before the Just Cause 4 release, Just Cause was made Backwards Compatible with Xbox One[3], as a result making it available for the first time on the Xbox Marketplace, 12 years since its initial release. Besides Microsoft Windows, this makes it the only other platform where all the Just Cause franchise can be owned.


Just Cause begins with Rico Rodriguez, an operative for an organization known as the Agency, being dropped into a Caribbean tropical island called San Esperito, after being called there by his commanding officer, Tom Sheldon, to help overthrow San Esperito's dictator, Salvador Mendoza, whom the Agency believes to be in possession of weapons of mass destruction.[4] After his arrival, Rico meets up with Sheldon and fellow agent Maria Kane, and they ally themselves with a guerrilla group staging a rebellion against the regime and the Rioja drug cartel, another enemy of the government. Rico assists them in their civil war against Mendoza's corrupt officials; Black Hand mercenaries and the Montano cartel. Rico can also assist in the liberation of various territories to further destabilize the government's rule over the island.

Eventually, Sheldon discovers that Mendoza does, indeed, have control of WMDs, and with San Esperito so politically unstable and with the guerrillas having the upper hand, the president is forced to retreat to his private presidential island just off the mainland. Sheldon and Kane fly Rico to the island to kill Mendoza, but he attempts to escape via jet. However, Rico boards the jet and kills Mendoza and his remaining bodyguards, ending his reign over the islands.[5]


The core gameplay consists of elements of a third-person shooter and a driving game, with a large, open world environment in which to move. On foot, the player's character is capable of walking, swimming, and jumping, as well as utilizing weapons and basic hand-to-hand combat. Players can take control of a variety of vehicles, including cars, boats, fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, and motorcycles. Players can also perform stunts with their cars in which they can stand on the roof and jump to another car, or choose to open their parachute while still in motion on the roof. Other key features of the game include skydiving, base jumping, and parasailing (by latching onto a moving car or boat while one's parachute is deployed).

The open, non-linear environment allows players to explore and choose how they wish to play the game. Although storyline missions are necessary to progress through the game, players can complete them at their own leisure. When not taking on a storyline mission, players can roam freely. However, doing so can attract unwanted and potentially fatal attention from the authorities.

The player can also partake in a variety of optional side missions, for example, liberating a village or taking over a drug cartel hideout. These are necessary to gain points with certain factions.


Review scores
PCPS2XboxXbox 360
CGM2.5/5 stars[6]N/AN/AN/A
FamitsuN/AN/AN/A(X360) 32/40[9]
Game Informer7.25/10[10]7.25/10[10]7.25/10[10]7.25/10[10]
GameSpyN/AN/AN/A3/5 stars[14]
IGN6.8/10[18]5.5/10[19]6.8/10[20](UK) 8.8/10[21]
(US) 6.8/10[22]
OPM (US)N/A4/10[23]N/AN/A
OXM (US)N/AN/A8/10[24]8.5/10[25]
PC Gamer (US)93%[26]N/AN/AN/A
The Sydney Morning Herald3/5 stars[27]3/5 stars[27]3/5 stars[27]3/5 stars[27]
The Times5/5 stars[28]5/5 stars[28]5/5 stars[28]5/5 stars[28]
Aggregate score

The PC version of Just Cause received "generally favourable reviews", while the rest of the console versions received "average" reviews, according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[29][30][31][32] In Japan, where the Xbox 360 version was ported for release under the name Just Cause: Viva Revolution (JUST CAUSE(ジャストコーズ) 〜ビバ・レボリューション〜, Jasuto Kōzu 〜Biba Reboryūshon〜) and published by Electronic Arts on 8 November 2007, Famitsu gave it a score of 31 out of 40, while Famitsu Xbox 360 gave it a score of one seven, one eight, one nine, and one eight for a total of 32 out of 40.[9]

IGN noted that the gameplay of the same console version lacked depth and that the side quests are boring and repetitive.[22] The game suffers from its share of bug-related issues though, as noted by many reviewers, who felt the game may have been "rushed" to market without sufficient time to fix certain problems.[8] The PlayStation 2 version, in particular, suffers from a number of 'game-killing' bugs that render certain missions impossible to complete, or the entire game unplayable until it is reset. Eidos had not released a patch for the PC or Xbox 360 versions of the game.

