Just Cause 4 reminds me of Tim Allen’s old standup act, where he’d complain about a power tool in his yard or garage not having enough power, and then the punchline would be, “So I rewired it” with that animalistic grunt for a chaser. Just Cause has always been a potent sandbox — a power tool in its own right — rife with possibility for players to wreak untold havoc and destruction. But Just Cause 4 doesn’t just offer more ways to wreck shop. Instead, developer Avalanche Studios rewired the whole damn thing.
And by that I mean they threw away their old game engine, which had been added on and upgraded to for years, and installed the bespoke APEX engine — complete with physics-based rendering, actual wind, and a totally new animation system. And though I didn’t get to play it myself, I did see the team’s most recent build running in real-time on a PC, and it is no joke. When I sat down to see Just Cause 4, I expected more of the playground of destruction that the series is known for. But I honestly wasn’t expecting Avalanche to have taken it this far. There’s even a tornado! (More on that shortly.)