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You play as the black-clad Rico Rodriguez, an amused but detached character who in no small way evokes Antonio Banderas' mariachi character from Desperado. Rico comes to San Esperito to help overthrow Salvador Mendoza, a corrupt dictator in league with the Montano drug cartel. With you are Sheldon, a Hawaiian-shirt-wearing, Joe Don Baker-type who has a way of saying Spanish phrases like "El Presidente" with a pronounced twang, and Kane, a comparatively bland tough girl with a lot of sass and some vague history with Rico. With the assistance of the People's Revolutionary Army of San Esperito, as well as the rival Riojas drug cartel, your aim is to dismantle the existing regime through assassination, espionage, and plenty of mayhem.
The game doesn't bother trying to justify any of its craziness, and it will no doubt annoy those expecting even a modicum of realism, but once you figure out how to effectively use Rico's abilities to seamlessly grapple onto a car, take control of it, get into stunt position as you drive it off a cliff, deploy your parachute as you watch the car explode in the ravine below you, grapple onto an attacking helicopter and take it over, then freefall directly into the warm Caribbean waters surrounding San Esperito, it makes the action uniquely visceral and extremely satisfying.