Game - Just Cause 3 Mech Land Assault DLC
Release Date - June 3rd, 2016 (pass holders) June 10th (non-pass)
Platform - Xbox One (reviewed) PS4, PC
Developer/ Publisher - Avalanche Studios, Square Enix
The Mech Land Assault DLC is the second DLC pack for Just Cause 3 following up on the previously released Sky Fortress. It's the land portion of the Air, Land and Sea expansion pack and, of course, it comes fully equipped with its own brand of goodies.
Just as Sky Fortress introduced the Bavarium powered wingsuit, Mech Land Assault introduces robotic powered mechs and an all new gravity gun. Upon loading up the game, you get a message from Sheldon informing you that the Black Hand group has been conducting some not so legal activities on the island of Medici. Once you complete a short tutorial, you're sent to the Northwest corner of the island to investigate, and this is where the fun begins. Cinematic cut scenes are again traded in for voice acting over static images just as in Sky Fortress. You arrive at the island of Lacrima, a remote island that the Black Hand is using to develop Mech technology. With the aid of the new Bavarium core rifle to take down their shields, you are able to hijack the Mechs to use at your disposal.
The Mechs introduce new features and mechanics that lead right into the first big mission after the tutorial. New weapons such as a gravity gun, turret rifle and pulse punch are added to an already expansive repertoire for Rico, yet surprisingly it doesn't feel like overkill. The gravity gun lets you pick up items and hurl them anywhere across the map, while the pulse is just a giant punch used to take down a wall, enemies or anything else for that matter. They withstand a massive amount of damage and allow you to take down some provinces with ease. I'm not sure why, but there's something about the shear beauty of using a giant robot to pick up an enemy soldier and fling him a hundred feet into a gas tank in order to have it explode and collapse down on top of him. Hey, don't judge me! It's Just Cause 3 after all!
Unlike Sky Fortress, Mech Land Assault introduces more missions as well as liberation levels that you will need to complete. Since the Black Hand is kidnapping citizens of Medici, you'll need to liberate them from their detention camps prior to completing the main levels of the DLC. Some of these camps have mechs on locations while others do not. Unlike the main game where grinding to liberate provinces can often feel like a chore, the Mech Land Assault missions blend everything together nicely. Mech Land Assault gives you more for your money while Sky Fortress was more streamlined with only a couple of missions.
These liberation levels are a bit long, as you'll need to free up three provinces each with multiple locations. In total, Mech Land Assault is a larger pack gametime wise as you'll spend about 3-4 hours completing missions. Sky Fortress took at most two and a half, and that includes getting used to the new wingsuit controls. Mech Land Assault is a pure DLC, opposed to Sky Fortress which acts as more of an expansion with the manner in which its items carried over to the main game. For this reason, the lack of time in Sky Fortress was acceptable, and I'm glad they expanded on Mech Land Assault seeing the differences between the two packs.
The DLC wouldn't be complete without your typical Just Cause 3 humor. The Mech's voice is none other than EDEN from Sky Fortress, and she even adjusts the lumbar settings to your liking. All of this along with Rico saying "Oh yeah, this is going to be good" and Mech Land Assault makes for a pretty complete DLC. Personally, I enjoyed Sky Fortress more for the way it transitioned into the main game, but Mech Assault's pure DLC enjoyment shouldn't be missed either. Two types of Mechs are available at your disposal, and you can even take out helicopters with them from the sky. If that's not enough, you can even call in a rebel mech buddy to help you deal out twice as many bad ass explosions. My main worry was the maneuverability of the Mech's, but that was quickly squashed. They are situated on a rotating chassis which turns in tandem with the wheels and allows for a full 360 degree range of motion.
The number of performance issues have also dramatically decreased since launch. A patch just prior to Sky Fortress pretty much eliminated all of them. Since the first DLC launched we haven't experienced any issues, and Mech Land Assault went off flawlessly as well. To my surprise, even picking up large objects and hurling them into gas tankers to cause an explosion went off without a hitch.
The pack is available now for $11.99, or free as part of the Expansion Pass for $24.99. The next pack, The Bavarium Sea Heist, will be released prior to the end of Summer with pass holders getting one week early access as well.