Version Played: XBOX 360
Remember the 80’s? I don’t, I was a 90’s child, but I grew up watching 80’s movies like no one else. From Schwarzenegger to Stallone, I loved them all… and their movies too. That’s why when Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was announced, I got pretty damn stoked! A game full of references to the classic 80’s movies with the one and only Michael Biehn (The Terminator, Aliens) voicing the playable character of Rex Colt.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is THE Kick-Ass Cyber Shooter. Welcome to an 80’s vision of the future. The year is 2007 and you are Sargent Rex Colt, a Mark IV Cyber Commando. Your mission: get the girl, kill the baddies, and save the world. Sounds very much like the basic outline for every 80’s action movie, and that’s what is so amazing about this game. It’s fun, funny and rocking the best soundtrack to a game in a long time!
Having sunk about 3 hours into the game as of writing this, I feel I have had enough experience within the world of the game to justify a solid first impressions. I’m really going to try a stay clear of spoilers for the sake of that this is simply a game you have to experience to for yourself, no words can do it justice. It starts with an 8-bit style cut scene playing out with a clear rip off of The Terminator theme behind it. From this alone I was sent straight back to my childhood, watching The Terminator in the afternoon, with my mum having taped it the previous night. With a great big smile on my face I watched the Predator references play out and played through a turret section with Little Richard’s ‘Long Tall Sally’ blasting through the speakers. If that hasn’t got your attention already, nothing will.
Now I usually hate tutorials in games, they slow the pace of the game and treat a lot of gamers as if they’re completely unintelligent. However Blood Dragon has a very funny and entertaining tutorial, it parodies other tutorials rather well asking you to acknowledge you can actually read first. After that, your set loose on your first story mission, with a mix of stealth and all out attack making sure you don’t get bored. With the 8-bit cut scenes splitting up the action and moving the OTT story along at a brisk pace, killing your way through the underground missile base is both a violent and intense affair. The first mission is an absolute blast, and that’s as far I want to talk about the story missions, I just would hate to spoil anything for you.
Now Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a standalone title, not requiring Far Cry 3 the play. At £10, it’s such a steal. Gameplay is the same as Far Cry 3’s, only with being a cyborg, you move around faster and can take more damage. You could almost get away with calling it a re-skin of Far Cry 3, only with a new texture pack. In reality though, there is a lot going on in Blood Dragon that pulls it away from feeling like just a re-skin. All new weapons, including a pistol exactly like the one Robocop has and a 4-barrel shotgun, make you feel like an action hero.
In place of Outposts from Far Cry 3, we have Garrisons. These are occupied by the enemy and you must go in and liberate them to take control of the Island, bit by bit. How you go about this is where the fun lies. All guns blazing? Stealthy? Or how about sending in a Blood Dragon? Yes, Blood Dragon is not in the title to just make it sound cool, they are in the game. Blood Dragons are large lizard like creatures that are very difficult to kill and shoot lasers out of their eyes. Sounds crazy? You should be use to this by now. By rather throwing a cyborg heart into the base or shutting down the barriers, you can lure a Blood Dragon into the base to eat and shoot lasers at the enemy. It’s a lot of fun, and with 13 Garrisons around the Island, there’s plenty room of experimentation.
The Island in Blood Dragon is half of what was on offer in Far Cry 3, which, for a downloadable title, is astonishing. Along with Garrisons, there are rescue missions and hunting missions available, each offering you weapon upgrades once completed. There are also a lot of fun collectables like VHS tapes and TVs hidden around the island. This wouldn’t be Far Cry without the wildlife too. Rest assured, they return… as robots and mutants. However they are really just re-skins of previous animals and I wish they had put a little more effort into them.
Graphically the game pulls out all the stops. For a 1.35GB download, it can stand side by side with a AAA retail release. Neon lights illuminate the landscape and give off a very TRON like vibe. Now to the soundtrack, my god it is good. Done by Power Glove, the soundtrack is what pushes this game to greatness for me. Electro has returned in full force, if you liked what Daft Punk did with the TRON: Legacy soundtrack or if you have a special little place in your heart for the music in Drive, you will love this soundtrack. After downloading and playing the game, I then downloaded the soundtrack and I’m even listening to it whilst writing this. ‘Blood Dragon Theme’, ‘Power Core’, ‘Combat II’ and ‘Cyber Commando’ are some of my personal favourites, I suggest you seek them out.
I hope from reading this, I have talked you into checking out Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. I also hope that I have given you a good enough idea of the awaits you whilst not spoiling anything major for you. The game shows all the signs of only getting better as it goes on, if you want a definitive opinion on the game then seek out a review, they have been very positive for the game. This is certainly a business model I would like to see more of in the future, taking existing resources and making something completely new and off the wall with them. If you end up picking up Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and/ or its soundtrack, I would love to know what you think, so let me know in the comments below.