Somewhere between making infinite Assassin's Creed games and delaying Rayman Legends out of the hands of Wii U fans dying for software to play, Ubisoft decided to do something incredibly awesome.
They decided to make Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon. This neon adventure through a small slice of the tropical paradise from Far Cry 3 is absurd. It's also a lot of fun.
Here and now, I'll tell you why I loved this $15 adventure so much, and why it's probably a game that you should support with your wallets. Here we go, this is Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon.
Going Full Absurd
In Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon, players fill the boots of cyber soldier Rex Power Colt. Rex is sent to an island in order to stop an evil guy from launching nukes around the world.
The game is set in an 80s version of 2007, and that means there's tons of synth, lots of neon, VHS scan lines and more purple than you can shake a stick at.
The lunacy doesn't stop there. Rex Power Colt is an 80s one line delivering machine. Just about everything he does and says, whether its during gameplay or in cutscenes, is a reference to classic 80s action flicks. His pistol, for instance, is the same gun that Alex Murphy uses to wipe out the violent thugs of Detroit.
You probably know Alex Murphy better as RoboCop. Yep, you use RoboCop's gun in Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon. You'll also use the same shotgun from Terminator 2 and a sweet neon bow and arrow.
When you're not fighting cyborg soldiers, cyber panthers, cyber sharks or evil boar with "Sloan Sucks" spray painted on their bodies, you'll tangle with the game's titular enemy, the Blood Dragons.
Blood Dragons are basically a genetically mutated version of the deadly komodo dragons from Far Cry 3. Except their huge, they glow neon colors that change with their rage and they fire lasers from their eyes. I told you, this game is absurd.
Oh, and Blood Dragons are attracted to Cyborg Hearts. Throw a heart to lure a Blood Dragon to a specific area and, whammo, watch it wreak havok.
It's Stupid, But It Works
Okay, yes, all of the aforementioned bravado and plotline cheese really is stupid. There's no other way to explain it. The 80s nods, the pointless banter, the overly long cutscenes and even the superbly insulting tutorial are all done in the vein of stupidity.
But that's what Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is all about. This isn't a game that prides itself on realism or, I don't know, AI brilliance. This isn't a game about choice and sacrifice, and it certainly isn't a game packed with a storyline meant to blow our minds.
Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is about stupid 80s action and how cool of an era in film and entertainment it was.
And all of that stupidity really works. Today's games are often caught up in being too serious. Even titles that do little more than serve as arcadey shooters with addicting leveling systems rarely put time aside to remind us that games are fun. Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon throws seriousness overboard, and it rides on the high seas to Doofusland while blaring an anthem of digital 80s rock.
I love it for that. The blood dragons, the weapons, the terrible one-liners and the exceptionally awkward sex scene all add up to an experience that feels like perfectly executed camp.
Short And Simple
I suppose the biggest knock on this game is that is exceptionally short and simplistic. If you're coming in looking for the massive open world that you canvassed in Far Cry 3, check that notion at the door. Blood Dragon sports a world that is a fraction of the size of the set of islands in the original Far Cry 3.
Furthermore, the guns, the hidden objects, the side missions, the crafting and the levelling have all either been simplified to the furthest degree or dropped completely.
You won't hunt animals in order to build more weapon slots. You won't go picking vegetation in order to give yourself extra flame retardation or more health. Instead, you'll move down a very narrow path of character development.
The leveling system won't have you picking and choosing skills. Instead, your earned points will unlock already established skills with each set of levels. My character will be exactly the same as your character at levels 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30. There is no room for customization.
Finally, the game can probably be completed in less than three or four hours. I spent six hours with it just messing around, but people on a warpath can likely storm through its missions very quickly.
Heck, this is a $15 title. I am completely fine with the streamlined options and exceptionally short campaign. $15 with other games might get me a few multiplayer maps, maybe an extra set of missions or, I can't believe this, a set of costumes.
Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is its own game. The asking price is perfect.
I am completely fine with the streamlined options and exceptionally short campaign.
I Want More Like This
Plain and simple, I want Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon to succeed because I want more games like it. This thing isn't perfect, it's not some holy grail that other developers should strive for. However, Ubisoft showed some real courage in getting it developed.
I don't necessarily want more 80s over-the-top action. But, I do want more risks. I want more variety in my games. If Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is the first step in Ubisoft spending time on completely stupid and fun games, consider me 100% on board.
Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is a lot of fun. It's silly, it's absurd, it makes no sense, but I had a huge smile on my face pretty much from start to finish. More please.
We purchased a copy of Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon for the PC with company funds. We completed the game and continued playing after the credits before we started this review.
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