Graphics:
8.0
Gameplay:
8.2
Sound:
8.5
Control:
8.7
Replay Value:
8.1
Overall Rating:
8.3
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Ubisoft
Developer:
Ubisoft Montreal
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
FPS
Release Date:
May 1, 2013


If you’re a child of the 70s or 80s, you may miss those cheesy, tongue-in-cheek, ridiculously silly themes found in many action movies. Nowadays, it seems like such films (even the ones obviously designed to be absurd) take themselves far too seriously, and you might miss the corny innocence of the good ol’ days. If that’s the case, it’s time to strap on a virtual holster and go hunting for aliens in the new spin-off, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon . Last year’s popular and acclaimed Far Cry 3 was fantastic and you know, as far as spin-offs go, Blood Dragon is pretty damn great. Give it a try.

This downloadable title might actually fool the uninitiated from a graphical standpoint. Well, at least so far as the cut-scenes go: The developers purposely made the non-interactive segments look like one of those low-grade animated cartoons from decades ago, and they will definitely remind you of all those awesome Saturday morning cartoons. Of course, then you’ll hit the gameplay and you’ll realize that with a fantastically retro style, top-notch detailing, slam-bang special effects and a well-designed environment, Blood Dragon is a wicked solid technical achievement. Overall, this is an ooey-gooey, bloody and oh so visually stimulating production.

The cheese factor goes off the charts with the dialogue and many of the special effects. The latter splatter your speakers with over-the-top gory goodness, and the soundtrack is just classic 80s in every sense of the word. Plus, you’ve got the total bad-ass Michael Biehn (“Terminator,” “Aliens”) who plays the protagonist, and he plays this role perfectly. It’s true that you might cringe at some of his lines, but even the cringe-worthy parts come across as charming and even wistful. Biehn as Rex Colt really works, and along with a fitting, nostalgic soundtrack and satisfying effects, the game boasts grade-A audio. Yes, old cartoons did sound like that.

So you’ve got some adolescent, juvenile rudeness to go along with a raucous FPS that resonates with a particular age group. It just so happens to be the demographic that grew up with Duke Nukem , by the way, and this is what Duke Nukem Forever should’ve been. This is a digital production and had it been DNF, it would’ve ideally boasted higher overall production values and length. But really, if this had been the Duke effort, I would’ve been satisfied. Blood Dragon captures the old-school tone and theme better than any game this generation. Granted, not a ton of games were going for this style, but I still think it’s worth mentioning.

There’s just such an appreciated sense of humor; you can’t help but laugh at the comically insulting tutorials and the innuendo-laden collectibles. So many of the classic 80s gags, one-liners, and clichés are here, and they all poke gentle fun at the “Me Decade.” That heady combination of nostalgia and comedy results in a really entertaining game and truly, you don’t have to be a geezer like me to love it. That’s because beneath the excellent, bodacious, gnarly, rad, and tubular exterior is a solid, nicely paced shooter that keeps you absorbed. Despite the drastically different atmosphere, it really does play a lot like Far Cry 3 .