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Just Cause 3: Release date, gameplay and everything else you need to know

Here's everything you need to know about Just Cause 3.

In Just Cause 3, you're an elite operative on a mission to free your homeland from the clutches of a brutal dictator. You'll accomplish this by blowing a lot of things up, surfing on the backs of airplanes and generally causing a lot of chaos.

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Square Enix

What is Just Cause 3, and when is the release date?

Just Cause 3 is a mayhem simulator, with a bit of vehicular chicanery thrown in for good measure. You'll ride on top of cars and airplanes, firing rockets at baddies in helicopters. There's a grappling hook for grappling stuff, a parachute and wingsuit to help you get around and plenty of guns to fire. It'll be available on December 1, and you can get it on PC, the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.

Wait...what?

OK, so there's a bit of exposition about a Mediterranean island, and a dictator hell-bent on taking over the world. And you're sort of a one-man army, hell-bent on taking him down. In practice, this is largely going to mean BASE jumping off of really tall structures and tethering things to other things with that grappling hook. I haven't quite figured out why you'd want to spend so much time on top of vehicles instead of inside of them, but it looks wonderful.

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Square Enix

I'm getting a very open-world shooter vibe.

Exactly: Think Grand Theft Auto with a focus on verticality, and you won't be far off the mark. You'll explore a fictional island nation, traveling by car or plane or hoofing it. But it's still a third-person shooter at heart, so you can expect a lot of cover-based gunplay.

Eh. Fallout 4 is filling my destruction and mayhem needs -- I mean, it's got a mini-nuke launcher.

I don't think you're following me. The developers behind Just Cause 3 want to get this destruction thing down to a science. That means tethering foes to fuel canisters and launching them into the air. Or bridges that crumple realistically when you hit them with a rocket in just the right place. Or diving off of a building, and then grappling onto a speeding car to pull yourself through the air. There's a focus on physics-based lunacy that we haven't seen since...well, Just Cause 2, I reckon. But next-gen consoles can finally handle more of the physical calculations the developers are packing into their game engine, which of course means good news for those of us on PCs.

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Square Enix

OK, I can get behind this. What about my buddies -- is there multiplayer my friends can get in on?

Not quite: there won't be any traditional multiplayer modes at launch. There'll be scoreboards and challenges, so you'll be able to compare results with your friends, but you won't be able to cause mayhem alongside them.

The developers chose to focus on the single-player experience instead, which'll likely be a bummer for many.

But there may be hope -- on the PC side, at least. Just Cause 2 also lacked a multiplayer component, but enterprising players righted that wrong with mods that added multiplayer modes.