Do you remember that there were decades previously to this one? Far Cry 3 seems to think it does, with the appearance of an expandalone spoof of the 1980s, Blood Dragon. How does this mini-adventure hold up? Here’s wot I think:
RPS Feature Spangles, etc.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, wherefore art thou Blood Dragon? Well – and this is just a hunch – I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s because of all the blood dragons. Thing is, our peeks at the neon-drowned shurikensplosion of a game have thus far been confined by story, (somewhat oddly) removing said retro-future laser reptiles from the spotlight. Now, though, it’s time for a tour of the expandalone’s open world, and the dragons are done tip-toeing about. They are real, they are pissed, and they want cyber hearts for some reason. Watch them frolic, romp, stomp, and shoot helicopters out of the sky using only their eyeballs and their wits after the break.
RPS Feature Williams Vs Yohalem Part The Last
Who shoots the shooters? Well, I don’t think Spec Ops: The Line and Far Cry 3 writers Walt Williams and Jeffrey Yohalem have ever shot anybody, but they are attempting to skewer gaming’s shooter genre – or at least give it a good paddling. In the previous two installments of this gigantic chat, we discussed everything from the art of critique, to violence, to the effect of treating gamers like they’re stupid, to Dante’s Inferno and the Sistine Chapel. Seriously. It’s been a very long and interesting road, but now we’re finally at its end. In this thrill-a-millisecond conclusion, we discuss real, long-form criticism of games (including that one guy who wrote a book about Spec Ops), what’s next for these sorts of dissection of videogame culture, games as tools for exploring the future, and where games like BioShock Infinite fit into that.
RPS Feature Williams Vs Yohalem, Pt 2: Blood Dragon
When last we joined Spec Ops: The Line writer Walt Williams and Far Cry 3 writer Jeffrey Yohalem, they discussed everything from the problematic nature of modern escapism to Western culture’s disturbing disconnection from real violence. Today: art! Or rather, the process of creating it using someone else’s money when that’s not really what they wanted in the first place. Also, we delve into the notion that gamers (often rightly) assume games think they’re dumb, and how that factored into the receptions of both games’ messages. In the process, the likes of Mass Effect, Shadow of the Colossus, the Sistine Chapel, and Dante’s Inferno (the literary work; not the bizarre EA game) get ruthlessly dissected. NO ONE IS SAFE. Flee beyond the break while you still can.
RPS Feature Williams Vs Yohalem, Pt 1
The shooters! They’ve become self-aware! Now they’re in the vents, skittering around menacingly and writing lengthy commentaries on why the very mechanics that make them tick might just be hyper problematic for, you know, society. Two games, especially, have claimed the forefront of this movement and have succeeded to – erm, depending on whom you talk to – varying degrees. If nothing else, however, Spec Ops: The Line and Far Cry 3 should be applauded for aiming right down the sights at a very important topic. Thing is, they furrowed their proverbial brows at shooters in extremely different fashions – Spec Ops by charting a slow descent into bodycount-borne madness, and Far Cry by “straight-faced” (and/or frustratingly obtuse) satire. So, during GDC, I brought their respective writers, Walt Williams and Jeffrey Yohalem, together for a wide-ranging chat about, well, everything. In part one, we talk the industry’s emotional disconnect from the realities of shooting, how to critique violence without accidentally glorifying it in the process, getting these critiques past publishers, and tons more. Oh, and of course, beware of SPOILERS.
Edit – bah, videos removed. If anyone’s found another source please say so below.
Edit2 – A new source for one of the vids is now in this post, but presumably it won’t hang around for long.
This half hour of purported footage from Far Cry 3 expandalone Blood Dragon is obviously fake. You can tell by the way the shader polarity is reversed at 11m07s in the first video, and the vertex flux lacks external consistency at 03m40s in the second video. Don’t even et me started on how unconvincing the e-dough modulation is. If you’re naive enough to want to watch thirty minutes of fabricated video from a pastiche sci-fi shooter, I can only wave you at the supposedly leaked videos below. They might have gone by the time you get there, as Ubisoft will doubtlessly feel the blatantly counterfeit muzzle occlusion diodes will give the real version of their game a bad rep.
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I still can’t quite believe that Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon exists but as of this weekend, the standalone title not only has a release date, it also has Michael Biehn’s voice. Actually, the Xbox Marketplace listing which reveals the May 1st release date doesn’t specify ‘voice’, it says ‘a VHS era vision of a nuclear future, where cyborgs, blood dragons, mutants, and Michael Biehn collide’. Is it possible that the man in possession of the only true Reese’s Pieces has been transformed into binary code and inserted into the game? We’ll find out soon enough.