Just Cause 4 is an open world action-adventure video game developed by Avalanche Studios and published by Square Enix. The game was initially leaked on Steam before being officially announced at E3 2018.
In this game, Rico Rodriguez is now in the fictional South American country of Solis taking down yet another dictator, but his main focus is against the Black Hand, who've been regular enemies of his since his time in San Esperito, and more recently in Medici.
This game provides examples of:
- Adventure Archaeologist: Rico becomes this while doing missions for Javi Huerta.
- Advanced Ancient Humans: Javi Huerta believes the ancient Solisians were much more advanced than was known.
- Bag of Spilling: Subverted, Rico starts with all the relevant Gear Mods from the previous game (such as re-reeling, wingsuit airbrake, and slingshot boost) fully-functional. While his gear gets broken after the prologue this just means that he has to walk for a while to get tools to fix them.
- Blatant Item Placement: In a useful fashion, the stunt rings that require the player to pass through them in a specific vehicle usually have that vehicle somewhere nearby for you to find. Loading screens imply they're being left by Garland and her crew.
- Border Patrol: Similarly to Just Cause 3, the game stops you from venturing too far away from the game area by abruptly blowing up your vehicle and killing you. However, you don't get any warnings this time.
- California Doubling: In-Universe. In one of the Garland King missions, "Jewel in the Sun", the grasslands of Solis stand in for Medici for filming a flashback scene, the Show Within a Show plot describing it as Rico racing against Mario Frigo in their youth.
- Clashing Cousins: Mira and Gabriela Morales are this, with Mira as the leader of the Army of Chaos and Gabriela as commander of the local Black Hand division.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: As is tradition, military chaos objects are bright red and shiny silver, and Black Hand military hardware is, well, black. The Army of Chaos marks its holdings with bright pink, yellow, blue and green graffiti.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Mira's cousin, Cesar, honestly believes the Greys are the ones behind everything in Solis and that the Espinosa family are all reptilians. At the end of Operation Windwalker, he's utterly disappointed that the tornado device is man-made when he sees there's a USB slot in it. For that, he gets the honor of blowing up his section of Project Illapa on Mira's laptop.
- Cool Train: The Sandstinger, an armored train Rico and his group of rebels build to attack the desert-based Zona Uno. Fortunately for Rico, it comes with a really, really big gun.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Tapping "exit vehicle" now makes you bail instantly instead of just stunt jumping, which now requires a combination input. Secondary fire (which includes grenades) is now bound to what used to be look down sights.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: Gabriela Morales, Espinosa's dragon, has this look going for her.
- Developers' Foresight: Some briefing conversations will change depending on the state of the game world. For instance, upon staring Operation Sandstinger Rico is instructed to capture a train depot, and mission chatter while doing so revolves around this being a chance to get the engine they need. If the depot is captured before starting the operation, mission chatter is about how the depot is an invaluable logistics base for the Army of Chaos, and the briefing mentions they already have access to the train engine they need.
- Dull Surprise: In-Universe. Garland constantly complains about Rico's inability to act. Rico, for his part, isn't even trying.
- Easily Forgiven: Averted. Rico is not happy to see Sheldon, doesn't give two hoots that he's been sidelined by the Agency, and doesn't trust him for a minute. The two have to be convinced/forced to work together by Mira Morales.
- Empty Levels: You'll quickly end up with far more Army of Chaos squads than you'll ever need, and even if you do find yourself stuck, advancing into the right territories can actually free up squads. The main benefit to higher levels is the supply drop pilots.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil:
- Even if they come off as Faceless Mooks, there are female soldiers in the Black Hand ranks.
- In the Danger Rising DLC, The Agency turns out to be an even more straightforward example. Rico fights both male and female Agents, distinguished by names from different cultures and different skin colors, who are unified first of all by their willingness to fight for shady government causes.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Gabriela is loyal to Espinosa to the point of disappearing her own father, but when he decides to use the Storm Core to kill everyone on the mountain she takes down the base's firewall and lets Mira into the security systems.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Sargento's given name is Luis Ruiz. After the tutorial Rico names him 'Sargento', presumably to represent his rank in their new rebellion, and that effectively becomes his name.
