The April Fool’s joke turned real, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was the standalone spin-off to the original FC 3, using the franchise’s familiar gameplay loop and adding the most bonkers 80s aesthetic into the mix. Purple skies, neon lights and a brilliant soundtrack; Blood Dragon was the ultimate nostalgia trip. The only other thing it needed was someone flying off in a DeLorean and all bases would have been covered.
Far from being a fun but shallow collection of knowing winks and references, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon actually felt authentic in its presentation, and at least part of that is due to the inclusion of Michael Biehn as the main protagonist, Rex “Power” Colt. The man who’s played Kyle Reese in The Terminator and Dwayne Hicks in Aliens is almost the perfect comedic foil for the 80s “up to 11” world of Blood Dragon, and his deadpan delivery helped elevate the comedy and the overall game.
Of course, we wouldn’t be here discussing Blood Dragon if it was just a funny adventure with no real meat on its bones. The game used Far Cry 3’s engine as a basis for its gameplay, which many still consider to be the pinnacle of the series, myself included. It nailed the “free roam collect-a-thon” that the series is known for, and it’s a formula that would work beautifully on the Nintendo Switch.
Pretty much every Far Cry game from 3 onwards would likely be too big to work effectively on the Nintendo Switch. Sure, the handheld console is able to get The Witcher 3 working, but you’re silly if you think it’s the best way to play. Most other games in the Far Cry series would likely have some downgrades in order to work properly on the Switch, but I feel Blood Dragon would be a perfect candidate for a Switch port.
The game’s smaller scale, with a less expansive play area and shorter campaign, fits beautifully with the Switch’s pick up and play mantra. Players could jump in on their commute or during other activities, complete a level quickly or try to take over an enemy base, then turn the game off for a bit. I know for a fact I’d be all over this release, even if only because it’d give me something to do in the lengthy Overwatch matchmaking queues.
The aesthetic also lends itself more to the Switch’s strengths than something like the main Far Cry games. Cutscenes are pixelated sequences reminiscent of the Mega Drive, and the graphics rely more on the garish lighting and colours than any realistic rendering, meaning the Switch could effectively mask its shortcoming and still deliver a fantastic experience.
There’s also the brilliant soundtrack, created by Power Glove, that exudes 80s action movie cool at every possible opportunity. If Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was to get a Switch release, I feel it’d be a good opportunity for Limited Run Games, Super Rare Games, iam8bit or another physical game distributor to put together a worthy Collector’s Edition, probably with the soundtrack on vinyl or something. I’d buy that for a dollar. Or several.
Again, we’re just putting this energy out there into the void and seeing what sticks. I’ve also asked Ubisoft to offer a physical option for the upcoming Scott Pilgrim re-release, and there’s been no news on that one either. The Switch has been incredibly successful in offering the hits of yesteryear in a new light, and I feel like Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon could benefit from it.
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