Just Cause 2 4-Years Later ReviewGuest_Jim_* -
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The story of Just Cause 2 is a little better than a save-the-princess story, but at its core, that is all it is. The main campaign story exists just to give the player a reason to move forward with that campaign. There is more story than just that though, but in a more scattered form.
While the primary focus of the main campaign is finding Tom Sheldon and dealing with the Panau government, a lot of the game actually revolves around three gangs. The Roaches are your more business-like gangsters, looking to satiate their greed and lust for power more than anything. The Reapers are a group of hypocritical communists that want to conquer Panau and turn it into their idea of a paradise. Finally the Ular Boys are the sociopathic, isolationist, xenophobes that believe Panau is theirs by birthright and want to purge the land of all others.
These three factions give you missions to complete, including some as simple as freeing a captured comrade from the military (okay, maybe that mission is not 'simple') and taking over strongholds to expand their influence and open up new missions for you. You do have to complete some of these to advance the main campaign, to create chaos and force a government reaction, but you do not need to complete all of them to finish the main campaign. Minor spoiler though, you will need to select one to aid you in the final campaign mission. Storming the secret government vault where the dictator is hiding is not a one man job.
The story is entertaining over all, and definitely has its moments, especially when it plays the government propaganda, spinning your latest actions, but is not something spectacular. Pay attention to it as you play, but if you miss something, do not worry about it. Just move on and cause more chaos, just as the story calls for.