Welcome to 2007, the Future
The reveal of Far Cry 3 : Blood Dragon did seem like an April fools joke. With it's futuristic tone and laser shooting Dragons, it's easy to see why. As it turned out, Blood Dragon was totally real, and it's here. Just for those who may not know, FC3 : Blood Dragon is a standalone spin-off from last years open world shooter, Far Cry 3. Instead of taking the typical DLC approach, Blood Dragon is a separate digital download that doesn't require Far Cry 3. It's surprising to see a triple A title receiving a spin-off, but not as DLC is even a bigger surprise. It's refreshing, and something we should see more often.
Blood Dragon is set in a retro-futuristic era. It takes place near then end of the 20th Century. A nuclear war wipes out most of the population, and peace must be restored. Saving the world is all down to one man, well, Cyborg. You take the role of a Mark IV Cyber Commando, named Rex 'Power' Colt. His mission is to find out what's going on, and eliminate a cyber army, called Omega Force. Very much like Duke Nukem, Colt has a bad attitude. He is full of one-liners. It will be hard not to laugh at many of his jokes. Adult humour props up all over the game. Whether it's in the cheesy 8-bit cut-scenes, the VHS style loading screens, or when Colt gives the finger to his enemies.
The story is completely absurd, but that's what makes it appealing. It's not everyday you receive a Triple A spin-off, featuring Dragons and Bad-ass Cyborgs. Most of us will be dragged in by it's reminiscence of 80's action flicks. There's many references to films, such as Terminator, Predator and Aliens. It's what has inspired Blood Dragon, and fans of the 80's will have moments of Nostalgia is some type of form. Blood Dragon is also complimented by an excellent Syth Daft Punk soundtrack. It's original and feels right at home with the neon vibe.
Blood Dragon is Far Cry 3 with a new coat of paint. It uses the same engine, but moulds it into a new island. Anyone who played FC3 should have no problem using the various vehicles and weapons. The island is filled with land, air and sea transportation. From armoured cars, jet ski's, boats, and hand-gliders. You will also come across wild animals, which are in cyber form. From metal coated sharks, attack dogs and more. Exploring the island is fun, but having played FC3, it feels too similar. Apart from a few tweaks and additions, the gameplay is very samey.
The neon glowing Dragons are what will catch your eye the most. These roam throughout the island, attacking scientists, Omega Force, and even you. The dragons are blind, and crouching allows you to move past without alerting them. Begin to run, though, and they will here and shoot lasers at you from their eyes. They are fairly large and intimidating, but can turn out helpful. By simply killing animals or humans, you can rip out their cyber hearts. These can then be used to lure Dragons to certain spots. For example, throwing hearts near Omega Forces will have the Dragons kill them for you. It's like your very own adopted pet.
Colt is far more agile than most protagonists. As a Cyborg, he can sprint faster, stop underwater, and hardly take damage from large falls. Compared to Brody, from FC3, you can simply go in guns blazing without much worry of dying. You do lose health, but it seems much easier. I never found the enemies much of a threat, and taking them down is not that challenging. By simply sprinting behind them, you can perform a finishing move with your knife. If timed correctly, you can perform chain attacks, allowing you to take down multiple enemies.
The story missions are funny, action packed, and make great use of the various weapons and vehicles. However, it doesn't take that long to complete. Once your done, however, you will find plenty of side missions and collectibles to find. Garrisons can also be liberated, with 13 in total. Each one is displayed as red beams of light that shine into the sky. Liberating them are fun, and can be tackled in different ways. You could go in stealthy with your blue luminous cross bow, or turn off the shield, allowing dragons to enter and do the work for you. Each one you take over opens up new side quests. The beam of light also changes to green, allowing you to see what garrisons you occupy. It's a very cool take on the outposts from Far Cry 3.
Far Cry: Blood Dragon is well worth your time and money. At 1200MP, you get a quality experience. The story mode may be on the short side, and it does lack replay value. However, it has enough content to justify the price. It's an outrageously funny game that you wont find anywhere else. I hope this isn't the end for Rex Power Colt.