I thought last year's Far Cry 3 was pretty decent. I cleared all the enemy bases and bro'd my way through the main story. Overall, it was an enjoyable open-world, stealthily-stab-everyone-until-you-get-caught-then-shoot-everyone-in-the-face-until-you-escape-or-they-run-out-of-reinforcements experience. But now I feel cheated. I feel wronged. I'm offended that Ubisoft put out Far Cry 3 when they could have cut the crap and delivered the glory that is Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon.
Blood Dragon is a stand alone downloadable title that takes the solid (albeit repetitive) gameplay of Far Cry 3 and brutally thrusts it into the ridiculous excesses of 80's action movies. The opening scene is an homage to movies like Predator, Terminator, and Commando. As someone who was born in the 70's this had me squealing like a little girl -or staring stoically at the screen while waiting to take control of the choppa-mounted minigun. Paint your own picture.
Here's a little taste:
Yeah, that's right. You'll be playing as cyborg super soldier voiced by Michael "I almost killed a Terminator and I sort of lived through Aliens" Biehn. Sure, he sounds like he's in a gravely voice competition with Alec Baldwin and Will Arnett, but what do you expect cyborg super soldiers to sound like? Austrian bodybuilders? That's just stupid.
Speaking of stupid, Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is good stupid fun. I knew I was in for a treat at the start of the tutorial when it asked me to demonstrate my ability to read. There's nothing new as far as the core gameplay is concerned, but a change of scenery and a shift in attitude can go a long way to make a good game great. It also costs a fraction of the price of the retail title. I won't spoil the story for you (stuff needs killing, the earth needs saving) but the main story objectives will include things like "Blow stuff up over here" and things like that. The open world area seems to be about a third of the size of the world in FC3, and there are plenty of enemy bases to claim and fierce creatures to hunt.
That brings me to the blood dragons themselves. These mega-predators look like mini-godzillas (the lame Matthew Broderick version, not the awesome one). They leave nothing but destruction and dead Omega soldiers in their wake. Enemy bases actually use a force field to keep the beasts at bay. They can still fry you with their laser eyes, because if it's one thing a battle dinosaur needs, it's goddamn laser eyes. Early in the game I snuck into most bases and disabled the shield generators, letting the blood dragons do my dirty work.
If you decide to take Omega head on you will find an impressive arsenal at your disposal. The early unupgraded guns are kind of vanilla. There are collectibles scattered across the island that will upgrade your weapons and health. The brutal and satisfying Takedown system is in full effect. Once I unlocked the minigun the game was cake. Then I unlocked explosive rounds for my sniper rifle and I started to feel bad for everyone who wasn't me.
Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon is a great value at 1200 MSP or $15. It's available now on the XBLA, PSN, and PC. I think it would be great as an episodic series. You can blow through it in about six hours, but you should take your time and let the testosterone flavored nostalgia wash over you.
An XBLA download code was provided by the publisher.