I didn’t know what to make of Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon when a friend showed me it. I thought it was either an April Fools gag or a mod some imaginative coder in his bedroom had made for Far Cry 3. 4 weeks later it turns out it’s real and I’m playing it after attending a launch party for the event thrown by Ubisoft themselves! In case you’re still confused, Blood Dragon is a stand-alone game you can download and it uses the Far Cry 3 engine to throw you into a brand new post-apocalyptic world of neon, 80s clichés and cyborgs wearing motorcycle helmets!
Straight away you realise the tongue is firmly in the cheek of this game as you take on the role of Rex Colt, a Mark IV cyborg voiced by Michael Biehn of 80s sci-fi action hero fame. He’s well cast as he spits out rhetoric with his squad which, if you’re a fan of films that you originally watched on VHS, you’ll appreciate greatly.
You can tell this game is still basically Far Cry 3 underneath, but there’s enough changes here to make it warrant a buy – you’ll get at least 6 hours of enjoyment out of it! Pirates have been replaced by cyborgs who explode in a shower of blue goo when you shoot them, dogs have been replaced by cyber dogs and by far the most silly and cool thing in the game are the Blood Dragons themselves – 12 foot tall beasts that can’t detect you when crouched and run to fetch cyborg hearts as if they were sticks if you lob one to distract them.
Gameplay is familiar if you spent time trying to kill Vaas in Far Cry 3. You roam the map by foot or vehicle, attack outposts, liberate bases and do side missions. Along the way you can then upgrade weapons and abilities but it’s good you start off with a massive arsenal of guns from the start so you can jump straight into the action.
The colour scheme is also nuts. It won’t be to everyone’s taste but the red sky, purples, oranges, blues and pinks sort of work. You’ll also love the soundtrack if you’re a fan of John Carpenter movies or are quite partial to a bit of Jean-Michel Jarre. All the kids say, who?
The joke may wear a little thin as you progress through the game but it’s still a solid, enjoyable shooter that will pass the hours indoors when the sun’s not shining. It gets an excellent 8 out of 10.