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May 2, 2013 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon's opening tutorial sequence pokes a whole lot of fun at the conventions of opening tutorial sequences.

The game is a stand-alone, downloadable expansion of Far Cry 3. Staged as an 80's action sci-fi movie set in the far-away year 2007, it's getting some great reviews on its aesthetics ("It's Far Cry 3 taped onto a VHS tape, then duped over to another VHS tape with the commercials cut out, then copied for your friends at school and played on a filthy VCR that's been playing illicit tapes taken from the "steamy" section of the local rental store") and sense of humor ("Knowingly awful writing, rich with eye-rolling puns and delightfully inappropriate profanity, is a reminder that the dopey dialogue of ‘80s action movies is still a special sort of hilarious."). Released yesterday, it already has a fairly extensive TV Tropes entry.
posted by jbickers (27 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fun side activity: visit the official site, enter the Konami Code.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:51 AM on May 2, 2013


My girlfriend just got this for me as an anniversary present. It's fucking hilarious.
posted by brundlefly at 12:01 PM on May 2, 2013


I just started playing it last night. It keeps making me think of Megaforce, which 10-year-old me thought was the coolest thing ever. (10YO me would love this game.)
posted by jbickers at 12:06 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


How is this substantially different from the trailer for Pacific Rim?
posted by The Whelk at 12:09 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


If we're judging based solely on how often it made me squeee with delight, it is not substantially different at all.
posted by brundlefly at 12:14 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Does Pacific Rim have laser dragons?

Please tell me Pacific Rim has laser dragons.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:15 PM on May 2, 2013


I really can't wait to try this out. Every review indicates that this is basically the true heir to Duke Nukem - not that godawful travesty that took forever to suck.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:21 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Rock Paper Shotgun's John Walker disagrees:
The writing is abysmal, and not because it’s trying to be. It ultimately feels like a dismal Peter Kay routine, with someone shrieking “DO YOU REMEMBER THE EIGHTIES?!?!!” at you as if saying that alone is the funniest thing imaginable...That classic rule of spoofing – that you must actually be better than the target of your mockery – is not followed at all. Instead they’ve opted for that so much easier route of just being bad, and saying, “Seeeeeeee?”

So the beginning drags you through this miserable pastiche of a tutorial, which succeeds only in being a really bloody frustrating tutorial, with a character in the game saying how frustrating it is. That’s not funny – that’s actively sneering at your audience. Being bad on purpose, and then pointing out how you’re being bad on purpose is… being bad.
posted by straight at 12:28 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's the Michael Biehn interview and one of my favorite lines from the game, "I'm no hero. Policemen, firemen, janitors, those are the real heroes..."
posted by Jernau at 12:29 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I haven't played the game and don't know if I'd agree with John Walker, but if it's half as good as this live action trailer for the game by Corridor Digital then I'll probably love it.
posted by straight at 12:32 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


(But I have to admit that what Walker describes is exactly how I'd expect the makers of Far Cry 3 to fail if they were to screw up an awesome premise like this. "SEE WHAT A HORRIBLE PERSON YOU ARE FOR PLAYING THIS VIDEO GAME EXACTLY THE WAY WE DESIGNED IT? WE MADE THE VIOLENCE EXTRA AWESOME TO MAKE YOU FEEL BAD FOR ENJOYING VIOLENCE IN VIDEO GAMES! ALSO WE MADE IT RACIST TO SHOW YOU THAT RACISM IS BAD. IT'S CALLED ROOK ISLAND, GET IT?!")
posted by straight at 12:37 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is there a version of the intro without the two dorks trying to be funny over it? I'm enjoying what I can hear of it, but I'm missing a lot because they won't shut up.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:59 PM on May 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


So the beginning drags you through this miserable pastiche of a tutorial, which succeeds only in being a really bloody frustrating tutorial, with a character in the game saying how frustrating it is.

Yeah, I probably have a poorly developed sense of humor or something but that pretty much sums of my feelings from watching the tutorial in this video. I'm always stunned at how poorly tutorials are designed in "AAA" games, where they expect you to memorize 300 game mechanics at once before you've even attempted to play the game, all through modal dialog boxes that cover up the interface elements that they're explaining.

It's so refreshing to play well designed games that don't have these problems, like Portal or Zelda (except Zelda takes it way too far in the other direction, of course).
posted by zixyer at 1:34 PM on May 2, 2013


If I do play this, it'll probably be on xbox... But I did watch someone try to play this on PC last night .... Emphasis on try. They did eventually getting it working, but there was seriously something like 45 minutes of BS trying to get their stupid Uplay thing to work properly. Blech.
posted by sparkletone at 1:48 PM on May 2, 2013


That’s not funny – that’s actively sneering at your audience. Being bad on purpose, and then pointing out how you’re being bad on purpose is… being bad. Deliberately making your game bad.

