Many of my most vivid memories from grade and middle school took place in one of two environments: the playground and field trips. The playground was the same place every day, while field trips were all new sights. But the two rarely mixed. Sure, once in awhile we’d go on one of those field trips that the teachers hoped would wear us out for the next month if we’d run around enough, but most of the time it was museums and such where touching anything was absolutely forbidden.

Open world games are, quite often, the same way. They’re museums full of neat, often interactive exhibits populated with robots that will react to your presence. Don’t get me wrong. These are fun. I’m talking about some of my favorite games here. I love going to museums and looking at art, trying to make sure I’ve found every nook and cranny and spent enough time checking out every exhibit.

Sometimes, though, that exhibit just needs to be knocked over, and that’s where Just Cause 3 comes in.

The world of Just Cause 3 is gorgeous. A tropical paradise filled with sports cars and beautiful architecture. Just the kind of place you’d love to have a relaxing holiday. If only it weren’t under the iron fist of a dictator.

So, of course, destruction is the order of the day. Instead of peeking in every room, drawer, and closet like you would in Fallout, your job is to destroy all the rooms and closets as spectacularly as possible. We don’t really get open world games of this variety very often. Red Faction: Guerrilla is one classic example, and of course Just Cause 2 is as well. The list is pretty short. In games like these, the story is there mostly out of obligation – to give those of us who find freedom restrictive something to do. Instead, we’re encouraged to find our own fun – blowing things up, getting as much air as we can, seeing how different things interact together when you link them with a tether. Even modding is part of this equationJust Cause 3 is a playground that we’re not only encouraged to explore however we like, we’re encouraged to build our own playground equipment.

When I think I’m getting tired of open world games, something like Just Cause comes along to remind me that there’s more to do – that I just need a break from pure exploration and a chance to play.

If the team at Avalanche Studios can deliver on the promises they’ve shown us through extended gameplay footage and the screenshots above, then we’ve got a lot to look forward to when Just Cause 3 hits on December 1 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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