- Faking the Dead: Garland King's first mission has you faking her death by taking her van to lure the Black Hand into attacking it and blowing it up.
- A Father to His Men: Or in Gabriela's case, mother to her men. She won't sacrifice her men for Espinosa's pride.
- Greater-Scope Villain: The Agency evolves into one during the course of the game. As the story progresses, it turns out that they decieved Rico's father to create Weather-Control Machine weapons, paid the Black Hand to kill Rico's parents in Medici when Rico's father discovered the truth and walked away from the project, and have been quietly collaborating with Oscar Espinosa to acquire those weather weapons from him, eventually showing up in force to grab what remains after Espinosa is defeated by the Army of Chaos.
- Guide Dang It!: The major shtick of Javi's sidequests is that they're completely unmarked. A couple of tombs can be found by examining the map closely, but most of them you'll just have to stumble onto blindly, and you aren't even told the lesser collectables exist until you find and solve one of them.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Oscar Espinosa activates the Storm Core as he flies off to make an arms deal with the Agency. Rico surfs the Storm Core directly into his plane.
- Ineffectual Loner: Subverted. Rico tries to pull his usual 'lone loose cannon' act at first, but quickly swallows his pride when he discovers he is thoroughly in over his head this time.
- It's Personal: Rico is in Solis to track down the truth about what happened to his father.
- Just Think of the Potential: Played with. Miguel Rodriguez intended Illapa to be used only for peaceful ends, primarily stopping extreme weather such as tornadoes, and quit in disgust when he realized Espinosa intended to use it as a weapon.
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: It's the achievement/trophy name for finishing Extermination in Los Demonios DLC.
- The Mole: Averted. The Black Hand does manage to get in the way of every attack on a weather device, but everyone realizes that's because Rico has very unsubtly been going after a shopping list of things necessary to counter a given hazard and a professional outfit like the Black Hand would have just spotted the breadcrumbs.
- Mook Horror Show: Despite getting worfed by Project Illapa, Rico immediately shows that nothing less will stop him advancing on an entire unit of Black Hand mercenaries and gunning them down. The mere sight of him armed and angry is enough to make The Dragon immediately call a retreat - before he even has an Army of Chaos backing him up.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Garland King's love of Hollywood blockbusters with explosions makes her a Gender Flip of Michael Bay.
- No-Gear Level: Rico getting blown away by Project Illapa puts him into one, making him lose his grappling hook, parachute and wingsuit. He considers not having his hook like missing a limb.
- Non-Action Big Bad: While previous Big Bads in the series were The Generalissimo types who at least had the machismo to take on Rico mano y mano when he came calling, Espinosa is a corporate suit who quietly sneaks out the back during the final battle and taunts Rico over conference call while leaving his Elite Mooks behind to die.
- Non-Action Guy: Sargento. He initially wants to be out in the field, but Rico quickly convinces him he can do so much more by keeping the Army of Chaos organized.
- No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Subverted. Even though Rico destroys the Project Illapa weather weapons during the main story, The Agency still manages to get its hands on enough data and blueprints from the Project to consider the operation a partial success - setting up the possible sequel.
- One Nation Under Copyright: Zig-zagged. It's mentioned frequently throughout the game that the government of Solis, and all of its biggest companies - first and foremost, its Arms Dealers and Private Military Contractors - are heavily intermeshed to the point it's not clear which is which, and even less clear whether the government or the companies reign supreme in Solis... and Oscar Espinosa is the one man who both owns everything and rules the country, and reaps the benefits from it all.
- Reality Ensues: How does the Black Hand get most of its new recruits? Entirely voluntarily, just by offering a paid-for higher education and a generous, reliable wage, which are otherwise very hard to come by in Solis. Of course there are also... reeducation centers that brainwash prisoners into joining.
