Genre: First Person Shooter
Developed by: Ubisoft Montreal
Published by: Ubisoft
Platforms: PC, PS3, XBOX 360
Feeling Like: A Far Cry Indeed
I’m afraid to go back and look how long it’s been since my last entry.
Sometimes I’ll get on a hot streak and pound out an article or four in a single evening. I’ll be feeling productive, witty even. Grand designs form in my head. My lore will transcend time – when I’m decades older and have stopped playing video games because my arthritis won’t let me strafe properly and the new eye-plant VR systems are too confusing and I just want to play SNES, but I can’t find a hookup for the holographic hardlight screen projector in my sky condo – but that won’t matter, because MY insight into Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon will open a window to what the public perception of digital entertainment was in 2020.
I don’t feel that way all the time.
I’ll take a break, and then the break gets long. Then, I come to the next entry and realize I have nothing to say. What can I say about this first person shooter that drapes itself, willingly, in 80s cheese – a self-aware parody that was still moderately fresh in 2013 and not overdone. At this point Stranger Things was still THREE years away.
How wild is that, by the way? In my head, Stranger Things started the whole longing for the 80s thing, but not even close! I’ve heard that it’s a 30 year cycle for nostalgia. We’ve seen so much reverence for 80s pop culture that it’s getting a bit long in the tooth. Not for me, I’ll take as much Glow, Stranger Things, callbacks to retro video games and music as you’ll give me. Right on cue, 90s stuff is now being longed for. It is 2020, after all.
Anyway, I get back from a break and start to feel guilty and morose. I’ll never finish the 500. Why did I pick 500 as a target number? If I’d done 100, or 150 I’d be done by now. 200 would put me in striking distance. Do I really hate doing this?
No, but it’s akin to an endless homework assignment that I truly love doing and want to see it through.
And then COVID-19 happened.
It’s all encompassing, something none of us have ever seen before. Certainly my generation has never lived through this kind of worldwide obstacle – if I knew what a war felt like, I’d be tempted to call it war-like in terms of expectations from regular citizens, but I don’t know what a war feels like (thankfully). All I know is people are getting sick and dying, grocery trips have started to feel like infiltration missions and I’m checking the news every five minutes. I’m messaging everybody I know all the time to confirm their safety. It’s exhausting.
So, if you’re any kind of reader, or supporter, or somebody who just wants to hear my take on Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (I am SO sorry), I appreciate your patience both in the delay of this post, and for the Kermode inspired rant. Ha, if only I could write as well as him I’d do it for a living. As long as I could get Kasim, or Josh, or Mitch as my editor, I’d be set.
This is a terrific piece of DLC, it doesn’t overstay its welcome, there’s neon lights everywhere, the soundtrack makes me want to free myself from the shackles of a small coal mine town and rise the ranks to become a Terminator Robocop who uses space guns to take down ninjas and laser dragons. Perfect.
The cutscenes go on too long, but there are so many 80s action movie references that I gave it a pass for that. A few of the one liners that are genuinely funny and the soundtrack is sublime, if you like synth songs that could find a home in They Live, Predator or The Thing.
Not everything hits the target. I found the voice acting surprisingly poor, and not in a way that’s done on purpose. There’s a fine line between pretending to sound amateur and actually being amateur and I don’t think they found the mark here.
Looking back on it, some of the jokes landed; the verbal frustration from the protagonist during the tutorial was really well done. However, the obvious sexual innuendo wasn’t quite clever enough to absolve it from the stereotypes it was trying to mock.
Minor quibbles. The shooting and stealth mechanics are outstanding. Every building, room and courtyard is an empty canvas for your destruction. I didn’t even gravitate towards a single weapon – the bow was as satisfying as the helicopter’s mini-gun.
I so rarely play expansions that I was curious as to why I landed on this one. The early months of 2015 saw me enjoying the first (and only) PC I’d built myself, so I was keen to see how smooth first person shooters would run. I didn’t exactly choose the most graphically intensive options – Sanctum and Far Cry 3 were the first two and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was the third. Momentum, I suppose?
There. 900 plus words, and that wasn’t so hard, was it? Why did it take so long to get going again? Video games are a wonderful distraction during this tumultuous time. I hope that when I comb over this article months, or years later, the virus will be a fading memory. A distant recollection of a few months where we had to stay indoors as much as possible, and renewed a sense of appreciation of the outdoors and social interactions. Sure, it’s fun to stay in and play video games once in a while, but not when you can’t do anything else. And not every night.
Stay safe, everybody.