Genre: Action, Adventure
Developer: Avalanche Studios
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: Mar 08, 2016
Available Platforms: Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Reviewed Platforms: Playstation 4
Just Cause 3’s Sky Fortress DLC might be the best 5 hours spent in Just Cause 3 yet. It is hard to think of playing this game without the additions this content brings as it is such a great improvement. I can say that none of this feels like it was content purposefully held back, and has been worth the wait. Just Cause 3‘s first DLC is an impressive start for what could be a great Expansion Pass.
The DLC content can be accessed very early into the game, with a PR document stating specifically the mission, “A Terrible Reaction” which is the first hour or so of the game. Or you can start it from wherever you left off later in the game. Either way, this is nothing but accessible and improves the game immensely by starting it as soon as you can.
The first mission introduces you to a wingsuit upgrade that changes the game, quite literally. It essentially makes you Falcon from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”. You now have a container that has Bavarium which propels you through a boost mechanic. Once you get the weapons turned on, machine-gun and rockets, you are a part-man and part-jet. From wading in water, you can take off into the skies without having to call in a boat, wait for someone, or swim back to shore. The wingsuit allows for wall-jumping, and slowing completely down to a safe stop without the need of grappling or a parachute.
Continuing the story of Sky Fortress will require a bit of work. Known as the eDEN Airship, it is basically the S.H.I.E.L.D. Carrier from “The Avengers” (someone at Avalanche really likes Marvel). The sky fortress is actually treated like a province, and the bow and stern of the ship are two cities within it to be liberated. From start to finish, it took me over an hour to liberate the eDEN Airship. That was an amazing period of time spent, it was exciting to dismantle the defenses one-by-one as I flew around it, I rarely ever touched foot on a solid surface.
When you’ve liberated the eDEN Airship, you make available three wingsuit challenges that rely on the boost feature, and one wingsuit challenge which tests your weapon handling while in the air. Completing them allows you to upgrade the wingsuit to reduce cooldown, more missiles, and better boosting. It’ll also give you the ability for a unique rebel drop, a drone that will fight on your end.
If there was anything about the DLC to complain about, it would be the cutscenes. They are lacking in presentation as they are used to move the story along, but aren’t in-engine like the rest of the game. They are just still drawings with some slight animation. They look great, but are a stark contrast from the main game cutscenes. But if I had to choose where Avalanche spends their time, cutscenes is not where I would want that to be spent.
What’s also good in this Sky Fortress DLC, are the new threats which are all Bavarium-infused drones and soldiers, a resource heavily sought after in the main game. Drones scatter all over the airship, and no matter whether you destroy the drone factories, they will still swarm and target you with their missiles. Thankfully using the evasion on the wingsuit helps alleviate these threats.
The Just Cause 3: Sky Fortress DLC is incredibly strong, and so is almost everything around it. If this DLC only included the wingsuit upgrades and nothing else, I would still recommend it because of how well it integrates and ultimately improves the core game, but thankfully that isn’t it. The short story told here is interesting, and the airship is intricately detailed and fun to explore. Whether you own the Expansion Pass or buy this DLC independently, it is absolutely worth it.
Retails for: $11.99, Recommended Purchase Price: $9.99
(part of the Expansion Pass for $24.99)
A PlayStation 4 Air, Land, and Sea Expansion Pass code was provided by the publisher for review purposes