Owen Good posted a confession over at Kotaku that there’s 400 games he’s played that he will never finish. He started the piece by talking about all the games he just downloaded from the Playstation Network just because he’s a PS Plus member, and the games were free.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine? Did I have any interest in that game before now? No. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light? I wasn’t even aware of that until it showed up. Sure, I’d been meaning to get around to inFamous 2, but Choplifter HD? Really? Why?
I chuckled, because I’ve been spending the last few weeks being mildly amused by all of these titles (with the exception of Infamous 2, which I’ve already devoured). But the best because-it’s-free title I’ve “rented” as a PS Plus member so far is Just Cause 2.
This game is a total high-fructose corn syrup. Aside from wonky auto-targeting, it’s a solidly built sandbox shooter set in a gigantic, gorgeous tropical setting. Plenty of stuff to find; plenty of stuff to blow up. If you turn off your brain and ignore the superfluous “story,” Just Cause 2 is just a few hours of stupid self-indulgence.
But it’s not a game for junior.
While adults may find the racist caricatures, cardboard characters and ultra violence to be a shallow division, it’s not the kind of low tide garbage you want to dump into a young mind without heavy doses of context.
Furthermore, there is no ready way to explain to a child how the hell the game’s physics make any sense. The “realistic” setting contrasts sharply the fact that there is no plausible explanation given for how Rico Rodriguez (really, that’s his name?) can pull an infinite number of parachutes out of his ass. In real life, Rico would have to haul a spool of wire behind him and have his arm bionically enhanced in order for his magic hookshot to have any chance of actually working. But no amount of Neutonian noodling will get you an explanation for how his hookshot saves his free-falling body from terminal velocity impact by pulling him toward the ground faster.