It’s hard to believe it’s been about nine months already since Just Cause 3 launched, but time flies when you’re blowing up parts of an oppressed nation. Because of the episodic release schedule of the Air, Land, & Sea Expansion for the game, we’ve been causing chaos pretty consistently over that period of time. And now, with the release of the Bavarium Sea Heist DLC—the third and final chapter in that expansion—we can say there’s not much of Medici left for us to decimate at this point. Much like the previous chapters in the expansion, however, Bavarium Sea Heist just doesn’t hold a candle to the main game.

The DLC opens with Rico getting a call from Annika (his mercenary buddy from the main game) as she’s planning on putting together the heist of the century. It seems Stingray, an old eDEN research facility in the middle of the ocean that was trying to harness the power of lightning and mysteriously disappeared into a portal after their last experiment went haywire, had amazingly reappeared. Annika wants some Bavarium devices that were being developed there and calls on Rico, Tom Sheldon (Rico’s American handler), and Looch (Medici resistance member) to help her out, as the Black Hand—the evil mercenary group Rico has dealt with countless times before—has already established a base of operations there. With promises of new weapons and a new boat from Looch, Rico can’t refuse.

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That new boat just so happens to be the Loochador (named after its creator), a vessel loaded up with machine guns and rocket launchers that’s twice as fast as any other ship already existing in the game. Since release, the sea gameplay for Just Cause 3 was always lacking. I’d often forgo all the boats available to me and use helicopters instead to wreak havoc on the oil refineries that I’d need to obliterate in order to liberate certain regions of mainland Medici. The Loochador finally makes splashing around in the waters of Medici tolerable. It’s a boat that can withstand the offense of most any enemy at sea—a necessary given the DLC adds five new watery outposts along with the Stingray base. And, since you can take it back with you into the main game, I’m sure the Loochador will be a great tool in finally getting all the gears in those pesky water challenges and boat races.

Unfortunately, the Loochador doesn’t solve every problem. It’s still difficult to aim and control the ship, especially in the middle of a firefight with other vehicles or soldiers stationed on the platforms you need to destroy. Bouncing up and down on the waves is not conducive for battles. The worst of it all, however, is that when you’re stuck inside the Loochador, trying to cover the ridiculously huge distances between objectives as quickly as possible, you’re taking me away from one of the best parts of Just Cause: traversing with Rico’s grappling hook and parachute. Just like the other DLCs leading up to this, you’ll spent the majority of your time within the new super vehicle. That’s fun for a little while, but gets tedious rather quickly—which is saying something considering the DLC as a whole should only take two or three hours to beat.

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There’s also the new “eDEN Spark” lightning gun that you get at the very end of the DLC. It’s basically a Gears of War Hammer of Dawn rip-off, but with the much clearer sightlines of Just Cause 3, it’s a more viable weapon when trying to eliminate enemies from a distance—even if it does wreck the balance of the main game.

The best thing that Bavarium Sea Heist does do is it adds 18 new audio logs for Rico to discover. These audio logs fill in the backstory for not only this DLC, but the entire expansion pack, detailing the rise and fall of eDEN and fleshing out some of the characters in much the same way Di Ravello’s audio logs did in the main game. Just Cause 3 may never be known for its story, but it’s nice when a little effort is made to round out and give more depth to the characters in this insane, over-the-top universe.

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Bavarium Sea Heist looks to bring our time in Medici to an end, but does so not on the best of notes. When compared to the main game, it ran into the same problem as all the other DLC in that it weakened what were some of the game’s strengths. At the very least, though, this one makes my time in the water a bit more palatable.

Developer: Avalanche Studios • Publisher: Square Enix • ESRB: M – Mature • Release Date: 08.18.16
5.5
Bavarium Sea Heist runs into a lot of the same problems as the previous DLC packs for Just Cause 3. It confines you to the new super vehicle you acquire, nullifying Rico’s grappling hook and parachute, and is already over by the time you start getting warmed up. At least here there’s a little more story than before, but it’s not enough when comparing this to the main game.
The Good The most fleshed-out DLC in the expansion pack in terms of narrative.
The Bad Just Cause 3’s water combat is one of the weakest aspects of its gameplay, and it only gets slightly better with a tricked-out boat.
The Ugly All that bouncing up and down on the waves made me seasick.
Just Cause 3: Bavarium Sea Heist is available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Primary version reviewed was for Xbox One. Review code was provided by Square Enix for the benefit of this review. EGM reviews games on a scale of 1 to 10, with a 5.0 being average.
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