Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon Preview
Yeah, we all thought it was an April Fool's joke. A standalone Far Cry 3 that embraces a campy "futuristic" 80s theme with a smirking, attitude-laden, Duke Nukem-like main character named Rex "Power" Colt? Right. No way. But it wasn't long before Ubisoft made it perfectly plain that Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was very, very real, and it was coming to the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live and PC on May 1. You will also start seeing a recently published interview with the voice of the protagonist, Michael Biehn ("Aliens," "Terminator"), who really is a perfect fit for this role.
If you're a fan of those ludicrous B-movie settings and themes, and you have a fond memory of lines like— "I'm here to kick ass and chew bubblegum...and I'm all out of bubblegum," then you're ready for Blood Dragon. It's 2007 - which, given the background of the game, is the future - and Sergeant Colt must bring down his former cyborg commander who is trying to take over the world. Colt is indeed part cyborg and a veteran of the second Vietnam War (I would love to know the back story behind that), and he's got that cheesy bravado that resonates with retro lovers.
The story is delivered via old-school 16-bit cut-scenes that remind one of the Super Nintendo era, as well as the cartoon style of the 80s. In brief, the game is one massive nostalgia trip that combines Saturday morning cartoons from the good ol' days and classic arcade goodness. However, beneath all that is the fact that Blood Dragon is still distinctly Far Cry. Players will hunt, search for collectibles, and liberate outposts. The only difference is that it'll be a more linear experience, which is of course quite reminiscent of old-fashioned games. Overall, this spin-off promises to feature at least eight hours of original content, and that sounds worthwhile.
You needn't have played Far Cry 3 to enjoy this new iteration, as the two seemingly aren't really related at all. The combat mechanics are mostly the same, though, so you don't have to worry about adapting to outdated gameplay. Interestingly, we will still have the option to choose our approaches; if we want to adopt a stealthy, tactful strategy, we can do that. However, you may also run into things like sharks that shoot lasers from their eyes, so there's no doubt that Blood Dragon will be much more over-the-top. And when Rex starts flipping off baddies thanks to tremendous firepower, you can laugh freely.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon obviously isn't supposed to be taken seriously. It's designed to be an homage to the days when campiness and cornball comedy was actually at the core of most video games. If you really think about it, most plots, stories and characters were downright absurd in those days. Just look at something like Double Dragon or Contra. Dudes taking down armies of other dudes. Silly dialogue, outlandish situations, and simplicity; these comprised the majority of video games in the 80s. However, nothing was easy and I doubt Blood Dragon will adopt that particular feature of yesteryear. No, this is all about good...uh...clean fun.
4/18/2013 Ben Dutka