Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is arguably the worst kept secret of 2013 so far, with leaks arriving by the truckload and media speculation running riot with just the smallest titbit of new information. That was until now of course, as Electronic Theatre follows the official reveal of the videogame with the first hands-on details. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is not only real, it’s also looking set to be worthy of all the attention.
Beginning at the very start of the videogame, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon wastes no time dishing out the tongue-in-cheek jokes. The loading screens offer a few cheeky winks before the narrator introduces a future world ravaged by war to a theme tune not too dissimilar to that of The Terminator. A better-than-8-bit style story presentation reveals the player’s character – a human rebuilt as a cyber commando – and their mission. Big gun, blow stuff up; what could be simpler? And doing it to some perfectly contrasting 1960s pop music makes it all the more fun. This is ludicrous, pointless videogame action, and it’s so well crafted you wouldn’t want it to be anything else.
A rather cocky tutorial sees your character talking to his commanding AI, much like that of the underrated Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, but the humour keeps you moving through an otherwise generic opening sequence. Stealth kills, ocular modes, experience points, first gun; we’ve seen this all before, but rarely has it been with such a flair for the distasteful neon.
Your first real mission is to infiltrate an enemy base and take out their numbers. The AI suggests you disable the alarm to prevent them from calling in reinforcements, but in reality you are much more capable than your foes. Whether you wish to move stealthily or run in guns blazing, it’s likely you’ll be popping plenty of headshots before you get a health warning. And even then, holding the Y button (triangle on PlayStation 3) will patch you right up. Once inside you are informed that an old commander of yours has gone rogue, and with your Lieutenant, Spider Brown, you need to teach him that this was a bad decision.
As Spider hacks a mainframe you must watch his back; yes, it’s a protection mission, but in reality you’ve already kicked so much enemy butt that little of what they can throw at you is going to be challenging. Wave after wave, kill after kill. No matter how well you do however, things are only ever going to get worse. This is a 1980’s action flick after all. Wait, no it isn’t.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon makes such a convincing effort to recreate the feel of a thirty year old action movie that it’s undeniably designed to appeal to a very specific audience. Anyone below the age of twenty five is unlikely to ‘get’ all of the comical references, but the theme still pervades. This is your celluloid youth in interactive form; just how those 8-bit gamers always wished it would be. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is shaping up to be something very special indeed, so be sure to heed its words of advice: ‘Hints on the loading screen will give you hints.’