The greatest 80’s movie that was never made
Have you ever wondered what it might look like inside the mind of a 16 year old boy? If in your mind you conjured something that includes the likes of gratuitous violence, foul language, big guns, robots, sex, dragons that shoot lasers out of their heads and throwbacks to great movies then Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon may be the closest thing anyone’s come to that idea. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is one of the most enjoyable and outrageous gaming experiences I’ve had in a very long time. It takes all the greatest parts of your favorite 80’s action movies and melds them into an over-the-top story with the solid gameplay of Far Cry 3.
You play as Sergeant Rex Power Colt, half man, half machine, 110% American badass, on a mission to stop your former commanding officer from world domination in the post apocalyptic year of 2007. Colt, a once legendary soldier, becomes a Mark IV cyber-commando after being mortally wounded. Now, a state of the art soldier, imbued with enhanced abilities used for defending America and exacting vengeance, (and looking suspiciously like Kano from street fighter) Colt is on a mission to defend the only lady in his life, Lady Liberty. As staple to action movies in the 80’s, Michael Biehn (Kyle Reese in The Terminator, Corporal Hicks in Aliens) lends his acting chops to Colt in this adventure to do what he does best, no not die before the story ends, but kick some ass. Blood Dragon also contains an intense synthesizer based soundtrack, an epic training montage, guns that shoot lasers, tons of one liners, laughably bad puns, vulgar language and a girl that resembled Brigitte Nielsen. The only thing missing by my count would be a Carl Weathers appearance.
Far Cry 3 was a great game, with solid first person gameplay, and Blood Dragon uses all these mechanics to its advantage. The game is a solid first person shooter with 8 different weapons to choose from, with each having their applicable time and place. Weapons range from the A.J.M. 9, a Robocop pistol replica, to the Galleria 1991, a throwback to the shotgun Schwarzenegger used in Terminator 2. With other gun names like the Fazertron and Cobracon, you can understand that this game is truly paying homage to the absurdity of the writing in 80’s movies. In between the story based missions are 16 bit cut scenes, looking like they were ripped straight out of a Sega Genesis game. The side quests in this game are where some of the best 80’s references can be seen, anywhere from heading into a sewer to remove four pizza eating turtles, to collecting VHS tapes.
Along with Biehn voicing Colt, the real star of the show is the soundtrack. The 100% synthesizer soundtrack created by Power Glove sets the stage perfectly for this 80’s VHS era game. As your playing, the music played when you’re in danger sounds eerily familiar to the chase music from The Terminator. The sound effects are prefect for the respective guns and characters and give the game a completed feel as if you’re watching your favorite B grade action movies. The voice acting is also fantastic. Biehn offers up some of the best in game banter with his internal computer, and gives some of the best one-liners you’ve heard since the DVD era.
When I first played Far Cry 3 on the PC I was blown away by the visuals; however when I downloaded Blood Dragon for the PS3, the textures were noticeably scaled down. This of course did not take away from the overall experience I had with the game, but some of the explosions and kills didn’t hold the same resonance as with the crisp PC images in Far Cry 3. Another minor issue I had with this game was the price for what you get. In my opinion, $15 or 1200 Microsoft Points it is a fairly steep price for 6-7 hours of game play, including all collectibles and side quests. That being said, it is only a mod of a much larger and more robust game, so go play Far Cry 3 as well.
Overall, Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is a fantastic game to get your hands on. The price point is a little high for what you get, but once you become immersed in the game, it’s one hell of a ride. The voice acting will have you laughing out loud at points and the sound creates a genuine 1980’s movie feel. If you don’t go through the last mission of the game with a gigantic smile on your face, you’ve missed the entire point of this game, and clearly you need not be so serious. This game is a lot like a good popcorn movie, just leave reality at the door and just enjoy the ride.