Just Crash. Again and again. Our wingsuit skills have apparently taken a serious dive lately and so as we sampled the first proper DLC expansion for Just Cause 3 we needed a bit of time to warm up to the new and improved jet-powered wingsuit that will propel Rico in the soon to be released Sky Fortress DLC.
As we struggled to get to grips with the intricate, yet ultimately deeply rewarding controls (the inversion of pitch controls is what really did our heads in) we were happy to discover that the new boost start allows you to launch yourself into the air from the surface of the ocean. Something that makes crashing into the waves a lot less infuriating than what was previously the case. The new wingsuit also packs a machine gun and lock-on missiles and can be upgraded in a special ability tree (more missiles, improved boost, etc) and it really turns Rico into something of a jet fighter. The Rocketeer would have been proud.
As you may know Avalanche has themed the three planned major DLC drops air, land and sea - Sky Fortress obviously being the air portion of that equation. The new wingsuit is a great addition that you'll be able to use it anywhere in the game once unlocked (about an hour into the main campaign), but there is also a new area to explore and liberate. A massive hovering airship that has given the expansion its name. A corporation called eDEN are harvesting Bavarium from up high using drones (new enemy type), and clearing Medici of this threat is a rather challenging task for Rico.
Avalanche estimate the content to provide about 2-3 hours of mission gameplay, and perhaps 1-2 hours to liberate the two halves of the airship and then challenges are unlocked. Liberating the two sections of the hovering beast will unlock a personal drone for Rico and a new assault rifle (the Bavarium Splitter). We got to see the former in action and it works a bit like a personal protection bot for Rico that hovers above him and targets any perceived threat. There's no direct control, but of course Rico can latch on to it and ride it just like any other vehicle in the game. Liberating the airship also unlocks challenges for the wingsuit, much like you would down on the ground.
As the drones are formidable enemies that will swarm you (making it near impossible to land on the airship and take out the targets the old fashioned way) it's a good thing there's now a roll you perform as missiles are locked onto you.
Details on the upcoming ground and sea expansions are still scarce, but the land one will see us use a giant mech, that much we know. It will come equipped with a railgun and a giant magnet - and it will roll around nimbly (and surprisingly fast) on wheels that are reminiscent of what you'd see on a forklift as it is able to move in any direction at any time. As for the sea expansion there are no details at this point in time, but you can expect there to be something like the new wingsuit or the mech in there that you can use throughout the entire game, and there will be new missions and a new area of some sort. Each DLC will have a similar layout in that sense, even if the exact nature of what that means for land and sea remain secret.
At the end of our session with Sky Fortress we felt like diving back into Just Cause 3. It's a game that really is all about mastering the mechanics and the new wingsuit appears to be a new way in which we can bring chaos to Medici. For those who have really learned to master the game, the challenge of new and more difficult missions and enemies will no doubt appeal.
We do applaud the approach Avalanche has taken with this DLC as it both enhances the experience already there in the main game, while adding new stuff to explore and conquer. It's really all you can ask for from a decent a piece of DLC.
Season pass holders will get Sky Fortress from March 8 and the DLC goes on general sale on March 15. Sky Fortress on its own will cost £9.49 (€11.99), whereas the three-DLC expansion pass is priced at £19.99 (€24.99).