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By SarahTheRebel On 30 Apr, 2013 At 08:41 PM | Categorized As Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarFirst appeared on NerdyButFlirty.com

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a game built on the engine of nostalgia. The Ubisoft team created a love letter to their childhood heroes, and they’ve done it with the incredibly solid and addicting gameplay of Far Cry 3. This game isn’t just a one-trick pony: though it runs the risk of being too over-the-top, FC3: BD is refreshingly self-aware enough to avoid the pitfalls of a (too) repetitive joke.

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Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a game for gamers. What I mean by that is, this is a game that breaks the fourth wall and invites you in on the jokes and tropes of both old-school action movies and the action game genre itself. Helpful loading screen advice includes: “Enemies in range can be shot” and “Use cover to stay behind things” while a tracking symbol and static roll across your screen. This is the first indication that this game might be…a little different.

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Whereas Far Cry 3 claimed to be a satire, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is an actual epitome of satire and a delight to play. I mean, the hardest part of writing this review is not quoting almost every line of text and dialogue. It’s that hilarious. They also had a whole section about how violent games don’t cause violence…it was breathtaking. Oh, and you throw dice instead of rocks and the scientists say adorably geeky things and your computer calls you a nerd–

Okay, I’m going to stop making out with the game long enough to tell you all about it.

Plot

You play Rex Power Colt (voiced by the super-legit Michael Biehn), one of the last Mark IV Super Cyber Commandos on the planet. With your buddy Spider and the sultry Dr. Elizabeth Veronica Darling, you have to take down the crazy Colonel Ike Sloan and unravel the mystery of the Blood Dragons. Or something like that. The in-game manual has a completely different plot listed. Have fun with that.

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The plot is straight out of an 80s action flick, with over-the-top dialogue, lots of stereotypes (the black sidekick with a potty mouth, the female scientist with the ridiculous name that all the men want, etc.), and implausible situations involving sharks and infiltration.

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I had very minor problems with the story, but all were based on issues that existed in movies in the 80s, so I couldn’t actually be mad. The game was just being true to slightly racist and sexist source material. I mean, you can’t fault a game with a training montage: it’s just against the rules of fair play. Even if there is a sassy black best friend yelling “WE NEED TO RECALIBRATE YO ASS!”

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Graphics

Chrome, lasers, cyborgs, neon, and smoke: that’s the aesthetic of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. The graphics are technically just as beautiful as Far Cry 3, but the smoke and dark color scheme make it a lot harder to see enemies (hence why they glow red) and harder to appreciate the beauty of the island. On the other hand, it looks pretty cool, and the nice touches like the city-at-war in the background add an interesting layer to the horizon.

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Music

The music in this game is fantastic. They capture the rocking spirit of 80s and 90s action movies and also manage to incorporate some sounds from Far Cry 3 as well. The music kept the energy high in enemy encounters and made you feel like a badass during stealthy infiltration missions.

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Gameplay

There are a lot of the same elements in FC3: BD as there were in FC3, as is only to be expected in a derivative game. On the other hand, there are plenty of little differences that give the game a spirit of its own.

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Your camera has been turned into your Cyber Eye, a device that makes a lot of sense for a cyber commander to have. Your hand is now a cyber hand and you have lovely cyber powers, including the ability to breathe underwater (thanks to your cyber lungs), survive falls from any height,and run really fast.

There are seemingly fewer animals than were present in Far Cry 3, and the animals that make it into this game are a little…different. A little more cyber. Please do yourself a favor and read EVERYTHING in the Research Data section of your Data Console. The writers in this game had a ball.

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Missions and Adventures

There are seven missions, each pretty difficult unless you spend a lot of time leveling up. They are all multi-tiered and ultimately insanely rewarding. You’ll get that sentence when you finish a few of them.

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Besides the actual missions, your character can also explore the island and complete quests for weapon upgrades. Quest types include hunting/wanted quests, liberating garrisons, and finding collectibles. One of the new mission types involves rescuing hostages before they’re shot to pieces, which was quite fun.

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In Far Cry 3, liberating garrisons could involve enlisting a tiger or a group of komodos; now you can lure a giant, insanely over-powered dragon into their midst instead…after knocking down their anti-dragon shields. I loved the new range of choices the generators opened up.