The Times gave the game all five stars and said, "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."[28] Edge gave the Xbox 360 version seven out of ten and said, "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."[33] However, 411Mania gave the same console version 6.5 out of 10 and called it "a fun game but only a must-own by a wide stretch of the imagination."[34] The Sydney Morning Herald gave the game three stars out of five and said, "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 Grand Theft Auto and others, but the mindless action is still good dumb fun."[28]

The Xbox 360 version stayed on top of the Xbox 360 sales chart in the UK for three weeks in a row.[35]


  1. ^ Douglass C. Perry (22 August 2006). "Just Cause Hands-on". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Corporate Strategy Meeting" (PDF). Square Enix. 22 April 2009. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Xbox One Backward Compatibility List | Xbox". Xbox.com. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  4. ^ Ricardo Torres (26 April 2006). "E3 06: Just Cause First Look". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Just Cause: Special Vehicle FAQ". GamersHell. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Just Cause". Computer Games Magazine. January 2007. p. 72.
  7. ^ a b c EGM staff (November 2006). "Just Cause (PS2, Xbox, X360)". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 209. Ziff Davis.
  8. ^ a b Kristan Reed (25 September 2006). "Just Cause (Xbox 360)". Eurogamer. Gamer Network.
  9. ^ a b c "ジャストコーズ 〜ビバ・レボリューション〜 [Xbox 360]". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d Jeremy Zoss (October 2006). "Just Cause". Game Informer. No. 162. GameStop. p. 93. Archived from the original on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  11. ^ Mr. Marbles (25 September 2006). "Review: Just Cause (X360)". GamePro. IDG Entertainment. Archived from the original on 5 November 2006. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  12. ^ a b c Ryan Davis (21 September 2006). "Just Cause Review (PC, Xbox, X360)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  13. ^ Ryan Davis (21 September 2006). "Just Cause Review (PS2)". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  14. ^ Justin Leeper (21 September 2006). "GameSpy: Just Cause (X360)". GameSpy. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Just Cause Review (X360)". GameTrailers. Viacom. 2 October 2006. Archived from the original on 4 February 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  16. ^ John Wrentmore (23 October 2006). "Just Cause - XB - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 7 October 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  17. ^ Louis Bedigian (9 October 2006). "Just Cause - 360 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  18. ^ Erik Brudvig (26 September 2006). "Just Cause Review (PC)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  19. ^ Erik Brudvig (18 September 2006). "Just Cause Review (PS2)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  20. ^ Erik Brudvig (18 September 2006). "Just Cause Review (Xbox)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  21. ^ Matt Wales (18 September 2006). "Just Cause [UK] Review (X360)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  22. ^ a b Erik Brudvig (18 September 2006). "Just Cause Review (X360)". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  23. ^ "Just Cause". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. Ziff Davis. November 2006. p. 117.
  24. ^ "Just Cause (Xbox)". Official Xbox Magazine. Future US. December 2006. p. 84.
  25. ^ "Just Cause (X360)". Official Xbox Magazine. Future US. November 2006. p. 72.
  26. ^ "Just Cause". PC Gamer. Vol. 13 no. 12. Future US. December 2006. p. 52.
  27. ^ a b c d Eliot Fish (7 October 2006). "Just Cause". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  28. ^ a b c d e f Tim Wapshott (23 September 2006). "Just Cause". The Times. News UK. Archived from the original on 29 September 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2018.(subscription required)
  29. ^ a b "Just Cause for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  30. ^ a b "Just Cause for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  31. ^ a b "Just Cause for Xbox Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  32. ^ a b "Just Cause for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  33. ^ Edge staff (November 2006). "Just Cause (X360)". Edge. No. 168. Future plc. p. 82.
  34. ^ Chris McCarver (9 October 2006). "Just Cause (Xbox 360) Review". 411Mania. Archived from the original on 30 October 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  35. ^ "TOP 20 MICROSOFT XBOX 360 (FULL PRICE), WEEK ENDING 30 September 2006". Chart-Track. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.

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