I’m a child of the 1980’s but I would not call myself a fan of it. My knowledge of 1980’s come from action movies of that era and the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s soundtrack. I see the fashion and style of that era through the lens of Scarface and American Psycho. My vision and interpretation of the 1980′ was molded by media which is fitting because that’s exactly how Ubisoft shaped Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon’s sound and aesthetic.
The game started on a high note with a wonderful 80’s inspired Ubisoft logo. Power Glove’s excellent soundtrack made frequent calls back to that bygone time with Terminator inspired tracks and other sounds we just don’t hear anymore. A healthy dose of neon lights were bathed the entirety of the game while a title card infused with pink and chrome certified this as an 80’s themed game.
Then it was Far Cry 3.
I haven’t played Far Cry 3 before but after Blood Dragon I have no interest in the original. It’s a souped up version of the game from which it spawned from but I felt like I’ve already played Far Cry 3 through the mixture of this standalone title and Far Cry 2.
Even with the inclusion of neon “blood dragons” with laser eyes, I couldn’t shake the feeling of monotony and nonsense that permeated through all of Ubisoft Montreal’s open world games. The island was filled with tombs, bases to liberate and tall grass to stalk through but it all felt insignificant. There were never able to provide a sensible reason why each base was situated where it was; it seemed to only exist to fill a void. How can an island be filled with so much stuff yet feel so empty and boring?
The combination of uninteresting locations and dumb A.I yielded lopsided firefights. I was overpowered as a cyber commando but even at the highest of difficulty settings, I would have to go out of my way to die. The guards posed little threat. Even the blood dragons weren’t feared. The white cyber tiger was the only creature that I kept on notice because of its speed however they too would eventually fall to Rex Colt’s enhanced abilities.
By now it may be clear that I wasn’t playing this game for its gameplay. I wasn’t playing for its action movie inspired story line either. Save the world from a maniac, that’s all I needed to know. Ubisoft’s creative muscle focused on the parody gags. I got a kick out of their referential humor and one liners. The lines that fell flat for me were the ones that poked fun at their own game design choices; acknowledging collectibles are tedious but then continuing to employ them without a payoff doesn’t work.
Rex Colt worked as an action star — he’s the modern day Duke Nukem. He wasn’t someone I hated or grew weary of. There’s a fine line between obnoxious and bad ass and the people who assembled Rex managed to keep him on the latter side.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was a fun spin off. I hope more developers go down this path of building wacky adventures off their “serious” and “proper” products. This 80’s themed rendition of Far Cry 3 was a sufficient taster in my opinion. I didn’t want the main course after I blew up my last blood dragon. As it turns out, if you’ve had your fill of Ubisoft’s open world games, no amount of neon could mask it.
Worth a Try
For more information on Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, visit the official website.
2010 PC Rev. 1.3 was used to play Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.