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Blood Dragons

Speaking of which, let’s talk about how awesome blood dragons are. You remember that slight bit of fear that struck your heart the first few times you unexpectedly ran into a tiger or bear in Far Cry 3? Remember how they were a little difficult to kill and you had that second of panic before getting into gear and working to dispatch it?

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Well now imagine that tiger/bear is waaay bigger, much stronger, and a lot more damage resistant. Imagine that it shakes the ground when it runs towards you, that you can practically feel its eye lasers grazing the back of your neck as you jump down the cliff in an effort to escape.

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So much is done right with the blood dragons. Not only do they manage to create a real feeling of danger, but they also add an interesting layer to the strategy of taking down a garrison or group of soldiers. They have three stages: dormant, watchful, and attack mode, as indicated by the colors of a stoplight. You can lure a blood dragon with a cyber heart, something you rip out of the chest of cyber soldiers you after you murder them.

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As I sped away from one dragon when I ran out of bullets, I tossed a cyber heart to the left to distract it and snagged a hang glider, narrowly missing eye lasers as I glided to safety…and I remember thinking: this is why you play Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

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Combat

Combat is the same as in Far Cry 3, except you start off with a lot of the skills you had to build up in that game. You also no longer have a skill tree: you are simply given certain skills as you level up. You have a shuriken now too, which adds a nice little link to your chained takedowns.

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Your favorite weapons are all there, with delightful attachments that might make you crow for joy. The missions can seem punishingly hard at first, until you realize you should head out into the open world and complete some quests to mod out your favorite sniper rifle. Then you become *serious 80s voice* The Punisher.

Negatives

I have very little to complain about, gameplay wise, but there is one complaint, and it is something that annoyed me in the first game as well. Some of the action buttons are a little finicky You have to hold certain buttons for certain actions, such as pilfering and buying things. Sometimes, that prompt just won’t appear. Or sometimes the command to run just won’t work. Or you’ll turn on your Cyber Eye instead of throwing a cyber heart. At least with the 360 controller, this is a game that will have you literally mashing buttons at times to get them to input correctly. It is a very minor problem, but I’m pretty annoyed that I’m still having it in the new game. After the fifth time you move over someone’s body trying to get the prompt to appear, you’ll see what I mean.

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Another small negative is the prevalence of escort missions. There are quite a few of them. I just despise escort missions in every game I’ve ever played.

But, in general, it was very hard to find things to dislike in this game. Remember how you hate Jason for constantly saying “disgusting” after his fiftieth animal skinning? Well Rex also says disgusting…just in a completely different way. A way you will love him for. Were we talking about negatives? I can’t remember.

Final Verdict

Have you ever played a game that parodied another game so hard it floated into the sky on a burst of rainbows and laser beams? This game is pure greatness.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon doesn’t waste your time explaining how to play the game. It cuts out all the fat, adds a ton of bullsh*t, and takes you on a nostalgia trip riding on solid gameplay and addictive action.

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There are so many amazing moments that I want to share with you, but I won’t because I want you to have that jaw-dropping moment of “no they did not actually put this into the game” that I was able to experience.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is available for $14.99. Go get it.

In the words of Rex: “Sayonara Sushi!”

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By Gehennakat On 15 Dec, 2012 At 07:23 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, Uncategorized, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI’ve been playing Far Cry 3 (FC3) from Ubisoft since it was released and I’m very impressed.  I mean really, it’s rare for a game to come along and take some of the best ideas from other titles and successfully meld them into a cohesive story.  While Far Cry3 isn’t perfect (almost), it sets the bar for what a developers should strive for when creating a gaming experience.  This is also a long adventure with a ton of replay value to keep you coming back for more.

Unlike the unnamed African country in Far Cry 2, Far Cry 3 takes place on the Rook Islands.  It a set of tropical islands in a far off place where people go to get away from civilization, explore, and (unfortunately for our protagonist Jason Brody and friends) get kidnapped by the craziest pirate I’ve seen in a game in a while.   What starts as a vacation with a group of friends clubbing, diving, and skydiving quickly turns into a nightmare of pain, blood, and revenge.

