Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (PSN, XBLA, PC)
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Genre(s): First Person Shooter
Released: April 30, 2013 (PSN), May 1, 2013 (XBLA, PC)
ESRB Rating: M – Mature
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is the new standalone expansion for Far Cry 3, except it has nothing to do with Far Cry 3. This game is a throwback to the 80s, and quite funny at that. The demo for the game, which is what I’m talking about here, is very short. At the same time, it does exactly what a demo should do… make you want to buy the game, and I will eventually.
The story is about as goofy as they come, much like 80s action movie plots, where the world is engulfed in nuclear warfare and now there are cyborg soldiers. You play as one of these cyborg’s. The tutorial for the game, which is pretty much the only thing you get to play here, is quite awesome. In the past, developers have attempted to showcase how ridiculous tutorials can be, but none have succeeded quite the way that Blood Dragon does.
The tutorial lets you know exactly what kind of game you’re about to play; although the loading screen before you even get into the game does a good job as well with a classic helpful message of “hints on the loading screens display hints.” Right on! The tutorial further gives you great advice like “jump if you want to jump” and “running is like walking only faster.”
The very first part of the tutorial tells you to “press X to demonstrate your ability to read.” From there, your character complains about the tutorial and chimes in with phrases like “just let me kill people damnit!” Eventually, you get to a point where the on-screen messages just keep coming, and it’s annoying. And the developers know it, so the last one is titled “Annoying?” and proceeds to tell you to press X to make the patronizing screens go away. Your character then mentions how he hates tutorials, and that this one is terrible. Yes, you are about to experience over the top cheesiness, and you will smile. I mean the full game even has Blood Dragon’s, which are dinosaurs that shoot lasers.
You know you’re in for a rocking good time when you the first thing you actually do in the game is an on-rails helicopter sequence where you’re manning the turret and blowing everything up, all while “Long Tall Sally” by Little Richard blares in a great homage to 80s uber-action flick Predator. The whole thing seems to be one big love letter to and nostalgic trip through the 80s with all the modern dressings of a first person shooter and an open world. In short, it’s a brilliant combination.
Combat here doesn’t break new ground, at least in the very limited demo, but there are a variety of weapons and you do have the ability to tag enemies and then chain kill them (even at a distance). Heck, if you take the time to melee an enemy to death (which takes a while if it isn’t a sneaky takedown), your character will give the downed enemy the finger.
I won’t even comment on the art style and the old VHS like trappings, but I will say it’s unique, colorful (neon!) and it works very well.
I plan on purchasing the game at some point, probably soon, and I would recommend that you do the same. At the very least, download the demo (it’s about 1.7GB) and take it for a test spin. Odds are you’ll have a smile plastered over your face because of the ridiculousness and will ultimately decide to purchase it. Looks like Ubisoft has made a quality, over-the-top downloadable stand-alone expansion that is very reasonably priced at $14.99. I do wonder how long the games campaign is, but its open world and well I find that it takes me awhile to get bored in open world games.