Despite loving Just Cause 2 and considering it among my top 3 favorite games, I don’t actually own most of the DLCs for it. Not counting the free ice-cream truck and turreted rickshaw, I only bought the Black Market Boom pack to get my hands on the amazing Air Propulsion Gun. All the stuff in the other DLCs don’t seem to serve any unique purpose, or add anything to the game that isn’t already done by base-game vehicles and weapons. But for no real reason, I recently decided to buy and review the Agency Hovercraft just to test how Avalanche Studios coded it. Amphibious vehicles are a shockingly-rare sight in gaming. Plus the devs deserve an extra 99 cents for all the hundreds of hours I’ve spent enjoying their game.
A boat on land.
It turns out they just took their boat code and removed the part where the vehicle stops moving (and takes damage) when on land. This leads to some pretty funny animations where the vehicle will splash water even when nowhere near any water source. Control-wise, it also makes the Hovercraft difficult to navigate on land. Why? Because it’s basically behaving like a slow, lumbering boat at all times. The first thing you’ll notice upon spawning one is that it’s always very slowly sliding in some direction. So don’t ever stray far from where you’ve parked! Precise turns are difficult and the vehicle never comes to a full stop, meaning you’ll frequently get stuck on rocks, trees, signs, and anything else in your way.
The blocky shape of the pontoon skirt also means if you slip off the smallest of 90-degree curbs, you won’t be able to get back up. Unlike vehicles with tires. If you can get past all that, the turrets and the armor are great. It’ll live up to its reputation as a high-powered tank. Cash is easy to get in this game, so the steep $125,000 delivery cost is also a non-issue in practice.
As I mentioned before, it certainly stands alone as a game element. As Just Cause 2‘s only amphibious vehicle, there’s nothing else that can do what it does. The problem is, what it does is almost entirely unneeded. I 100%ed the game on Hardcore and have over 200 hours in the same save file, but not once did I ever see a reason to use a Hovercraft. There was simply never a situation that needed a vehicle rapidly shifting between water and ground.
Overall I’d rather pick the Razorback/Wildchild (for land) or the Powerrun speedboat (for sea). Either are significantly faster while providing more than enough firepower to accomplish whatever I was calling the Black Market for.
If I could do any single thing to ‘fix’ this problem, it would have been to include some amphibious races. There are land, water, and air races in Just Cause 2, so it’d be very easy codewise. I genuinely think it would have been fun to swap repeatedly between water and land while staying within a time limit for success. But even without that, the Hovercraft is not a terrible experience, and 99 cents is more than affordable as far as DLCs go. Though overall I wouldn’t call it something you need to get for any reason.