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 Pirates want to extort money from the parents of the groups’ survivors and then sell them again into slavery once they have the money.  Jason and his brother escape the pirates and make for the jungle.  Along the way Jason becomes injured and wakes up under the care of Dennis Rogers, a friend of the local Rakyat tribe.  He acts as your guide through Rook Island.

Far Cry 3 is an open world adventure and it’s hugely open.  It reminds me of Skyrim as far as the sheer scope of the terrain.  See the mountain in the distance?  You can walk there, drive, swim, boat, and even zip line from the top of one of the many radio towers you need to activate to get there.  If walking the lush jungle isn’t your idea of fun you can also fast travel to any outposts you have liberated.

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 To broaden the map and make things more accessible there are outposts and radio towers to clear/activate.  When activated, radio towers will highlight the surrounding areas so you can see terrain, objectives, and even improves items in the shop at cleared outposts. Outposts are scattered throughout the islands and are controlled my enemy factions.  To clear an outpost you simply have to eliminate the enemy presence within.  Once eliminated the outpost becomes populated with friendlies so you can use it as a fast travel location and resupply depot.  In terms of clearing hostiles FC3 gives you lots of options for combat.  You can run into an outpost guns blazing or revert to stealth tactics.  You can take guards out with a silenced weapon (sniper or bow) from ¼ of mile away, use foliage for cover, lure guards to brutal takedown kills, or use my personal favorite… animals.

That’s right; Rook Island is full of wildlife.  They took a page from Red Dead Redemption and Assassin’s Creed 3 and implemented a hunting scheme to level up and make money.  Not only can you take the skins from the animals you’ve downed and trade for money, but also the skins themselves are requirements for crafting new equipment belts.  You can equip up to 4 weapons and 2 different explosive types but to be able to do so you need to craft holsters to carry additional weapons.  The further along the progression the more rare the animal hides needed to improve your holsters, weapons pouches, and syringe packs.   The animals vary from chickens all the way to bull sharks.  The animals are no push overs either, and will sometimes turn the tables on you when you least expect it.

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I was trying to take down an outpost and was hiding in the bushes about 30 meters away from a target when I started hearing a hissing noise.  Thinking it was just amazing audio from the surrounding jungle I continued to stalk my prey.  After a second it started getting louder, and I wondered what was going on?  Right about then is when 4 komodo dragons ambushed me.  Dead.  Respawn.  That’s when I started thinking.  I restarted and began looking for my dragon friends.  I was about to give up when a rather large leopard caught my attention.  I loosed an arrow in his direction and turned tail for my target outpost.  I’m not sure what surprised the NPC’s more; me sprinting headfirst into a bunch of guys, or the REALLY mad cat that laid waste to the guards and their dogs.  Outpost cleared.

On top of the crafting gear you can also make syringes, which are constructed from the various colored plants all over the island (think Resident Evil herbs).  As you progress you unlocking recipes to help with exploration, combat, and even wildlife.

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 All of this part of a very lengthy single player campaign.  With that in mind, there is also a co-op campaign, AND a multi-player aspect.  The co-op is pretty well done and tells a separate story with different characters.  You can join with up to three friends or three strangers.  The multi-player is rough if you’re coming in as a level 1, but I noticed if you play co-op with your friends the XP carries over to your multi-player session.  That way you can level up your perks and get unlocks prior to joining up with live folks online.  The multi-player is your typical Call of Duty style maps and game modes.   That being said the multi-player is a bit laggy and the audio reminds me of the issues from BattleField 2, lots of microphone crackling and popping and if a person quits it will reset the match.  One nice thing about multi-player is the kill cam, instead of watching whoever killed you again; you get to see a 3rd person representation of your character (frame by frame) getting struck by the rounds that killed you and the trajectory they entered and exited.

I could go on and on.  Far Cry 3 is one of my nominees for Game Of The Year and is technically a pretty impressive achievement.  The audio is authentic, the visuals on the island are breathtaking, and the open world freedom to just go and do what you want is refreshing.  With all the linear, stale, First Person Shooter adventures out there you should take a vacation… and this gamer knows of a good island.