Review by Ollie The Magic Bum
A very unique experience
Let me preface this review by saying that I have never played Far Cry 3, nor have I played any of the other games in the series. I saw a video hyping this game, and I thought it was too cool to pass up. I was correct.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is one of the most unique experiences I've ever had playing a video game. It's set in a cheesy, 80's version of the year 2007. Like any good cheesy, cliche action movie, you're basically a one man army against a whole slew of bad guys. Scratch that. You're a bionic one man army. The overall feel of the game is so over the top and cheesy that it actually works. THIS is what Duke Nukem Forever should've been.
For an arcade game, the vast amount of space in the open world is impressive. Mutated wildlife populates the grasslands between the heavily-armed garrisons, filled to the brim with bad guys. The wildlife includes everything from turtles and neon snakes to giant glowing dragons and cyber sharks (sadly without lasers attached to their heads). In addition to these animals, there are several collectibles to keep your eyes open for, which are VHS tapes (the best media format ever created, according to the game), retro television sets, and notes left by a scientist. They're all spread out throughout the land. It's really the tedious collectible... uh... collecting.. that's in so many games today. The game is very self-aware about the annoyance of these, vocalized by your character's disdain for doing so. Each collectible rewards you with a power up at a certain tier (for example, there's three rewards for killing all species of animals, one roughly every 4 kills).
Weapons are fairly basic, just with a futuristic twist. Especially the bow. As the game notes, the bow isn't a futuristic weapon, but they made it neon-colored, so now it is. The standard shotgun, rocket launcher, sniper, pistol, rifle, and machine gun are all in here, so it's really nothing outstanding or memorable. Most weapons have various upgrades for them, unlocked by completing various side quests and finding certain collectibles.
The menu system and tutorials are where this game really shows that the developers put in some extra effort. They remind me a lot of the humor in the old Sierra Space Quest games that were narrated by Gary Owens, just R-rated. Take the time to go through the tutorials and read through all the files you get on weapons, wildlife, etc. when you run into them. You won't be disappointed in the warped humor. The descriptions are something I'd have expected Duke Nukem Forever to contain, but nah. Not so much.
The story, while short, is compelling. Side missions do get a bit repetitive, but I don't feel that it really takes away from the experience. The story is shown in cutscenes, but with a twist. They're animated with sprites, much like a classic Super Nintendo game would be. It really keeps the feel of the 80's action movie going. The dialogue is very cliche, but that's 100% intentional. From stereotypical characters to cheesy one liners and pop culture references, this game has it all. At a price of less than $20, I'd definitely give it a buy.
Product Release: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (US, 05/01/13)
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