FarCry 3: Blood Dragon review – Gaming in 80s Style!

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If you haven’t heard of FarCry 3: Blood Dragon yet, I’m rather surprised. Yes. That’s the opening line I’m going with.

This game just came out last week and it’s already gotten critical success, 5 times its profit expectations, and it already has a sequel starting up according to the game’s lead voice actor, Micheal Biehn (not to be confused with Micheal Bay, a destroyer of 80s nostalgia; see Transformers movie franchise and upcoming Ninja Turtles franchise).

So what exactly makes it so good?

Let’s start with the story: You play as Sergeant Rex Power Colt (not even kidding), a Mark IV Cyber Commando in the year 2007 (what?) on a secret mission to stop a madman from taking over the world with his army of Cyber Soldiers and mind-controlled super powerful mutant dinosaurs that shoot lasers out of their eyes known as the Blood Dragons!

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Like out of an episode of G.I. Joe

In case you haven’t realized it by now, this is an 80s movie parody.

With the graphics, it takes the best bits of the Far Cry 3 engine and drowns it in neon and 80s-style stuff (like VHS tracking lines and old-school computer menus). And the results for the entire game includes blue trees, purple lasers, blue and green blood splatter, Tron-like weapons (including a neon bow), and anything else that you could think of that screams 80s nostalgia. Even the infamously known “Montages” are included. Unless you stare directly into one of the neon lights for a few minutes (and why you would I have no idea), it never becomes a visual eyesore. It also has some of the best loading screen hints I’ve ever seen like “Taking too much damage? Stop getting shot then! Jeez, it’s like talking to a freaking monkey,” not to mention some really creative mission names like “What is this shit?”

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You! Yes, you! MOVE!

Audio-wise, it’s some of the funniest stuff you’ll hear in a game for a long, long while. Every line and piece of dialogue can either be found in any 80s movie, especially the one liners, including such nuggets as:

“This little piggy went to the morgue.”

“Send the medic so I can kill him too!”

And my personal favorite, “I’m on fire, and so are you!”

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(Insert pun about blowing here)

The voice acting is well done, and it sounds like it’s straight out of an 80s movie, although some dialogue will make you cringe a bit….just like in an 80s movie.  The soundtrack has a lot of variety by keeping that synthesizer on hand, and it also plays a couple of well-known tracks like “War” by Vince DiCola from Rocky IV.

The controls and gameplay are very easy to get into. The controls are very responsive and the gameplay has almost no difficulty curve, save for the hang gliding parts (which take a little bit to getting used to), but thankfully the onscreen tutorials and a reference menu should help you move forward. There’s also a fun healing system that allows you to regain all your HP if you have a nanobot healing needle on hand. It allows you to gain a few bars of health by doing a “basic” repair such as watching Rex use a grip bar over and over.

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Did I mention the retro NES cutscenes?

It’s got a little bit of an RPG element to it with the “Character Points” you gain from killing enemies and completing missions. You’ll get upgrades as you level up, like more health bars, quicker healing times and being able to reload while scoped. You can have 4 weapons equipped at a time, and some have special attachments that can be bought at the shop with cash you gain from playing the game. The game also allows you to take several paths to completing certain objectives and capturing bases, such as the straight approach by killing them all point blank and stabbing them all like a madman, or taking the stealth path with a bow and stabbing them like a madman, but quietly. There’s also plenty of mini-collectibles and back story stuff to find, like old VHS tapes and malfunctioning TVs hidden in the game. This keeps the replayability pretty high, considering the main mission takes relatively 6 hours to beat.

There are a few minor nitpicks that I had with the game though, like the AI not being the brightest at times. There were some NPCs trying to shoot a hostile target that was 600 meters away….through a wall. Sometimes you can actually crouch in front of an enemy and they won’t even notice that you’re there, and some enemies think that they’re taking cover when in actuality they’re standing behind a thin light pole. One other nitpick I had was that it seemed really easy to beat. In my first playthrough the game was on Hard and even then I found it particularly easy to beat, although that could’ve been because I picked up the sniper rifle early on and just constantly picked enemies off from a safe distance.

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Because nothing screams awesome like silently picking off idiots with a bright blue neon bow. Even when you’re in plain sight.

Those nitpicks aside though, this is one of the funnest games I’ve played in a long time, and the best part about it is that it’s a standalone DLC (which means you don’t need FarCry 3 itself to play it) that’s only $15. This is way more value for your cash than other DLCs (I’m looking at you $5 costume DLC packs!). So what are you waiting for? Download this game and let it hit you right in the nostalgia!

Platforms: PC/PS3/Xbox 360
Price: $15/1200 MS Points

Grade: A-

Pros:

  • Quick to learn, easy to master
  • Plenty of Content for a small price
  • Awesome Visuals
  • Even Better Audio

Cons:

  • AI can come and go at times
  • Some cutscenes can go on for a LONG time
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Jaymes Romero
Jaymes Romero 239 posts

What do you say to describe a guy who only sleeps 4 days out of the week? Probably a lot but if you ever see an obscure story about some kind of food product, indie game or something that doesn't quite fit on this site, you can (almost) guarantee this guy wrote it. Whether or not he was awake while it was written is anybody's guess.