When Ubisoft released Far Cry 3 late last year, players were unleashed onto lush island and jungle environments filled with open world exploration, hunting and a story filled with insanity. Fast forward a few months and Ubisoft Montreal is bringing us a very different Far Cry experience with the standalone title Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon which can be downloaded on Xbox 360, PS3 or PC for 15 Dollars.
Blood Dragon does not require the full game to be played nor is it in any way related to the Far Cry 3 story – it is a much more a scaled down open world game using many of the Far Cry 3 mechanics but with a juicy layer of 1980s action movie sauce on top of that awesome game we all loved to play last year.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is filled with chrome, lasers, cyborgs, neon and smoke – just like the movies we watched 20 or 30 years ago. Blood Dragon will see players take the role of Sgt. Rex “Power” Colt – yes this is the kind of game you will be playing – who has been put in charge of defeating a communist hating maniac with a mustache who reminds me of a proper GI Joe character. Did I mention he wears a beret?
Colt quickly finds himself in a world filled with cyborgs who are out to kill him every step of that way, of course that is only if he doesn’t kill them first – over and over again while Colt spits out parody level lines that made me smile and often laugh out loud, rather than shake my head in disgust. Blood Dragon is what Duke Nukem Forever didn’t manage to be – a perfect 80s action movie parody reminiscent of the Terminator or Platoon movies.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is fully self aware that it is a video game and doesn’t hide ‘gamey’ things like tutorials or why mission objectives have to be completed - pleasantly refreshing. Ubisoft Montreal has managed to make a comedic shooter set in an 80s movie that is fun to play. The features that made Far Cry 3 so great are back in Blood Dragon. Colt will spend time hunting or completing wanted quests as well as liberate garrison outposts or find TVs and VHS tapes as collectibles apart from the main missions.
While the hunting mechanic isn’t part of the economy like it was in Far Cry 3, where upgrading pouches was based on animal skins, etc, it does add coin to your pocket and is fun to do as all of the animals have received the neon treatment. This includes the blood dragons themselves which also shoot lasers out of their eyes. Yes – lasers.
One of the major game mechanics in Blood Dragon is to lure away the equally named gigantic reptiles with cyber hearts which are obtain from dead cyborgs. The blood dragons can be lured into outposts and kill everyone in them which spares Colt the hassle but ultimately the player will have to deal with these beasts.
Players can upgrade weapons and character abilities which incentivizes to explore the island rather than just complete the mission levels. This is a good thing. While the missions are pure fun and filled with glorious 8 bit cut scenes, the game is much shorter than Far Cry 3, so exploration adds to the game’s length – and trust me, you will want to spend a lot of time in Blood Dragon.
Ubisoft has done the near impossible. Apart from the fact that the studio managed to get this game green-lit, it actually made a well crafted parody of the 1980s action movies. Blood Dragon even includes ‘The Terminator’s’ Michael Biehn as Colt’s voice actor who did a fantastic job along with the rest of the cast. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon takes the best parts of the original game and combines them with the flair and cult of a bygone era while it sprinkles mostly well executed parody bits on top. Blood Dragon is an absolute bargain at 15 Dollars and a must play for 80s fans and gamers alike.
Score: 9 / 10
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC on April 30th. A retail code of the Xbox 360 version was provided to us by Ubisoft for reviewing purposes.