Gaming Week 19: Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon (XBLA)

RWARRRR I'M A BLOOD DRAGON!

How badass is this?

Far Cry 3 was a fantastic release last winter, combining a gorgeous open world with a solid story, it made for a very fun and addictive game. Fast forward 6 months and we have the release of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, a stand alone expansion that doesn’t require the original game to work. So the question is, what is Blood Dragon? The answer isn’t as straight forward as you may think.

Blood Dragon is Far Cry 3, except, it technically isn’t. The main setting and plot for Blood Dragon centres around an alternate universe in which the world has undergone 2 apocalypses (I shit you not) and the 80’s are here to stay. At face value, this is basically a few reskins of the original Far Cry 3 whilst also messing things up for comedic value, but some of the changes really are hooking, and make for a unique gaming experience in its own right. If you want to see how far they went with the 80’s theme, here’s the announcement trailer, it may damn well blow your mind:

Combat is the same as Far Cry 3; you walk around a big island which gives you a wealth of different options to which you can kill people, including the new animals, the Blood Dragons. These beasts are huge, terrifying, and can fire lasers from their eyes! They’re certainly a force to be reckoned with, but can also be used to your advantage. (They can’t see very far, and love to eat cyber hearts, chuck a cyber heart into a enemy base and watch the mayhem unfold.) All these mechanics help to give you freedom over the island, whether you want to be a stealthy ninja, or a rambo in the making is completely up to your play style. You’ll be rewarded more for assassinating people without being seen, but be destructive enough and you won’t notice the difference in XP bonuses.

Character progression has slightly changed from Far Cry 3, which makes it easier to progress, but not necessarily for the best . Where as before you could choose what new skills you wish to learn, allowing you to pursue any specific traits you want, (be it stealth, health or damage) you now have a straight path with no deviation. Your character can level up to 30, by which time he’s acquired all the skills available in the game. It’s not a bad skill tree by any means, it just takes away some of your freedom of how you want play the game.

Enemies in Blood Dragon are the same as they’ve been in Far Cry 3; you get normal humans, which can be split into different types, as well as animals. There are your traditional types of human classes, some are heavy and take a lot to bring down, others are lightening fast, nimble, and quick to kill. Then theres the animals, which are pretty easy to hunt and kill, and don’t offer any rewards for killing. This is massive change from the crafting system of Far Cry 3, and a feature I missed quite a lot. With the crafting system, you took the game at your own pace, something that is missing in Blood Dragon. Overall, not much has changed since the original, the biggest innovation being the Blood Dragons themselves, whose presence is overwhelming at times, and certainly adds a new dynamic to the game.

Pros:

  • Fantastic value for 1200MSP (£9.99)
  • Great addition to the Far Cry series
  • Addictive gameplay ensures you’ll 100% the game in no time

Cons:

  • Short to complete 100% (5 hours 50 minutes to 100% all collectibles, side missions and main campaign, nothing left to do but a empty island)

Overall, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a great buy for those of you who didn’t quite get their fill of free roaming a new island in the original Far Cry 3. It does fall short on content, but is genuinely quite original in an increasingly over-saturated market.

4/5

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