Everybody loves the 80s, from the crazy hair to the discovery of overusing synths in music and even an obsession with lasers. Whats not to like? Even if you didn’t like it, you’ll have heard about it and you’ll respect it. Just ask Calvin Harris.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is an unashamed attempt to tap into the cheesy, nostalgic side of the 80s. Taking you away from the jungles of Rook island and far from the boots of Jason Brody, you take control of Sergeant Rex Power Colt. A mark IV Cyber Commando, Colt must use nothing more than his balls and fire power to destroy the mysterious cyborg enemy force that is gripping the planet, known only as Omega Force.
Running on the exact same engine as Far Cry 3, Blood Dragon looks great, imagine taking what you’ve already seen and stuffing it with glow sticks, lasers and bright blue blood which I can only imagine comes from that rare breed of Umpa Lumpas some guy in his chocolate factory had recently enslaved.
The gameplay feels how you’d expect, only this time it’s supercharged. It’s as if you’ve taken speed with a shot of your favourite energy drink and finished off with a snort of chilli powder. Colt has no limits, He doesn’t get tired from running at inhuman speeds, he doesn’t need air to breathe, he can survive any fall, and he rattles off more one-liners than Arnold in his heyday.
Armed with some pretty amazing weaponry including the Fazetron (a laser producing SMG), to the Terror4000 (a huge laser unleashing gatling gun), to my favourite – The Galleria 1991, which looks like the same shotgun Arnie used to take down the T1000 way back when, and it packs a mean punch. The only thing that could really be seen as lacking in the combat, is stealth. Yes the bow is back, but it never really feels satisfying, especially not in the way a silent kill made you feel so powerful in the original Far Cry 3. However, that’s not really a big sticking point, as Blood Dragon encourages outrageous violence on all levels, so guns blazing is normally the best, and most enjoyable, way forward.
The narrative is one of the most enjoyable parts, yes it’s awful writing, with cringy puns at every level, but it does such a good job of highlighting the awful writing in 80s action movie classics that it just works. Each level is separated by a short cartoon, which looks like G.I JOE on steroids and the potty mouth of your average South Park episode, it feels like a glimpse inside the mind of your average school boy dreaming up his perfect show.
Mission objectives offer a wide range of challenges, including a great deal of essentially ridiculous yet great missions which reference everything from Die Hard, Terminator, Hobo with a Shotgun, Predator and even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. One such objective led me to discover a small lab, attempting to attach laser beams to the back of some Sharks.
The skill tree does see a return, but considering Rex starts off at pretty much full power, you really won’t benefit much from the upgrades, simply offering some extra mêlée takedowns however, considering the ridiculous array of weaponry you’ll be getting your hands on, this feels fine.
Outposts are back for the taking, you can do this the traditional way and have a good laugh, but Blood Dragons are at your command. These hulking beasts look amazing with neon lights attached and laser beam burps can be tricked into attacking enemy camps simply by ripping the blue synthetic heart from your latest kill and throwing it as bait. A sentence I never though I’d write, but an amazing experience that every gamer needs to try.
All of this is capped off with a brilliant synth heavy soundtrack, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a true gamers game, tapping into the big kid in us all. The exaggerated absurdity of every part makes it what Blood Dragon is all about. If you don’t remember the days of CRT televisions, VHS tapes and that amazing catalogue of on the cusp 80s movie making, then maybe you’ll find it harder to enjoy the nonsensical mayhem that awaits here. Even with that in mind, I’m confident that there is something here for everyone. This is quite simply every FPS fanboys dream toy-box. Give it a go!