|System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360*|
|Dev: Ubisoft Montreal|
|Release: May 1, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language, Violence|
by Joshua Bruce
Over the years, I’ve made several attempts to forget the 80’s. It was a terrible decade filled with bad hair, leather jackets, and hammer pants – a bygone era, best left forgotten to the annals of history. Until now.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon takes every cliché you can think of from the era, wraps it up into a neat little package, and tops it off with an enormous neon bow. The nostalgic romp takes us back to a time where the bad action movie was king and plants us squarely in the middle of one. I would have had a problem with this set-up, but it is so damn good. Check out our video review to find out quickly how good it is below.
Originally announced on April 1, 2013, this game was dismissed by most as an April Fool’s joke. It seemed so far outside the norm, that it was easy to laugh off as another industry prank. In this way, I guess it was the ultimate April Fool’s gag, which has added to the appeal.
Traditionally, most DLC releases expand on the content of a game with extra missions and new characters added to the confines of an already established game. While Ubisoft could have achieved this easily within the world they had already created, they decided to go another direction entirely and pulled it off spectacularly.
Not to say that Blood Dragon has nothing in common with its namesake, because it does. It has quite a lot in common. In fact, the overall feel of the gameplay is almost identical. If you stripped away all of the neon, 80’s references, and the over-the-top action-flick script, what you would have left is a bare-bones Far Cry 3, prior to the addition of story and atmosphere.
On this version of Far Cry 3’s island, many gameplay constructs have only been slightly tweaked, in order to make them fit into the lovingly crafted Blood Dragon mold. Enemy Garrisons take the place of radio towers, hunting remains intact (even though there is no crafting), and re-skinned weapons function largely the same as their predecessors. In addition, the post-apocalyptic landscape is littered with vehicles – off-road vehicles, gunboats, and jet ski’s – to make travelling between objectives both easy and fun.
Taking down your enemies can be accomplished in any way you see fit, and using your cybernetic eye is particularly satisfying. Mark your enemies, plan your attack, and execute. Chaining kills together is another bonus that adds some serious action craziness into the mix. As you progress, you will unlock new ways to string your kills together and by the end of the game, you will be able to pull off some serious badassery.
Overall, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon doesn’t really mess with anything in the gameplay department, which is probably a good thing. After all, there’s no sense in trying to fix something that isn’t broken. The real changes to the game come in the form of a graphics and sound overhaul that would make even the most outlandish 80’s action movie proud.
In this respect, everything has changed.
Visually, the world itself couldn’t differ more from Far Cry 3. Where the original game is set in a tropical paradise filled with rolling jungles, beautiful beaches, and sparkling water, Blood Dragon is sporadic with vegetation, overcast with clouds, and has murky waters filled with cyber-sharks. Neon lighting is everywhere, constantly assaulting your senses with blinding harshness.
With the stage set for a radioactive wasteland of epic proportions, Ubisoft began to add on the polish. Your view is digitized, as though you are actually looking through a cybernetic eye, and taking damage causes screen disturbances that you might expect to see if you were an actual death-dealing cyborg. Rex’s metallic left arm continually reminds you of your augmented state, through robotic middle-fingers and the iconic rock “devil horns” gesture each time you level-up.