Earthworm Jim was a worm that gained the ability to walk, and talk, and shoot things with a laser gun thanks to a “super suit” that fell from space and landed on his particular patch of backyard dirt. Sometimes, if Jim didn’t feel like shooting things, he could tell the suit—which he could command telepathically with his mighty worm mind—to whip him at enemies, or stretch him across hooks to swing across canyons. Later, Jim would use his new-found powers to launch a cow into space using a see-saw and fridge, which would sadly backfire as the cow came crashing back down to earth, crushing his girlfriend.

In the ’90s, we accepted this. That worms lack the mental capacity to control a sophisticated piece of space machinery like a super-suit, or the requisite sexuality to necessitate having a girlfriend wasn’t important. Video games were video games; as long as they were fun and didn’t require us to purchase a pointless peripheral to play them, realism didn’t matter. Those days are long gone. Oh sure, there are all kinds of wacky (and brilliant) indie games out there that go some way towards filling that worm-shaped hole, but as soon as you throw a few hundred polygons in there, it’s goodbye super-fun-times, hello gritty realism.

Which is exactly why Just Cause 3 is something of a rarity. While there are plenty of shooty-shooty bang bangs, and military-themed theatrics, they’re not attached to some developer’s warped (read: terrible) interpretation of a Hollywood blockbuster. Hell, Hollywood film-making is practically ancient at this point: it needs to be taken down a peg every now and then, which JC3 does admirably.

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