Saturday, December 31, 2016

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Ubisoft has been giving out one of their games on Uplay for free every month since June as part of their 30th anniversary celebration. Most of the titles are not something I would like to play but I have claimed them to my library anyway. Beyond Good & Evil actually seems interesting but apparently it is not guaranteed to play ball with Win10. I would rather try GOG's version.

It was November's free game, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, that made me finally install and play one of these freebies. I had considered buying the game in the past myself but then decided against it. It appeared to be an enjoyable little game though shallow and probably something I would never touch again once finished. And my assessment turned out to be correct. But for free? Sure, why the hell not.

80s VHS vision of the future

Blood Dragon is a stand-alone expansion to -- or rather, a spin-off from -- FC3. It reuses many of the main game's assets, although about everything has been decorated with neon lights to give the title a sort 1980s retro-futuristic appearance. And it does look pretty cool. However, the filter that adds the horizontal scan lines was maybe too much. I believe the game would look better without it. There is a guide at PC Gaming Wiki how to remove the filter but I felt too lazy to do so.

Comedy (and parody I suppose) is a big part of the game's tone but it did not find it particularly amusing. I also found the story and animation cutscenes tedious and just skipped them. The synth soundtrack would have been great if the game's sounds were of higher quality. Like with Skyrim, the game's audio seemed quieter and more toned down than usual.

Streamlined FC3 gameplay

Gameplay-wise Blood Dragon is very much like FC3. You liberate outposts, gather collectibles, and do little side-missions to unlock weapon mods. The protagonist, Sergeant Rex "Power" Colt, gets similar upgrades as Jason Brody but in a much more linear fashion. He also moves a whole lot faster than Brody. There is no reason to get into a vehicle since it is much faster to just run to your goal.

The amazing explosive sniper rifle got unlocked even faster than in FC3 (I guess because BD is only 9 hours long even for a completionist run). The shotgun also gets similar explosive rounds. I used it later on to take down the game's title monsters, blood dragons.

Early on I fought the laser-shooting lizards cowardly from outposts' shield bubbles. The dragons seemed so intimidating and took a whole lot of damage to actually kill. Then I learned you are supposed to aim for their underbellies and that Colt can simply dance around them in close quarters with his high movement speed. You still need to be careful with burning grass, though. With so many fire effects going around, stuff is burning pretty much all the time.

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