© 2013 Phil Locke

Bloody Good Fun

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is a bloody stupid game, and that’s a damn good thing. There aren’t many games that make me actually laugh out loud, and fewer still that seem so wholly devoted to the task. Furthermore, it’s a modern shooter that you can play without the feeling that you’re in a recruitment office, and that’s a damn good thing too.

I may have felt stupid while playing this, but I didn’t feel dirty. Absolutely everything is played for laughs, and I can’t help but appreciate a game that doesn’t seem to want to do anything but put a big stupid grin on my face. There’s a lot of mishits, but with so many shots on goal it’s hard not to be glad of the effort. Even when the deliberately obnoxious tutorial becomes genuinely “go fuck yourself” irritating, there’s still a sense that this big, stupid dog of a game just wants to please.

What Blood Dragon has to offer is the chance to run around shooting cybersoldiers with Robocop’s gun, while your character swears at people. Your character is played by Hicks from Aliens. There is a lot of gun in this game. Lots of explosions too. Things bleed, so that you can kill them. MARK IV STYLE, MOTHERFUCKER!

I can’t help it. This game has infected me with something. I feel like I’m a little lad again, watching Predator or Commando for the thousandth time. In a few months time, maybe I’ll be able to properly criticise Blood Dragon – it’s a far cry (yeah, yeah, and what?) from perfect – but frankly, it leaves me with a big stupid grin on my face and I get to run around cybersoldiers (cyberbloodyeverything, actually) firing Robocop’s gun and swearing – or rather, having Hicks from Aliens (Michael Biehn, for those who don’t know) do the swearing for me.

I have a laser assault rifle too, which is a bit inaccurate at the moment, as I haven’t upgraded it – but that doesn’t matter, because it means I get to fire it more. And then there’s the minigun which I can just carry around like it ain’t a thing, even though it really bloody is. And then there’s the fact that what jingoism there is in the game is a clear parody of the over the top pro-US, anti-Soviet, flag and willy waving propaganda that was an essential part of many an American action film, rather than being a completely unironic pro-military wankfest like SOME OTHER GAMES.

Blood Dragon is funny, as long as the premise of the joke is funny to you in the first place. If you never had a soft spot in your heart for 80’s action films, then this may well just irritate you. Personally, it had me in bits.

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