Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon Review
Release the cyber sharks.
What we thought was simply one of the more awesome April Fool’s day jokes, coming from video game companies, soon became all too real as screenshots of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon leaked out. We then found out that it wouldn’t be a DLC add-on for Far Cry 3, instead it would be a standalone downloadable game. Also, if you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, Blood Dragon is one of the most ridiculous things you’ll ever see and that’s a good thing. Get ready to travel into the future, all the way to the year 2007.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, if you couldn’t tell from the box art, doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Far Cry 3. Instead, it draws inspiration from the straight-to-VHS films of the 80’s and is a tale of cyborg commandos, jet skis, and lizards that shoot laser beams from their eyes. You’ll be taking control of Sergeant Rex Power Colt as he tries to stop an evil super villain, and his rogue cyborg army.
Those of you who have played Far Cry 3 will be happy to know that, under the hood, Blood Dragon is Far Cry 3. Though it is sporting a whole new style, a new hero, and a bunch of new weapons the core remains the same. You’ll still have a large tropical island to explore, animals to hunt, and vehicles to drive but they are tailored to fit the ridiculous aesthetic of the Blood Dragon world.
Now, this isn’t to say that Blood Dragon is just Far Cry 3 with a custom skin, the focus and mission structure has changed a great deal. Sergeant Colt is encouraged to be much more stealthy than Jason Brody was. Though the story missions can be approached from a guns-blazing standpoint, the optional hostage rescue missions must be completed without alerting anyone.
The story, and how it is presented, is also one of the most striking differences between Blood Dragon and the original. Blood Dragon doesn’t wrap itself in an over the top theme and then try to take itself seriously, it goes full-on ridiculous from the start. Nearly everything is a joke, from the name of the weapons to the back story where America nuked Canada into a wasteland to defeat the Russians. The language does get unnecessarily vulgar at times, but Blood Dragon still manages to amuse you until the end.
You can blow through the main story in about four hours, but there is a sizable open world for you to explore filled with plenty of things to do. The island you’re on is peppered with enemy garrisons that you can liberate, and staff with friendly soldiers. To do so you must eliminate all of the troops in the garrison, but this can be accomplished in a couple of different ways. My favorite strategy is to sneak in, find the shield control panel and drop the shields, allowing the Blood Dragons to come in and attack the enemy soldiers. Blood Dragons are, of course, large lizards that can shoot lasers out of their eyes.
Once you liberate a garrison you can then perform optional missions, like the hostage rescues I mentioned earlier, and these aren’t just for fun. Completing the optional missions is the only way to unlock attachments and upgrades for your weapons. So, it is possible to charge through the main story missions but you’re going to have a lot more fun if you stop to play the game along the way. This type of incentive is something that a lot of game designers forget when adding optional missions into a game.
There are no multiplayer modes in Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.
The best decision that Ubisoft made with Blood Dragon was to release it as a standalone game, rather than a DLC add-on to Far Cry 3. Blood Dragon is such an entertaining, and bold, departure that everyone should be able to experience it, not just people who own Far Cry 3. Blood Dragon adds humor and a new style to the already fantastic Far Cry 3 engine, and it tweaks the gameplay just enough to feel fresh.