Review: Just Cause 3: Air, Land and Sea Expansion Pass
Editor’s Note: This review only features the first of the three downloadable content – Sky Fortress – that is available individually and part of Just Cause 3’s Air, Land and Sea Expansion Pass. The review will be updated throughout the coming months after the release of Land Mech Assault and Bavarium Sea Heist, which will reflect on the global score and verdict.
Months after its launch on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, we travel back to Medici with destruction-frenzy Rico Rodriguez at your service, thanks to the first part of Just Cause 3: Air, Land and Sea Expansion Pass, known as Sky Fortress. If you missed the actual Just Cause 3 review on our site, do check it out before continuing, as I won’t be going that much into the core game’s details, but will solely focus on Sky Fortress, dedicated to expand the game with new content, but also new gameplay mechanics to refresh the experience.
While the majority of developers and publishers tend to expand on story content with new missions when it comes to DLC, Just Cause 3’s Sky Fortress is more of a traditional expansion pack. Themed after the Air element, the expansion takes Rico to the sky, with a panoply of new toys made to adapt to its aerial Mediterranean conquest. The first gadget upgrade that with catch your attention is the new wingsuit, which is pretty futuristic, transforming our modern times hero into a real Iron Man. With the latter, visibly enhanced by Bavarium, Rico can not only glide with his wingsuit, but also propels himself to the sky like some sort of rocket. Thus, our stereotypical badass hero is transformed into a fighter jet and with even integrated gatling guns and a missile launcher with lockable aim. Yes, because if Just Cause 3 was already over the top with our hero riding nuclear missiles in the air with his grappling hook, the developers figured they should up the notch by turning him into War Machine. But sincerely, this Bavarium Wingsuit brings an undeniable new levels in gameplay. One last additional thing to note is the addition of an allied drone, which follows you around and can kill and distract enemies while remaining under cover. The latter is also introduced within seconds of arriving at the Sky Fortress.
While the reason for such an addition may seem unnecessary at first, especially with the island of Medici level design, which greatly relies on the vertical travelling, the “normal” wingsuit and various land, sea and air vehicles were sufficient. However, this Bavarium wingsuit is quickly justified because of a new enemy and a new area to wreak destruction: the Eden Corporation and its flying base full of hostile drones and cyber-guards. Thus, as you guessed, the Sky Fortress.
A curious concept that causes a clash of genres in the peaceful landscape of the idyllic archipelago, which usually serves as our battlefields, the Sky Fortress is one hell of a beast lurking in the sky, ready to wreak havoc on humanity. It’s almost like an immobile UFO at first sight, which becomes as menacing as a mothership from Independence Day or District 9 when you get close to it. This new zone also gives you a hard time and is fairly difficult to approach. I recommend you to get used first at perfecting your new wingsuit control from your first hours of game if you have the DLC. The Sky Fortress is divided into two zones, heavily defended and will require you to survey it properly before you can attempt your first sabotage. You should note that the content is implemented directly in the main game open world and offers less than a half-dozen complete missions (with cut-scenes) and some challenges dedicated to your new suit.
The few missions of the DLC can be identified on the map via a specific marker, and can be performed during your main adventure after some progress in the core story. This new wingsuit can also be used in the initial missions but everything has been balanced to prevent making the challenge easier, especially with your new Bavarium-powered assault rifle called the Bavarium Splitter. Gear mods also affects the Rico new tools, and offers 10 relatively conventional improvements (like recharge speed, missile and boost efficiency etc), which are unlocked through the challenges across the island. I just wish that apart from the ability to fly freely, Rico would’ve acquired new creative asset to fool around with the insane physics engine of the original game.
Just Cause 3: Air, Land and Sea Expansion Pass first part, Sky Fortress, was reviewed using an Xbox One downloadable code of the game provided by Square Enix. The DLC is also available on PlayStation 4 and PC. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published
• New gameplay mechanics add a fresh take on the original one
• Rico: The Human Jet
• That Sky Fortress can be a real challenge for some
• Still a blast playing with the physics of the engine
• The replay factor of retrying the old missions with the new gadgets
• Just Cause 3 seems to have gotten better than during the launch period
• The actual expansion is only limited to 4-5 hours of new missions
• Expensive as a standalone, in comparison to buying it with the season pass
• Still some small technical problems from the original game