Just Cause 4 is already known for all the insane things you can do in the world, whether that means gliding through the sky after jumping off of a plane with your parachute to grappling a missile, tethering it to a solider and then watching him rocket up into the sky after igniting the said missile. Every iteration of the game increases the options available to you, but the upgrades don't just stop there. As fans recently learned they'll get even more options to play with in the new Danger Rising DLC for the hit game, and ComicBook.com had the chance to sit down and chat with Avalanche Senior Producer Victoria Setian all about it, including how the Agency is now trying to close the gap between their agents and Rico.
"The one that we're going to be releasing upcoming is the Danger portion of our expansion pass," Setian said. "It's called Danger Rising, and the idea is that things between Rico and...you know he's a former Agency operative, but he has since left the Agency, and they're not satisfied with him just walking away, so they are coming for Rico on Solis and they're moving in on these offshore submarine bases, but it's not enough that the Agency's going to come after him. They know that he's got a couple of gadgets to 1-up them. He's got the wingsuit, the parachute, and of course the grappling hook, so this time around they've got their own grappling hooks."
That's right, Rico's enemies are now getting grappling hooks, so get ready for a new challenge. That said, Rico isn't going away empty-handed either.
"So it's really going to mess around with the whole traversal and you're really going to have to make sure that you're moving constantly," Setian said. "When we were coming up with the idea of what we wanted for this update we were thinking 'you know Rico can really get through the air beautifully with great ease, but what else can we do to change the way players interact with this world, and so we're introducing, I'm very excited, this new traversal mechanic hoverboards and it does work on water."
"The whole idea is if we're going to give them this whole new movement pattern let's give players something new too, and of course, you're able to use this in the main game and the other content updates," Setian said. "You can use this anywhere you want, and just replay through the entire game with this new mechanic and it's physics-based. You can tether yourself to speed up, you can turn around, you can do these great jumps. We have a bunch of skateboarders in the office actually so they brought in their boards and we were studying them for the animations for Rico when he's jumping and using the board and just how would he move. How would he lean, a lot of thought went into how would Rico harness this new traversal mechanic."
"And so this is our biggest update to date because we've got the hoverboard traversal mechanic," Setian said. "New enemy types with the Agency. New missions. New bases, and a whole new arsenal of weapons and vehicles, so it's really jam-packed."
Just Cause 4 also brings with it an even more enhanced version of the Apex engine, the thing that makes Just Cause's trademark gameplay possible. While you might think some of the traversal elements or the gunplay might have been the most challenging but rewarding element for the development team.
"Probably the extreme weather, because while it sounds like a nice encapsulated thing, but the amount of thought that went into creating this really 3D idea...ultimately we're an open-world game but we're a physics simulation, and so our graphics programmer and our physics programmers are studying real-world physics and real-world fluid dynamics," Setian said. "How do clouds form? What sort of clouds make up a tornado? And then creating things that mimic those weather patterns, and so it was all new tech that we had to create and build into Apex and really pull off this funnel of a Tornado. These connecting clouds into the sky. What does that atmosphere look like? And not just for the Tornado but for all of our extreme weather types, so it was a huge focus and a huge investment, and it was amazing to see these guys with giant textbooks on these things studying like how do we simulate, what is happening in real life and how do we mimic that in the game."
The ending to Just Cause 4 teased that Rico is planning on taking the fight to his pursuers, and while we might have to wait until the next game before we get the full rundown on what that looks like, Setian did tease the DLC will have some nods to the overall story for fans.
"In some ways, we're giving breathing room, but without giving too much away because there's a couple of neat things if you've been playing the series for a while that we will reference, so I think you'll get satisfaction out of those sorts of callbacks," Setian said.
As for the current DLC, for Setian, there's nothing like seeing someone try out the new mechanic for the first time and discover all small details it adds to the game.0comments
"Alright, I know this is cheesy but it's true," Setian said. "We've been showing the hoverboard here at San Diego and every time someone deploys it for the first time and it's that smile that lights up on their face, and then we have the mag rails. Typically when you're on a hoverboard you have to tether to things to keep your momentum, but if you go on a mag rail it's like an automatic magnet rail that you're able to ride and it feels a little bit like a rail shooter. So the first thing people are deploying this thing and they're like 'oh this is cool' and then they get on the mag rail and they're like 'oh my gosh', and seeing people light up and seeing that reaction...that's the win for us. We work so long on these things, us in our studio 'hey do you think this is cool' or 'hey will you playtest this for me' and you can only think and anticipate so much but when you see it coming together and people enjoying your content that much, it is the most rewarding."
You can find our full interview with Setian in the video above, and fans can try out the Danger Rising DLC for themselves when it hits on August 29th.