Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon [REVIEW]

May 04, 2013 04:15 PM EDT | By Luke Caulfield (l.caulfield@gamenguide.com)

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  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
  • (Ubisoft | Gamenguide.com)

There are a selection of pre-requisite movies everyone must watch before stepping into the VHS future that is this game: "RoboCop," "Universal Soldier," "Rambo," "Escape From New York," and basically everything Arnold Schwarzenegger did between 1982 and 1992, not counting "Twins."

You are now ready for the Kraft grade cheesy goodness that is Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

The standalone DLC, which at first we thought was an April Fool's Day gag, is a prime candidate for DLC of the year. And if that's not a category in some kind of competition somewhere, it damn well should be, just so Blood Dragon can enter and blow every other DLC out of the water.

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Blood Dragon's opening is easily the best thing I've ever come across from a stand alone DLC. Blasting glowing A.I guards that dot the landscape like ticks on a dog from "da choppa" while Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally" blasts in the background can inspire any gamer to slap on a feather boa, become the governor of Minnesota, and grow a Riff Raff Rocky Horror style hairdo as they slowly fade into obscurity. 8-bit style cut scenes intersperse the sheer ludicrous (in a good way) gameplay, and it's not too long before you find yourself staring at the glistening title screen: phosphorescent polygon mountains and sprawling electric pink grid screams "Tron." The loading screen even has the tracking static that anyone who played the Phoebe Cates pool scene from "Fast Times" on an old VHS tape could recognize at 50 paces. Ubisoft nailed everything about the cheesy action flicks of the late 80's and early 90's with this one, and I couldn't be happier about that.

It's the same addicting action seen in Far Cry 3 that keeps the game going, and before finally falling over flat on its face, gets hauled to its feet and ran for another 50 miles due to the great balance of humor. Just don't blink, or you'll miss the over the top details that make this great, like the way the guns are reloaded, or the subtle taunt that comes when you're too far away to hit enemies with a melee attack. And that's the DLC's main strength, its humor. The game relishes in, and at the same time lambasts every stale aspect of the FPS genre, from oversimplified tutorials, "press X to demonstrate your ability to read," to in-game microtransactions, poking tiny holes in the fourth wall.

You start off with all the skills, abilities, and weapons (or at least their futuristic versions) that the fleshy Jason Brody had to earn, proving Sgt. Rex Power Colt's is more than just a bad ass name, but is far superior to Brody before his cyborg arm and laser eye even enter into the equation. Controls are exactly the same as Far Cry 3, so the DLC is easy for anyone to pick up and play for whoever played the original. Bringing voice to players' hero cyborg is none other than Solid Snake inspiration and fictionalized father to John Connor, Michael Biehn, who spouts more cheesy one liners and movie reference quips than Duke Nukem and Blood combined. 

The plot is a perfect example of the campiness that was adored in B-action, straight to VHS flicks and NES games that dominated the 80's, a time when a 6'5" Swede masqueraded as the symbol of the Evil Empire. The "apocalypse has had an apocalypse", and a Cyborg army has the world by the throat. So it's up to a cyborg hero "from the toxic ashes of Vietnam 2" to rise up, hunt down his former android commander, and save what's left of the planet. 

At it's most basic, Blood Dragon is little more than a re-skin of Far Cry 3, but it's a thick enough skin rife with humor and exaggerated attitude that it's a completely different experience. All for the low price of $14.99? Yes, yes, and yes some more.

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