The relationship between boys (not men) and the 1980s action movie craze is something which is difficult to explain. It's really a meeting of circumstances more than anything else. You see, back when the PG-13 rating was either nonexistent or new (coming to pass because of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), the R-rating had some leeway from movie theaters. It had just the sort of forbidden allure that was intoxicating to boys aged twelve to fourteen.
What did you want to do when you wanted to show how much more grown up you were than Star Wars (even though you weren't)? Well, you went to see one of the many R-rated movies out there in theaters or on VHS. The movie industry was completely complicit in this. Aliens, Robocop, Terminator, Predator, and Rambo (part II and III) had massive fanbases amongst those who were technically too young to see them. I won't lie to you, there were also other allures of R-rated movies that newly pubescent boys would hope to be in these sorts of films, especially the really bad ones. The internet has wiped out the allure of these latter ones completely.
|The Blood Dragons are impressive monsters and easily one of the game's best features.|
It's pure nostalgia.
The premise of Blood Dragon is you are Sergeant Rex Power Colt, whose name could only come from the fevered dreams of young boys wishing to be awesome. He is a slightly-out-of-date cyborg commando in the post-Apocalypse draconian United States (which has just survived Vietnam 2). In a hilariously unsentimental riff on Apocalypse Now, Rex is sent to terminate his former commanding officer, Colonel Ike Sloan, who has assembled an army of cybernetic soldiers to take over the world. They're called...OMEGA FORCE.
Dun Dun Dun.
|Nothing says fun like a minigun.|
The gameplay is nearly identical to that of the main game, Far Cry 3, which shouldn’t come as any surprise. What the game does is streamline the experience system so you gain powers instead of tattoos. Rex Power Colt has a few fun new abilities as well, such as the fact he can run at 30 mph, doesn’t suffer falling damage, and can breathe underwater. These abilities change the way the game is played and help solidify the sense that Rex is a cyborg badass early on. Rex also has chain-kills unlocked at the beginning so he can slaughter three or four robot enemies at once from the very beginning.
Perhaps remembering the funnest part of Far Cry were the outpost takeovers, Blood Dragon expands on them. Omega Force's garrisons are larger, better armed, and have a number of alternate means of takeover. My favorite is turning off the energy shields and letting in Blood Dragons to slaughter the troops within. You can also lure them to attack your enemies or distract them with the cyborg hearts of your foes. They're great "boss" enemies and sufficiently hard to kill so that even cyborg badasses like Sergeant Rex Power Colt must use every resource to kill them.
|The cutscenes are done in a deliberately retro-style, which is hilarious.|
At heart, Blood Dragon is a funny game and a good example of the action genre. Thus, it works as the best kind of parody. You aren't supposed to take Rex Power Colt's ridiculous jingoism ("I made a promise to Lady Liberty"), muted humility ("Paintings of sad clowns and dogs playing poker are amazing. This is just the job."), and cheesy one-liners (too many to count) seriously but you can. Underneath the joke-a-second storyline, there's a simple but entertaining story about good versus evil. Ike Sloan is an entertaining monster and Rex Colt is a likable hero.
|Cyberbow and arrow versus cyborg T-Rex!|