The Future is Retro – Blood Dragon Review
Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is fu*king insane. Insane in a fantastic way. But what is Blood Dragon really? Some kind of joke? Maybe. Expansion? No. Some lame cash-in DLC for the outstanding Far Cry 3? Hell no, it is an entirely new stand-alone game meaning that you don’t need the original game to play it. You just download it, install it and you are ready to tackle the futuristic world of the year, wait for it, 2007.
Yes in Blood Dragon you’ll play in the futuristic neon filled world of 2007. The world is suffering the aftermath of a nuclear war and the risk of that happening again is big cause of some crazy warlord who has a collection of nukes he isn’t afraid to use. And is to America, yeah power, to jump in and save the day. Hmmnn now where have I heard this story before? Right, in every 80’s and 90’s action movie. Blood Dragon is a tribute to that era or generation of movies and does a hell of a job paying respect to them. You take the role of cyber-commando Rex “Power” Colt, a motherf*cking badass cyborg with an incredibly high desire for killing the bad guys and protecting America. The game starts with a cool 80’s cartoon style cutscene describing the story and everything in between. Then we are introduced to Rex and his buddy, Spider, another badass cyber-commando. The dialogue between the two is testosterone fueled and it’s a direct nod to the vibe emitted by 80’s action movies. The whole script and writing is done to pay tribute to these movies. I grew up watching them and whenever I heard or saw a reference in the game, a smile appeared on my face, a nostalgic smile that only a few games can manage to bring out on people and Blood Dragon does this in an amazing way.
So back at the story, Rex and Spider reach this island, where the warlord General Sloan, as we learn later, is situated with all the nukes and we are tasked to stop him. You start fully equipped, all weapons and abilities, but, a wild cliche appears, after this “opening” mission you are stripped down of everything and you have to learn and get everything once again. Here comes one of the funniest training sessions I’ve played through in like, ever. “Press X to demonstrate that you can read” or “To look around, look around” and you can hear Rex say “Fu*k this” and “Let me out this sh*t HUD”. And this cheesy humor doesn’t stop here. During loading screens we are used to see tips that maybe help us understand the game and the mechanics better, but in Blood Dragon these tips are useless but funny as hell example: “Handguns are guns that fit in your hands. The future is here.” or “Grenades explode” or “The next randomly generated tip maybe will help you, but not this one”. You understand and you are told by the in-game characters that you are in a video-game and not in a blockbuster action heavily scripted game that wants to be “something” more. Lets say that Blood Dragon breaks the fourth wall and does it with an amazing and very interesting style.
In terms of gameplay and its mechanics, Far Cry 3 and most FPS players will feel right at home here. You are on thrown into this open-world and you choose what to do next. Do you want to play the main mission? You can do that. Do you want to do side-mission? Sure go ahead. Do you want just to f*ck around the island hunting, exploring and getting collectibles? Well no one is stopping you. You have the freedom to do what you like, even though it’s a small array of choices. The main missions are like 5 or 6 and can be completed in 2 hours. The side missions are of two types: “Hunting” were you have to kill a legendary animal or a “special” soldier with a specific weapon and “Rescue the Hostage” or how the game likes to call it “Rescue the Nerd” where you basically have to kill every soldier in the camp/building and rescue the nerd. These nerds or the scientist are one of the two factions in the game. The other one are the bad guys Omega Force, who operate under General Sloan orders. In the main story you meet with Sloan’s head of research, Dr. Darling, which is secretly working behind Sloan’s back to bring him down. Rex comes into play and I think you can imagine how this ends…