- Retcon: A minor one that doesn't actually conflict with what was said, just changes the framing to offer a different conclusion. Just Cause 3 heavily implied Sheldon aided Di Ravello in killing Rico's parents, taking the young Rico into the Agency's fold as compensation. 4 expands on this: Oscar Espinosa ordered the hit on the Rodriguez family, Di Ravello considered it a part of his master plan and was too full of himself to say otherwise in his audio diary. Sheldon was an Agency grunt back then ordered to extract Rico, and doesn't find out the full story until Rico does. In a straight example, the game changes Rico from being native Medician to Solis-born, though the family emigrated when he was so young that he considers Medici his home. Incidentally, this last one unretcons a smaller retcon from 3; Rico has always been implied to be Hispanic, with a Spanish accent and the name Rico Rodriguez. While both of these would be out-of-place in the Italian-inspired Medici, it makes a lot more sense if he came from the Spanish-speaking Solis and grew up in a Spanish-speaking household.
- Samus Is a Girl: The end of Javier's quest chain reveals that Otorongo was really a woman.
- Say My Name: One of the Garland King levels is called Vanessaaaa! with this trope in mind.
- At Picos Helados, the player can find a cauldron and hammer. Using these items, the game shifts into a side view, with the player challenged to move Rico over a set of obstacles with the hammer as their only tool. As a further part of this, Bennett Foddy himself provides snarky narration during this challenge.
- If Rico is in a chopper slaughtering mooks left and right, he'll hum "The Ride of the Valkyries".
- At a random, unassuming building in Vista Futura, the player can hear the popular A Ha song "Take On Me" playing from a hidden lower floor. Once Rico goes downstairs, the environment changes to a black-and-white comic book just like in the song's iconic music video, complete with a dividing window that shows the "normal" world within the "comic" world and a woman dancing to the song.
- The achievement/trophy for recruiting every chopper pilot is Rico's Roughnecks.
- The achievement/trophy list for "Los Demonios" DLC has plenty of this in the names.
- Super Wrist-Gadget: Rico's grapple was versatile before, but in addition to an auto-retract function, it can now be used to plant booster rockets or air lifters from a distance. Any combination of those functions can be active, each of which can be tweaked with a number of modification settings.
- Tank Goodness: For the first time ever in the Just Cause series, there are treaded tanks in the game (the previous games only had wheeled infantry fighting vehicles that were described as "tanks"). There are a speedy, light Pointman scout tank, an IFV-like general purpose Prizefighter tank, a heavier Warchief assault tank, and a Falconer self-propelled AA gun for the player to use.
- The Theme Park Version: Ruins of the old Solisian culture have been sanitized over the years to be this to the Espinoza family, an act Javi Huerta hates that he participated in.
- Train Job: Played with, as the train itself is what's being stolen, or at least a specific car on it. As part of Operation Sandstinger, Rico and the Army of Chaos steal a colossal railway gun for their own train to attack the weather core.
- Weather-Control Machine: Project Illapa, a set of weather control devices that ramps up the super-espionage aspects of the series to new heights.
- Weird Weather: One of the game mechanics involves surviving, and weaponizing, this against the Black Hand.
- Wham Line: A big one between Rico and Tom Sheldon, setting up a new Sequel Hook.Tom Sheldon: Destroying Project Illapa must have cost the Agency trillions.
Rico: It always comes back to the Agency.
Tom Sheldon: That it does.
Rico: Let's take them down.
(Sheldon laughs, not yet appreciating that Rico is serious)
Rico: Let's take down the Agency.
(Sheldon has a huge Oh, Crap! look)
Tom Sheldon: Son of a bitch. Alright, I'm in.
- Whip It Good: Rico uses his wire as a whip in melee attacks.
- Written by the Winners: The Espinosa family, along with the Spanish Empire, had outright killed or enslaved those in Otorongo's empire and over the years bastardized the former king of Solis's history.