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    Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

    Game » consists of 3 releases. Released Apr 30, 2013

    Inspired by the sci-fi action movies of the 1980s, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a standalone expansion to 2012's Far Cry 3, switching a modern tropical setting with the neon-covered retro-future of 2007.

    pauljeremiah's Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (PC) review

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    Neon Nostalgia

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    Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, developed by Ubisoft Montreal and released in 2013, is a standalone expansion of the critically acclaimed Far Cry 3. The game diverges significantly from its predecessor, embracing an over-the-top 1980s sci-fi action aesthetic that blends nostalgia with modern gaming mechanics. Blood Dragon is a unique experience that successfully merges satire, homage, and robust gameplay, resulting in a memorable journey through a neon-soaked dystopian future.

    Blood Dragon is set in a dystopian future—2007, to be precise, according to the game's tongue-in-cheek narrative. The game introduces players to a retro-futuristic world inspired by 1980s action movies and cartoons. This setting is rife with neon lights, laser beams, and cyborgs, creating a familiar and fresh atmosphere.

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    Players assume the role of Sergeant Rex "Power" Colt, a Mark IV cyber-commando voiced by Michael Biehn, a veteran actor known for his roles in iconic films like "The Terminator" and "Aliens." The plot follows Rex as he battles against the rogue cyborg army of Colonel Sloan, his former commanding officer. The story is filled with clichéd one-liners, cheesy dialogue, and a self-aware narrative that pokes fun at the absurdity of its premise.

    The game’s humour is one of its strongest aspects. From the opening scene, which mimics the VHS-quality graphics of old-school action movies, to the exaggerated macho persona of Rex Colt, Blood Dragon is a love letter to 80s pop culture. The game's script is intentionally absurd, loaded with references to iconic films, games, and TV shows of the era, ensuring that players who grew up in that time will feel a sense of nostalgic joy.

    At its core, Blood Dragon retains the gameplay mechanics of Far Cry 3, offering a blend of first-person shooting, open-world exploration, and RPG elements. However, it introduces enough unique features to make it stand out as a distinct experience.

    The combat in Blood Dragon is fast-paced and exhilarating, with a wide array of futuristic weapons that complement the game's over-the-top style. Players have access to an arsenal that includes laser rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles, and the impressive "Killstar"—a powerful weapon that shoots beams of destructive energy. Thanks to the responsive controls and impactful sound design, each weapon feels satisfying to use.

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    The enemies in Blood Dragon are equally varied, ranging from cyborg soldiers to the titular Blood Dragons—massive, neon-coloured reptiles that can shoot lasers from their eyes. These creatures add a unique dynamic to combat encounters, as players can use them strategically to take out enemy soldiers or avoid them altogether.

    While smaller than Far Cry 3, the game world is densely packed with activities and points of interest. Players can undertake side missions, liberate outposts, and collect various items scattered throughout the island. The world design encourages exploration, rewarding players with upgrades and new weapons for their efforts.

    One of Blood Dragon's standout features is its vibrant art style. The game's use of neon colours and retro-futuristic design elements creates a visually striking environment that sets it apart from other entries in the series. The island is bathed in a perpetual night, with neon lights illuminating the landscape, giving it a surreal and otherworldly feel.

    Blood Dragon simplifies the progression system found in Far Cry 3, opting for a more streamlined approach. Players earn experience points by completing missions and defeating enemies, which can be used to unlock new abilities and upgrades. These upgrades enhance Rex's combat prowess, making him more powerful as the game progresses.

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    The game also features a variety of collectables, including VHS tapes and CRT TVs, which further immerse players in its 80s-themed world. These collectables often come with humorous descriptions and Easter eggs, adding an extra layer of enjoyment for those who take the time to seek them out.

    Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon's visual style is one of its most defining characteristics. The game utilises a highly stylised aesthetic that pays homage to the neon-infused look of 80s sci-fi. The use of bright neon colours, lens flares, and retro-futuristic designs creates a distinctive visual identity that is both nostalgic and fresh.

