Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is the game you wished someone would make
There’s nothing quite like the Eighties. Well, except the Eighties, of course, and it appears that Ubisoft agrees. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is the superb result of Ubisoft Montreal and Shanghai’s love of everything from that wonderful decade; be it cheesy action movies, VHS, synth-heavy music score, glam-rock colour palette, or those awesome 8-bit videogame cutscenes.
Set in 2007, or the “future” as the game would have it, Blood Dragon is the game you wished someone would make. Playing as Sergeant Rex ‘Power’ Colt, a Mark IV Cyber Commando (that’s like The Terminator, John Rambo, Robocop and Michael Biehn rolled into one), it is your job to do hero stuff like play a boring tutorial (which in itself is a self-parody), save the world from a cyborg army called Omega Force, and survive on an island populated by, yes, Blood Dragons. If you’ve played Far Cry 3, you will feel right at home with the mechanics — but they’re on speed this time around. There are story missions that will take you across the game’s neon-lit island, but there are also bases to liberate, collectibles to be found and cyborg animals to hunt. Liberating bases can be done the traditional stealth and guns-blazing ways or by ‘persuading’ Blood Dragons into doing this for you — kill cyborgs, collect their cyber hearts and leave a trail a la Hansel (because Blood Dragons have quite the appetite for cyber hearts) — then it’s time to play spectator. Pour yourself a glass of Rondo Citrus soda (Google it) and watch the Dragons annihilate the base’s inhabitants using eye lasers (yes, eye lasers!) and ferocious mêlée attacks. Liberating bases grants you side missions which generally involve killing something — these net you cash and weapon upgrades. There’s a character progression system as well, but remember, Rex is a Mark IV Cyber Commando, so he’s just better at, well, everything. Levelling up is fast, and gives you access to new abilities and power-ups as you progress.
As a tribute to the Eighties, Far Cry: Blood Dragon succeeds tremendously. Rex Colt is voiced by none other than Michael Biehn (Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, The Rock, and no stranger to videogame voiceovers), who is hamming it way beyond acceptable limits, while being complemented by a cast who are in no mood to be outdone by Michael Biehn. The end result is the sort of campiness that only dreams are made of; where every single kill has a one-liner that is contextual, every line of dialogue an action movie cliché, occasional philosophical self-referential parody, and unnecessary, inappropriate use of profanity. Blood Dragon is not afraid to push it over the top and it’s not ashamed when jokes fall flat or if the inherent over-the-top-ness is taken a little too far. The same can be said about its music. Composed by Australian electronic music duo Power Glove, Blood Dragon’s score is a synth masterpiece, adding an amazing sense of mood and atmosphere to the proceedings in a way that only synth can. It will also make you want to give yourself a perm and buy a keytar — yes, it’s that good.
Someone has actually made Far Cry: Blood Dragon; which is more than can be said for every other game you wished had been made. Plus they put in Dragons which shoot eye lasers. The game is available as a digital download on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
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