“The year is 2007. It is the future.” starts the blurb on the wonderfully retro official Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon website which acts as a backdrop for perhaps the oddest game reveal of the year – even more so than Metal Gear Solid V’s abnormal pre-announcement misdirection.[videoyoutube]Ubisoft haven’t even really confirmed the game. Yes, there has been an official trailer – which doesn’t reveal very much – and, yes, the odd website is hosted on Ubisoft’s own domain. We can be sure that this isn’t just an over-running April Fools joke, however, as the Australian electronic group Power Glove have uploaded three tracks, which are part of the game’s soundtrack, to their SoundCloud.
Along with the trailer, website and sounds are the leaked achievements and Brazilian classification ratings confirming that the game – which looks to be a standalone venture rather than a form of DLC – will release on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
So yes, it’s definitely something and screens leaked via NeoGAF give us a little more insight on what it’ll be; there’s no real surprises here – these images paint a picture of a futuristic (80s futuristic) sci-fi shooter with lots of blue, purples and oranges, like you’d expect. This is going to be blow-your-own-brains-out awesome.
The rest of that blurb on the official website tells a tale from either the minds of absolute geniuses or lunatics, though I’m sure it’s the former:
Earth has been ravaged by a nuclear war and new paths for peace must be found. A U.S. cyborg army may have found a solution: a powerful bioweapon on a distant island. A Mark IV Cyber Commando, Sergeant Rex Power Colt has been sent over to gather information and figure out what the hell is going on.
Sergeant Rex Power Colt; It’s certainly a change from Jason Brody, the young protagonist of the not too out there Far Cry 3. All of this suggests a completely over-the-top and future-retro game which, stylistically, appears to be linked more to the original Tron and movies of that ilk than its own namesake.
The music is another fantastic throwback – I can’t even describe what it reminds me of exactly, other than the exact sound of future 2007 with Cyborgs, nuclear war and bioweapons. Maybe there’s a bit of the Crystal Maze in there, too.
And those achievements? They’re perhaps the most interesting of all, hinting at what the actual gameplay might contain. That includes actual dragons as the title suggests, things called braincages (very sci-fi) and, well, a quest to become the Ultimate Badass.
Some people not might get it but what Ubisoft is doing is very smart; essentially parodying the 1980s’ love of futuristic sci-fi action movies, while also providing some nostalgic references in the process, crafting an awesome-looking and very unique step forward in gaming which also has one foot set firmly in a time before games were really a thing.
That doesn’t mean games are now what movies were thirty or forty years ago; it doesn’t mean that games shouldn’t be taken seriously. No, it proves that games can be an extremely fun and exciting medium, allowing people to experience entertainment which couldn’t be achieved any other way.
No-one ever got a real chance to play a game just like this, but thanks to the success of Far Cry 3 and the probable insanity of the people at Ubisoft, we will soon be able to. This is pure genius – a stylistic step in the complete opposite direction of Far Cry 3, while still presumably keeping some modern traits with the gameplay, to create an experience unlike anything else you’ll see this year.
Hopefully we’ll find out more in the coming weeks – I’m glad Ubisoft aren’t resorting to standard press releases and reveals as these unusual snippets of information feel as though they’re straight from an alternate universe where current game technology existed in the 1980s. And that’s what I’d like to believe is true.
God bless you Ubisoft, you crazy bastards.