Blood Dragon describes itself as “THE Kick-Ass Cyber Shooter taking place on a bizarre open-world island crawling with evil. Welcome to an 80’s VHS vision of the future.”
With it’s Mega Drive style cut scenes (which reminded me of Streets of Rage…), neon colour scheme and unashamedly retro action movie feel, this stand alone offering from the Far Cry series is one of the most enjoyable first person shooters available on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Set in the year 2007, as all good 1980s and early 90s action movies were (we’re all dead by now according to The Terminator films), you take on the role of Sargent Rex Colt – a cyber commando fighting an army of other cyborgs gone bad.
Having Michael Biehn as the voice of Colt just keeps the cliché train rolling.
But Blood Dragon makes no secret of what it is, summarising itself almost perfectly with the line “Your mission: get the girl, kill the baddies, and save the world”.
Largely a run and gun affair, occasional smatterings of stealth, and the odd piece of tactical play ensure there is enough variety here to keep things interesting; while looting fallen foes and rack up points via kills, headshots and alike allows access to further powerups and weapons.
Nothing especially revolutionary, but again that is part of its beauty. Easy to pick up, easy to enjoy but enough depth to stop you getting bored – all whilst having the sleek, dazzling, veneer of the 1980s.
Its ‘homage’ to the old style action movies of 20 (or 30) years ago means that the appeal might be somewhat fixed to a certain group; i.e. those who love and remember The Terminator, Commando and even Escape from LA. But then, games companies seem to be that much wiser to the fact that ‘gamers’ do not solely comprise of teenagers and people born in the 90s.
There are plenty of people who remember when Michael Biehn was in his ‘prime’, and this truly feels like a game for them.
And there we have it really – if you have a hankering for an FPS which harks back to the days yore, and you don’t mind a lot of neon, then Blood Dragon is certainly worth a look.