Sometimes you just want a game that you can load up and blow stuff up in, doing all that with a group of friends and preferably in a friendly setting. Well, most games don’t really have that. And out of the group of friends I play games with, two of them tend to not have money to spend on games, meaning we have to find cheap or free games that fulfill our destructive needs.
Just Cause 2 Multiplayer is one such game. Sort of. Firstly, it’s worth noting that multiplayer for Just Cause 2 is a massive mod that an insane team of people put together. Secondly, while there are things to blow up, Just Cause 2 is a strange, strange beast.
The first thing we realised is that Just Cause 2 servers are weird. And mostly empty. I suppose the game IS fucking ancient, so there’s not going to be many people playing. The first server we jumped into though had glowing ‘paint’ spewed all over it, as it let players not only buy any weapon or vehicle they wanted but also allowed you to draw on the map itself. Because you spawn high up in the air in Just Cause 2 and have to parachute down, you get a pretty delightful view of what’s potentially years and years of people drawing on the map. Sure, there are a lot of curse words, swastikas and penises drawn all over the map but if you drop over a rather quiet area, you can just see glowing lights in the distance.
We also quickly realised that there are no NPCs. There are vehicles, yes, but no people. The only people you can blow up are other players. And ourselves, as some of these servers seemed to have infinite grenades, fired by pressing right click. There weren’t many people playing while we were playing. I think I saw about 5 other people total in each of the servers we joined and I didn’t see any of them in person because the Just Cause 2 map is absolutely huge. We didn’t need other people though, we were busy blowing each other up, driving trucks off cliffs and flying planes really badly. Most of our deaths were from grenades or vehicles and often self-caused.
These servers, weirdly, felt a bit like Minecraft servers. The games aren’t related in any way, but they did all have their own advertising, rules, branding, things like that, making them all unique. Strange currencies, teleporters… One server I joined had a cool ‘factions’ system which allowed you to claim a military base as your own! All strange, wonderful things, but all sadly leftovers of a long gone golden age. What we were seeing was the tail end of the Just Cause 2 Multiplayer Mod experience. An empty map with cool vehicles and locations but no life.
It’s genuinely an impressive map that you can explore almost every nook and cranny of, since you can just go to the international airport and steal a plane or helicopter and no one will stop you. Which makes it more of a shame that there are no NPCs and not enough other players to make use of all this space, which includes things like a real night and day cycle, some pretty varied biomes and a rather impressive weather system! I almost wish I could go back in time to see a Just Cause 2 server when it’s actually got lots of people in it.
What I really want is a larger multiplayer of Saints Row 2 or 3, but for silliness and driving around? Just Cause 2 multiplayer would be a great choice if the game was a bit more likely.
Now I just need to play normal Just Cause 2 and see what that’s like…