At PAX Australia 2015 shanethegamer.com’s Grant and Jude sat down with Roland Lesterlin, Game Director of Just Cause 3.
Grant: Hi Roland, thanks for taking the time out to talk to us today.
Roland: No problem.
Jude: Right, let’s get straight into it. Can you tell about the story in Just Cause 3?
Roland: This time, we wanted to explore who Rico Rodriguez is, what makes him a dictator removal specialist and how did he became who he is. To do that we explored his childhood. Rico was born in Mexico but hespent much of his childhood inMedici. While in his teenage years, General Di Ravellotook power in a military coup on a memorable evening now known as the night of the bonfires.
In that military coup his parents were killed and Rico had to flee the island. Escaping, he ended up meeting Sheldon at the agency which led to the events of Just Cause and Just Cause 2. Now that he has learned to depose dictators on his own, a nice and rather unique skill set to have, he has come home to confront the dictator that started it all for him.
It is really fun to do that because we bring in some of his childhood friends.Despite what Rico has become, all his buddies treat him the same way. It was really fun to write characters that knew Rico from well before and watch him slowly soften over the course of the story. You can see the human inside of Rico. It is a little bit different because he does care about the island somewhat, I mean he does blow up most of the island but that is because it’s fun.
Grant: Just Cause 3 prides itself on an open-world experience. What improvements would you say Just Cause 3 has made compared to the previous instalments?
Roland: Pretty much everything. We have improved the underlying technology, so we can now carve huge caves and tunnels into the landscape. This allowed us to make bases within giant cave systems.
We have also introduced multiple grapples, the ability to control tension of the grapple and the wingsuit whichprovides a new way to move around. We slowed down the parachute so you can really fight from the air much easier, which means you can take down an entire base without ever touching the ground.
It’s a unique game that gets off the horizontal plain and up into the air, we wanted to make that as seamless as possible. There is now a mod system where you don’t really upgrade Rico anymore, instead you modify his equipment.
We spent as much time as we could figuring how to get out of the way of the player. It’s your sandbox first. We have made the wood outline, put all the sand in it and shoved a bunch of toys in there, now use your imagination and create something fun. That is the quintessential side that is Just Cause.
Vehicles got completely redone from the ground up. Some people were saying it wasn’t weighty enough and we went out and said “hey what developers in the world want to come and make better vehicles in Just Cause 3?”. We got people from the Need for Speed andBurnout series to raise their hand and join us. Now we have really good drifting andyou can even steer a car in the air.
In destruction we have worked a lot with Havokto put HavokDestruction in the game. This allowed us to demolish bridges with real time simulation so the chunks actually break apart and hit each othermeaning a bridge will be destroyed differently every time.
All military infrastructure you blow up to free the world is physicalized, it’s no longer about a health meter. So you can grapple it, pull it down, tether it to a helicopter, take it with it you and drop it on something else. All those little things allow you to play with the world a little bit more.
Jude: You mentioned a couple of gadgets earlier, what is your favourite one and why?
Roland: Rico is equipped with planted explosives that never run out of ammo. There is however a limit as to how many can be placed at one time with a max of five when fully upgraded.
The planted explosives can be moddedto create booster engines so you can send things or people flying. You can even turn them into a proximity mine so it will only explode when it’s near any enemy. If you think of all the ways you could move something that you can plant near an enemy, be it on a person and grapple them into that person.You can plant them on the side of the car of a civilian driving through a checkpoint. When they check out the car the whole thing explodes. That’s the sort of stuff that makes you smile because you’re messing with the system.
Grant: There will be no multiplayer at launch, what is the reasoning behind this and is it something you’re looking to add later on?
Roland Lesterlin: Doing multiplayer right demands an enormous amount of attention. There are a lot of amazing multiplayer games out there but I don’t think we should forget there should be great single player games out there.
When we first startedplaying withJust Cause 3, we started looking at what the community did and how they played the game. It almost felt like more of a spectator sport. The rise of the YouTubers in the worldideally fit with what Just Cause is, an entertainment platform, where you can do what you want.We sat with Sony, Microsoft and Valve and they all had these features they were going to roll out in the subsequent yearsthat was about sharing videos and about uploading your favourite moments. That felt like the thing we should really be focussed on,getting as many crazy physics systems and all that into the game and making this a highly polished single-player experience.
With what happens later, there are modders out there, maybe the same way the moddedJust Cause 2, they will mod Just Cause 3. It’s up to the modders though, it’s their time.
Jude: Finally,Can you summarise Just Cause 3 in a few words?
Roland: Just Cause 3 is a highly explosive action sandbox with a sense of humour about both itself and the world around it.
Just Cause 3 is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.