From our very first look at the title sequence for the upcoming downloadable expansion Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, we knew it was going to be something special. Since then, Ubisoft hasn’t let us down. With a neon, futuristic setting filled with cyborgs and apocalypses, the tongue-in-cheek shooter bears little resemblance to the Far Cry 3 fans got to know last year.
Luckily, the developers have released gameplay footage and commentary to show that the game may be wacky, but it’s still a shooter for any mature gamer. And in case anyone thought that the irreverence and hilarity was just an act, it’s one creative director Dean Evans isn’t dropping anytime soon.
Given the marketing materials and 80s sci fi lasers and robots that have thus far defined Blood Dragon, the gameplay footage certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s nice to see the same commitment to open world traversal and systemic interactions that made Far Cry 3 such a memorable experience (read our review) are being maintained for the expansion. With plenty of nostalgia injected for good measure.
In the wake of odd, off-beat games like Hotline Miami and Retro City Rampage, the time is right for a nostalgic trip through the 1980s’ most memorable tropes (even if we’d rather forget them). And the public enthusiasm for Blood Dragon proves that not every gamer favors immersion and hard-hitting storytelling over a goofy, fun adventure. Some games go out of their way to craft a dramatic narrative rivaling film; others, in this case, feature “a quad-barrel shotgun that sets fire to everything.”
Generally, we would argue that a game developer who takes irreverence a little too far does so at their own peril – if they think the game is silly, then why should we pay top dollar for it? But in this case, it’s hard to take the source material or approach seriously at all.
After all, they cast Michael Biehn in the lead role (we’re not complaining, just saying we know exactly what direction they’ve taken), so if cheesy action is the goal, they’ve gotten the right talent to achieve it.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon releases on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 May 1, 2013.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.