Coming as the third part of a trilogy of downloadable add-ons for Just Cause 3, Bavarium Sea Heist aims to go out with a bang, but ends up with more of a whimper. The three DLC packs have all shared the same flaw – that they diminish, or side-step entirely, the core things that made the main Just Cause 3 experience an enjoyable one – rather than adding to it.
In the pack, you get two story missions – in which you obtain a new Rocket Boat named the Loochador – which is the new fastest boat in the game, if only because its Nitro tank is far larger than all other sea vessels – and where you learn of another abandoned eDEN location, a series of floating platforms called the Stingray, where they once performed Weather experiments that went horribly wrong. The Black Hand have not got their “hands” on the eDEN technology, and Rico needs to prevent them wreaking havoc.
The two missions are pretty lengthy, but there isn’t actually much for you to do. They are made up largely of travelling a long way between different settlements and locations, liberating them before moving onto another one, which is again pretty far away. The Loochador should help with this, but boats have never been all that satisfying in Just Cause 3, and there are still issues with aiming, even if this Rocket Boat is equipped with lots of fancy weapons.
The big issue with travelling around by boat, is that the core gameplay of using the grappling hook / parachute combination to traverse is almost entirely negated. The times where I feel Just Cause 3 is always most satisfying and enjoyable, are those when you are successfully chaining together grapples and gliding to good effect, zipping from one location to another. Spreading out the settlements on sea platforms miles apart from one another makes this defunct, and leaves you to put up with the fairly boring boat transport.
The DLC does introduce a fun new weapon – but this isn’t made available to you until right at the end of the final mission. The eDEN Spark harnesses lightning and dispatches it like the Hammer or Dawn in Gears of War – raining down lightning from above on unsuspecting groups of enemies. But sadly, most people who play this DLC will have completed the main game already, and be at the end of the final add-on that is ever going to be produced for it. So what use is there for an all-powerful weapon when there is no-one left to fight? The gun is very over-powered as well, which only adds to the feeling of general imbalance that has been brought by the Wing Suit, Mechs and the rest, which have been introduced in the three-part download series.
Outpost liberation may have made up a large part of Just Cause 3, but it certainly wasn’t one of the most enjoyable aspects. It is a shame therefore that this DLC centres almost entirely on this part of the gameplay, with precious little else to do (aside from driving your boat). Other than liberating the areas found in the Stingray area, there is one new challenge too. This is a very basic challenge though and simply involves wave after wave of enemies being destroyed by your OP new weapon. This is not a challenging extra, and won’t keep anyone busy for long.
The only really interesting additions made with the Bavarium Sea Heist, is that of eighteen new collectable audio tapes. These help to flesh out the story behind the collapse of the eDEN corporation and the events of all three DLC episodes. This is surprising as the other two episodes were so light on storyline, but it is really nice that we are at least treated to a bit of explanation and expanded backstory – however this is another missed opportunity, as being collectable items, many players will just skip or miss these entirely.
As a conclusion to the overall Just Cause 3 experience, and an extension of what the game did well, the Bavarium Sea Heist fails in both respects. By focusing on core gameplay mechanics that were never fun – and actually discouraging the ones that gamers liked most – this add-on feels very poorly judged by the development team. The extra vehicles and weapons brought to us throughout the episodic add-ons only serve to make the overall experience messier and less focused, and I was left just wanting to strap back into my parachute, and leave the gadgets alone. sometimes the simpler things are the more enjoyable ones.