Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a standalone DLC title for the ever-popular Far Cry 3. Although it's very similar gameplay-wise, Blood Dragon is widely different from Far Cry 3 in terms of setting and art style. The game takes place in a futuristic '80s retro style world, on an island full of evil cyber soldiers and blood dragons. Blood dragons are enormous, mutated dragons that roam the island. They are the hardest enemy in the game. Blood Dragon is open-world with a lot to discover, and along with the main story, there are dozens of side missions and achievements that will keep you occupied. Killing enemies nets you experience which, when accumulated, will make you stronger and improve your hit points. Completing side missions will unlock weapon upgrades and other goodies. Although it may seem like there is much to do, you can finish the game in a very short amount of time. The main story took me around 2 hours to complete, but it can take 9+ hours to get 100% completion.
Being a first-person shooter, Blood Dragon is loaded with intense violence and gore. Blowing enemies' heads into pieces, stabbing through their torsos with stealth attacks and ripping their hearts out of their chests can be very disturbing. Since the enemies are cyber soldiers, the blood is white instead of red. Along with that, swearing is heard at almost every moment in the game. In fact, there is even a button dedicated to flipping off your enemies. Also, there is a sex scene but it's not animated in-game. To clarify, the cut-scenes in this game are comparable to slideshows but with voice over. The sex scene is displayed in images with moaning, and the images do show nudity.
The gunplay is more or less the same as it would be in any other first-person shooter. Most of the weapons that you can use are guns, but there are also some interesting weapons like the flamethrower. Blood Dragon tries hard to be over-the-top, and for that reason, there are many moments where you will kill a ton of enemies and cause absolute chaos. Even if this is all fine and dandy, the constant enemy waves become a chore, and some of the missions aren't exactly jaw-dropping.
There were a few things that left me impressed, like chain fatalities, but I noticed that a lot of the fatalities that you perform can happen entirely by accident. For instance, jumping in the air while near an enemy can spontaneously make you stab them in the chest and kill them. In most games, there is a button that you can press when you're above the enemy that will do the same thing, but in Blood Dragon it automatically does it for you. Sometimes it can happen even when you weren't planning on doing it, and this can cause some frustration when you're in the middle of a firefight. The animation itself takes a while, and it got me very annoyed at times.
I enjoyed how stealth was handled in this game. Sneaking around, throwing dice to distract enemies, and attacking them when they least expect it can be quite satisfying. It isn't as complex as it would be in popular stealth titles, but it's a great addition nonetheless. Enemy AI can be very, very stupid at times. Honestly, sometimes I would just sit there and stare at an enemy, and wait for him to notice that I'm right in front of his face. When you're in a firefight, enemies feel robotic and unrealistic, and only know how to walk forward and shoot their gun. I was playing the game on the normal difficulty.
Graphically, the game is very impressive, and some may appreciate the unique art style. Unfortunately, I had trouble enjoying it due to the unremovable scan lines. I understand that the aim was to give the game a retro feel, but the scan lines can be painful to look at. I had a lot of eyestrain while playing this game, and had to take breaks just to rest my eyes. Besides that issue, the graphics are great. Everything is designed in such a unique way that I find it impossible to forget this game. The animation is very impressive as well.
The soundtrack is very pleasant to listen to and works well, and since the art style is focused on a futuristic retro theme from the '80s, the soundtrack is comparable to the type of techno that was popular at that time. If this all sounds very appealing to you, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. I personally loved it, and I'm not much of a fan for this type of music. The sound effects reflect on the futuristic theme as well. You will be hearing a lot of beeps and bloops while playing this game, and it's all very satisfying.
I personally didn't enjoy Blood Dragon as much as I would have hoped. Yes, the art style is unique and the sound is excellent, but I just didn't find the gameplay to be as enjoyable. The story doesn't take itself seriously, and there are many references to Internet memes and '80s pop culture. The humour in the game is sometimes all over the place, and there are more misses than there are hits. I don't believe I've even cracked a smile once while playing Blood Dragon. I'll admit that there are probably many people who will really like this game and compare it to games like Duke Nukem, but I personally didn't enjoy it.
The morality issues keep me from recommending this game to others. If you're into humorous over-the-top first-person shooters like Duke Nukem and Bulletstorm, you may enjoy this game. However, for those who would rather play a game that isn't edgy for the sake of being edgy, you may want to avoid this game and spend your money elsewhere.