Review – Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon

Firstly, sorry for the unannounced missed post on Thursday. I’m a little sick right now, so hopefully everything seems coherent.

Far Cry 3 was a very impressive game last year, one that made a lot of people’s game of the year pick. Truthfully, I don’t like the Far Cry series. Neither the first nor second game was even remotely interesting to me. However, Far Cry 3 was most certainly an engaging, well balanced, and altogether wonderful game. It wasn’t without its faults, but the sheer fun of it far outweighed any of the problems. Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is a fully stand-alone DLC expansion, meaning that you can buy it without having any access to the main game. This is good because Blood Dragon has absolutely nothing to do with Far Cry 3. It shares the same gameplay and the environments are the same, minus the reskinning, but the story and world are entirely different. What Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is, is a totally unique package that happens to be a throwback to every cheesy, and undeniably charming 80s movie you could imagine. It is far more than what most DLC even come close to, and that’s only at the conceptual level. The fact is that Blood Dragon succeeds in everything it does.

The pink colouring tells you they mean business.

The plot is as simple as it is brilliant. You play a cyborg commando named Rex Power Colt, who is tasked to stop the disgruntled Colonel Sloan from launching nuclear weapons and breaking up peace talks between the US and the Soviet Union in the year 2007. If you think that’s a stupid concept then you should stop reading and know that you will hate this game with every fibre of your being. If, however, you thought that it sounds like a wonderful opportunity for good old-fashioned campy fun, then read on. The story is silly to the extreme. The eponymous Blood Dragons are giant lizards who can rip enemies apart with ease, and happen to be able to shoot lasers out of their eyes because that’s the kind of game this is. By taking the blood of the Blood Dragon, Sloan has become a super cyborg commando, and Rex is the only one in the world who can stop him.

He puts the Power in Rex Power Colt.

The amount of 80s references in this game is staggering. From the Tron-inspired aesthetics of the game world and enemies, to the constant barrage of familiar music. The basic tracks of the game will be familiar to anyone who has ever watched an 80s movie. You’ll get tons of Predator, Terminator, The Thing, and just about any other 80s movie you can think of. There’s even a Rocky-inspired training montage that’s totally irrelevant aside from the awesomeness. Most of the game’s story scenes are played out through 16 bit cut scenes that are just as silly as the dialogue. It’s fun that the game pays homage to both 80s movies and (realistically 90s, but whatever) 80s games.

The shotgun is called the Galleria. Picking out references is half of the fun of this game.

The combat is as tight as it was in Far Cry 3, meaning that it’s at the top of its game. Guns have a good amount of weight to them, and they are varied from a version of the gun found in Robocop to a laser assault rifle. One of the biggest selling points of Far Cry 3 was how many choices you had when dealing with each situation. However, Far Cry 3 always rewarded the stealthy player a lot more than the action junkie. This situation is reversed in Blood Dragon where going balls to the wall is often the better choice. This is in part due to the fact that Blood Dragon is significantly easier than vanilla Far Cry 3. This makes sense. After all, you’re a cyborg commando with infinite stamina, who can fall from any height without damage, and you’re also a ninja (Did I mention you’re a ninja as well?). The difficulty problem can be offset slightly by playing on hard, but it still isn’t going to stop any veterans from running through a level and popping heads like it’s going out of style.

There are still animals – cyber animals.

The art style of Blood Dragon is something worth highlighting. While you’re on the same island environment, and the majority of the assets are reused from the main game, Blood Dragon feels like a completely different. game. No more bright blues and greens, which have become fairly ho hum this generation. Now all of your senses will be assaulted by a variety of blue and red neon colours, painted on everything from the sky to enemies. I have heard several people claim that this is what they envisioned what Duke Nukem Forever should have been, and it’s hard to argue with them.

Look at it! Glory unbound.

I was going to make several paragraphs about DLC, but my mind is getting increasingly addled so I’ll make my point more briefly as I conclude. Blood Dragon is an example of DLC done right. DLC gets a lot of flak, and gamers tend to ignore the great pieces that deserve their respect. Blood Dragon has some faults. It isn’t the most difficult game in the world, and it doesn’t fix any of the weaknesses of Far Cry 3, but it is such an incredibly charming game that it’s hard to notice them. As such, I would thoroughly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a good dose of 80s nostalgia, and/or camp.

Score 9.0

– Mistranslation for the Modern Gamer


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