FAR CRY 3: BLOOD DRAGON
Platform: PC (UPlay)
Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Buy on Steam
How can you go wrong with a version of Far Cry 3 featuring a cyborg Michael Biehn fighting a horde of giant neon-glowing Blood Dragons spewing lazers out of their eyes and an army of cyborgs who all sound like Microsoft SAM on crack while wielding futuristic-looking weapons and a flamethrower in a landscape filled with neon colours to the thumping awesome beat of one of the best retro 80's soundtracks ever heard in a video game?
Short answer: You can't. Long answer: Look below.
From what I understand, Blood Dragon started out as somewhat of an April fools joke. Far Cry 3 done as a retro-futuristic shooter influenced by 80's sci-fi thrillers and action movies. However, at some point, somebody probably thought this idea was way too good to waste on an April fools so they went ahead and made it. The game was thought to be a DLC for Far Cry 3 but instead was made into a standalone game that does not require Far Cry 3 to install and run, which is a good thing as in many aspects, I vastly prefer Blood Dragon to Far Cry 3, even if the latter has a longer campaign and multiplayer. The game features the voice talent of famous action star Michael Biehn (Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, Navy Seals) who does his best Snake Plissken voice, of course sounding endlessly badass. It really feels like he was always meant to be in a video game and this is further proof for it, and hopefully he will be more remembered for this role than his reprised role as Hicks in Aliens: Colonial Marines.
In an 80's dystopian version of 2007, where the world is suffering from the aftermath of a nuclear war between the United States and Russia, Biehn portrays sergeant Rex Power Colt, a Mark IV cyber commando sent on a mission to investigate an island where colonel Sloan, an elite agent, has gone rogue. Confronting the colonel, it turns out that Sloan wants to take over the world (of COURSE) using the lazer-firing blood dragons as his weapons, from which he has taken blood and injected himself with it, giving him extraordinary cyber powers.
The story is pretty straight forward and never gets in the way of the gameplay, and is quite enjoyably cheesy, with all kinds of 80's clichés, such as a training montage and the cutscenes are portrayed in a wonderfully done 16bit style, similar to games you'd see in arcades or on the Sega Mega Drive back in the late 80's/early 90's.
|IMMA FIRIN MAH LAZOOOOR!|
The world map is notably smaller than in Far Cry 3, and Blood Dragon is indeed a much more bite-sized experience, and the gameplay elements remain mostly the same. You'll spend the majority of the game liberating Garrisons, slaying enemies and animals for XP and other bonuses, and doing side missions to unlock new weapon upgrades. There are however some interesting twists to Blood Dragon as the eponymous blood dragons are some of the most terrifying enemies I've ever faced in a game as they can kill you easily with their lazer blasts. Thankfully, they are near blind and moving slowly near them you can often avoid them, and they have an affinity for the hearts you rip out of the enemy cyborgs, so throwing them to distract them often works well. There are other minor additions but I'm sure you'll find those out on your own. The campaign itself is rather short and solves itself quickly. I played through the game in less than 2-3 days while I can usually spend a week or so on a game, though if you do every side mission and try to max yourself out, it will take a while for you.
|Takin' down da choppa!|
|Those dam puns...|
Average Score: 9/10