    The character models and animations are deliberately exaggerated, fitting perfectly with the game's overall tone. The visual effects, especially the laser beams and explosions, are satisfyingly over-the-top, contributing to the game's bombastic atmosphere.

    The sound design in Blood Dragon is equally impressive. The soundtrack, composed by Power Glove, is a collection of synth-heavy tracks that perfectly capture the essence of 80s action movies. Each track enhances the game's retro-futuristic vibe, making every moment feel like a scene from a classic sci-fi film.

    Voice acting is another highlight, with Michael Biehn delivering a standout performance as Rex Colt. His gravelly voice and deadpan delivery are a perfect fit for the character, adding to the game's campy charm. The dialogue, while intentionally cheesy, is delivered with a level of enthusiasm that makes it consistently entertaining.

    Blood Dragon's humour is one of its defining features. The game is a satire of 80s action movies, and it embraces this with gusto. From the ludicrous plot to the over-the-top characters, every aspect of the game is designed to elicit laughs. The script is packed with one-liners and puns, many of which are so bad they're good.

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    The game's self-awareness is also a key element of its humour. Blood Dragon frequently breaks the fourth wall, with characters making meta-references to the game's mechanics and the absurdity of the plot. This self-referential humour helps to create a unique tone that sets Blood Dragon apart from more severe entries in the Far Cry series.

    While Blood Dragon is shorter than the mainline Far Cry games, its replayability is bolstered by its engaging gameplay and the sheer enjoyment of its world. The game's primary campaign can be completed in about six to eight hours, but there are plenty of side missions and collectables to keep players busy.

    The game's humour and unique aesthetic also make it a title that players may want to revisit simply for the experience. The outlandish dialogue, vibrant world, and nostalgic references offer a distinct gaming experience that stands out even years after its release.

    Despite its many strengths, Blood Dragon is not without its flaws. Some players may find the game's humour and style to be overly kitschy, which could detract from their enjoyment. The reliance on 80s nostalgia, while a selling point for many, may not resonate with all players, particularly those who did not grow up with the cultural touchstones the game references.

    Additionally, while the simplified progression system streamlines gameplay, it also reduces the depth found in Far Cry 3. Some players may miss the main game's more complex skill trees and crafting systems.

    While the game's shorter length is fitting for its standalone nature, some players might want more. Though densely packed, the island is smaller than those found in mainline Far Cry titles, which could limit the scope of exploration for some.

    Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a remarkable achievement that successfully combines nostalgia, humour, and solid gameplay into a cohesive and highly entertaining package. Its distinct visual style, engaging combat, and self-aware narrative make it a standout entry in the Far Cry series.

    By embracing its 80s action movie influences with enthusiasm and a sense of humour, Blood Dragon offers a unique experience that is both a loving homage and a parody. It may not have the depth or length of a mainline Far Cry game, but its charm, creativity, and pure fun make it a must-play for fans of the series and anyone fond of 80s pop culture. It is a shining example of how a game can infuse familiar mechanics with a fresh, inventive twist, resulting in an experience that feels both nostalgic and new.

    Other reviews for Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (PC)

      Far Cry 3:Blood Dragon Review 0

      Power Colt, Spider, Dr.Darling,Sloan, and a Blood Dragon walk into a cheesy 80's movie poster...Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is an open world FPS that is also a standalone DLC to Far Cry 3. In this game, you play as a robot commando named Sergeant Rex Power Colt, who is tasked with finding a rogue colonel on an unknown island in what the 80's would deem as an apocalyptic 2007. In this self aware 80's comedic game, it's up to one man to get the girl and save the world, and that man is you.Going deeper...

      2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

      Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon 3 Review. 0

      Blood Dragons aren't the only unique thing in this Far Cry 3 expansion (of sorts). Developed independently at Ubisoft, Blood Dragon is an interesting new take on the idea of addition content for an established game, because whilst Blood Dragon base's itself off the core mechanics of Ubisoft's popular Island shooter, in most other ways it's a very different beast. It's an interesting experiment if nothing else and something I'd like to see other developers consider in the future, and the fact tha...

      1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

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