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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Just Cause: The Attack Chopper Glitch

I was playing Just Cause last night. I managed to pick up a few achievements that I'll discuss in another post. More importantly, I came across a strange bug/glitch in the game that really helped me out. I've only seen brief mention of this glitch elsewhere; even then, the author seemed to be describing a slightly different scenario than the one I encountered.

Intrigued? Read on...

Just Cause is comprised of many different missions, side-missions, and other activities. While completing a side-mission for one of the Guerilla factions on San Esperito (game's locale), I must have done something to glitch the game.

The mission involved tracking down and hijacking a Stinger dune buggy. I, in the role of Rico Rodriguez, managed to get a hold of the Stinger despite being hunted by numerous police officers and an attack chopper. As I made my way to a pre-designated drop-off point, I noticed that the chopper was not really attacking me. Instead, the chopper was frantically taking out the policemen and government soldiers pursuing me. Once I'd made it to the drop-off point, I was unable to successfully complete delivery of the vehicle. For some reason, nothing happened as I drove back and forth over my objective location as marked on my PDA.

After five minutes of wandering about, I decided to blow up the Stinger and start another side-mission. This is where things got really weird. My first side-mission involved taking out some drug cartel guy. I got the mission and put out an order for an Agency dirt-bike to be air-dropped to my current location. As I waited for my transportation to arrive, I suddenly noticed a health bar being depleted in the top-right corner of the screen. It wasn't my health bar though: it belonged to my target. I glanced off in the distance and noticed the very same attack chopper (from the Stinger mission) firing its mini-guns and missiles at some unseen target. After five seconds had passed, my target was dead, the attack chopper flew off, and I was awarded for successfully completing my mission.

My next side mission involved making a trade with some local criminals. I had a briefcase for them, they had a radio for me, and the exchange was to take place just up the road. I climbed in my freshly delivered Agency dirt bike and starting making my way to the rendez-vous point. While weaving in and out of traffic, I accidentally clipped a police cruiser. The cherries lit up instantly and the cop car made a quick 180: the chase was on. Alas, the chase lasted but an instant. The attack chopper quickly appeared out of nowhere and fired a few missiles at the cruiser. Moments later, I completed the trade and made my way back to the guerilla leader under the cover fire being provided by the chopper.

My friendly neighborhood attack chopper stuck around until I'd finished 20 side missions. At that point, I shut down my 360 for the night wondering what the hell had happened. Just Cause is supposedly quite easy to finish, infinitely moreso when there's an attack chopper ready to take out anyone who happens to give Rico Rodriguez so much as a dirty look. But I have to say that it's quite fun having an attack chopper simply standing by and ready to help out at a moment's notice.

This whole scenario got me thinking about a new Xbox 360 game that would guarantee players an easy 1000 achievement points. The game would have a catchy title that filled consumers minds with images of daring missions, epic story-telling, and unbelievable innovation - I'm thinking "Help me! Help me, Helicopter!".

The game would see you playing as Chuck Norris Wagner, a tough, no-nonsense FBI agent in charge of taking out various drug warlords and/or zombies and/or Starbucks coffee houses. Gameplay would be kept extremely easy to ensure that it would sell well to all age groups and genders. In a nutshell, I see a game composed entirely of mission briefing cut-scenes. Once a cut-scene is finished, you'd have to press a button to order your attack chopper to take out any and all targets. After ten or twenty seconds, you'd receive word that the mission was successful and get some achievement points!

There's no reason why this game couldn't work. Just Cause sold reasonably well, didn't it? Look out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, King Kong, and Avatar: The Burning Earth: "Help me! Help me, Helicopter" is coming to take away the title of "Game with the Easiest Achievements".

"Help me! Help me, Helicopter" - coming soon to an Xbox 360 near you.