In eschewing the tried and tested DLC route of additional missions Ubisoft Montreal - developers of last year’s open-world riveter, Far Cry 3 - has somehow crafted a contender for one of the most deliriously over the top bolt-ons this side of the current hardware generation with Blood Dragon, it’s neon soaked love letter to the world of retro gaming.
Redressing a hefty chunk of Far Cry 3’s gorgeously crafted map and casting Terminator star Michael Biehn in the lead role, Blood Dragon thrusts you into the combat boots of wise-cracking cyber commando, Rex Power Cult, in a bid to hunt down and take out rogue soldier, Sloan. Employing much of the same gameplay mechanics as its full-blooded predecessor, the game encourages stealth as well as manipulation of the environment and the beasts that roam throughout it, namely Blood Dragons. These hulking lizards can be lured into performing dirty deeds by yanking hearts from felled enemies and using them as bait to wreak bloody havoc on the swarms of cyber soldiers that populate the island.
And while the game is still an incredible amount of fun Ubisoft Montreal has failed to address some of the issues that hampered the original game, namely enemy AI and the chaotic fallout from being spotted while snooping throughout an area. Still, it’s fun and if you handled a joypad in the early days of gaming you’ll find yourself in hysterics at the onslaught of zingers and retro nods the writers have cooked up throughout the entirety of the standalone campaign.
Reviewed by Sebastian Williamson