Published on April 30th, 2013 | by Kyle Spencer, Editor
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon Review
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platform: Xbox 360 via Xbox LIVE Arcade [Reviewed], PlayStation 3 via PlayStation Network
Release Date: May 1, 2013
Price: $14.99 (1200 MS Points)
Review Notes: A code for the game was received for review purposes.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon may be a bit confusing to some, especially if you are expecting this game to be a direct tie-in, or expansion, to Far Cry 3 which came out in December. It is almost as if Blood Dragon was more about poking fun at the shooter genre while utilizing Far Cry’s stellar game engine and control schemes. Blood Dragon is a stand-alone title and will not require you to won or have played Far Cry 3 to play.
The story of Blood Dragon is pretty straightforward. You are part man, part cyborg and your mission is to rescue Dr. Elizabeth Darling from the grips of the radical colonel, Ike Sloan, who is using cyborgs and scientists to transform the world into his human/robot hybrid army. It is a typical ’80s action movie kind of story: bad guy looks to take over the world, and the good guy is sent in to stop him. This may seem boring, but it is refreshing, especially if you’re coming off playing the slow-moving open-world Far Cry 3. That’s why we stated in the beginning that it is funny how the Far Cry 3 tag is applied to this game, when it actually has nothing to do with the story or characters of Far Cry 3.
The game’s control scheme, however, is directly lifted from Far Cry 3. All of the gameplay elements, from sneak attacks, weapon upgrades and open-world exploring, to the various animal kills is taken directly from the parent game. All of the animals are cybernetic, and one really cool addition is that Blood Dragon has dinosaurs, which (not coincidentally) are called “Blood Dragons.” They are beasts that use their size, aggression and laser eyes to wreak havoc on enemies and, yes, that means you can use them in your favor.
In Far Cry 3, you were able to loot the enemies bodies of whatever they had on them once they have been defeated. In Blood Dragon you automatically get weapon ammo when you walk over bodies, but when you go to loot them you actually take their cyborg heart out of their chest and you use that to lure the Blood Dragons to aid in firefights. If you have a camp you need to clear out, simply throw out a heart in the direction of the camp, and let the Blood Dragon go to work. Enemies will open fire on the Dragon, which in turn will upset it, causing it to chase them down. You can even control the dragons when attacking airborne enemies. If an enemy helicopter comes into your area, just toss a cyborg heart in the direction of the chopper and the dragon will use his laser eye to bring down the “choppah.”
Blood Dragon is not a long game by any stretch; the main story can take a few hours to complete. But the exploration of the island, and clearing out of the bunkers, is where the game’s length will come from. Also lengthening the game is by grabbing collectibles from various animal kills, TV Sets and VHS tape and doctor’s notes. The collectibles do help expand the story just a bit, but not a great deal. For example, if you fail to pick up any collectible, you will not miss out on any of the game’s story.
Like Far Cry 3, your character levels up after missions, kills and hunting animals. But unlike Far Cry 3, you do not get to use skill points to level your characters abilities or combat moves. They are automatically used for you in unlocking combat moves and other features, such as increasing the health gauge, each time you level up.
The game’s voice acting is so over-the-top and horrible that it’s good; so horrible that it plays well with 80’s influence. What I mean is the dialogue is so terrible that you can’t help but laugh. The script uses ’80s metaphors and punch lines. Remember some of the those cheesy lines from The Terminator? The use of an 8-bit soundtrack is brilliant and makes the world feel organic and retro.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was a brilliant arcade title and is worth every penny. Is it perfect? Not by any means. But it is fun, and gives you a different experience out of Far Cry. Blood Dragon almost feels like a marketing ploy for gamers to buy it and play it, and if you enjoyed it, and never played Far Cry 3 then it is a must play. There is no question that the game itself doesn’t take itself seriously, but will have you laughing out loud at your TV screen at some of the random dialogue and game play elements. I never had a game where the tutorial was making fun of itself.
– Lack of character upgrades