Ah, yes, the Bioware method.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:22 PM on May 2, 2013


The live action trailer is great, but the official game trailer complete with 144p resolution and 80s GI Joe-esque animation is a thing of beauty.

As for the game itself? I think I like the soundtrack and trailers more than the game. It's hard to see enemies due to the color scheme and the controls and weapons just aren't satisfying. The AI is decent, with enemies looking for cover appropriately, but then the stealth mechanisms are broken with ridiculous line of sight issues.

As for the writing, I can see some of what John Walker's complaining about, but I thought in general it worked better than he thought.
posted by dragoon at 4:52 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's so refreshing to play well designed games that don't have these problems, like Portal or Zelda (except Zelda takes it way too far in the other direction, of course).

One could argue that Portal is essentially an entire game's worth of tutorial. New techniques are explained before each scenario, during which the new technique is critical for success, and then largely abandoned once the next new skill is introduced.

BatMan: Arkham Asylum kinda sorta tried to avert the problem by "reminding" you of special skills during key points, but it felt a bit too patronizing: (press the space bar to perform a silent kill and defuse the bomb and untie Commissioner Gordon!)
posted by ShutterBun at 5:23 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


except Zelda takes it way too far in the other direction, of course

You found a Small Key! This key will open a locked door. You can use it only in this dungeon.

You got an Orange Rupee! Just one of these is worth 100 Rupees! Your face is beaming!
posted by straight at 5:25 PM on May 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, I'm no veteran gamer (still haven't gotten through the Half-Life 2 add-ons, f'rinstance), but I found this hilarious. The 80s nods are fun by themselves, but the real gags are about gaming -- I think. It really did sound like something whipped up on a weekend after finishing a "real" game, just to blow off steam, and then polishing it. Laughed out loud through the whole video.
posted by dhartung at 5:27 PM on May 2, 2013


FAMOUS MONSTER: "Is there a version of the intro without the two dorks trying to be funny over it? I'm enjoying what I can hear of it, but I'm missing a lot because they won't shut up."

Click this, Cyber-Commando, for a decent Let's Play that's free of idiots from IGN.
posted by barnacles at 5:56 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's like they played Hotline Miami and missed all of the point
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:40 PM on May 2, 2013


The idea of this game is great, but the gameplay is pretty bad.

The original Far Cry 3, despite its sins, had really smooth mechanics as a shooter. I tend to suck at shooters, and even I got to be pretty bad-ass at taking out the mooks.

Only played this for about two hours last night and it's so hard to even figure out if you're looking at the ground or the sky. The color scheme is part of it -- very dark, and no "sky" to orient yourself. Also, you're a super bad-ass cyber commando and you can jump and run faster and take more damage. All well and good, but this kind of breaks the original, very solid and natural-feeling shooter mechanics.

So I dunno. I can't say I was ripped off because it was cheap, and I do think they deserve my money for doing something cool, but the gameplay needed to be thought through a bit more.

Also, a spoiler: Best moment for me so far was when you clear out your second enemy base, and the sexy doctor lady offers you a syringe to boost your cyber-powers (paraphrasing) --

"Sorry, made a promise to another lady."

"Oh, you're married?"

"No, to America. Winners don't do drugs."

Perfect. The cut-scenes are a blast.

So maybe just watch a play-through on the youtubes.
posted by bardic at 10:19 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not the only one to mark the zeitgeist connection between Blood Dragon and recently released on DVD Manborg. If you find the setting and conceit behind this game the least bit interesting, you need to watch this movie.
posted by thecjm at 11:11 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I probably have a poorly developed sense of humor or something but that pretty much sums of my feelings from watching the tutorial in this video. I'm always stunned at how poorly tutorials are designed in "AAA" games, where they expect you to memorize 300 game mechanics at once before you've even attempted to play the game,

Isn't that exactly what the video shows this game making fun of? It has like 10 tutorial screens in a row.
posted by smackfu at 6:15 AM on May 3, 2013


thecjm: "I'm not the only one to mark the zeitgeist connection between Blood Dragon and recently released on DVD Manborg . If you find the setting and conceit behind this game the least bit interesting, you need to watch this movie."

My enthusiasm about Manborg (and, to a lesser extent, this game) is tempered a bit by some personal disappointment. Last year I made a (very) short film centered around an 80s-style antihero named "Tank Flintlock." I've been thinking it'd be fun to write (and perhaps shoot) something longer centered around him traveling to the dystopian future of 200X to retrieve a MacGuffin of some sort. Lots of synth music and crude miniature special effects.

At this point I feel like it'd play as too close to Manborg. Oh, well...
posted by brundlefly at 10:31 AM on May 3, 2013


Is there a version of the intro without the two dorks trying to be funny over it? I'm enjoying what I can hear of it, but I'm missing a lot because they won't shut up.
idea: a game that comes pre-LPd and the bosses at the end are the goony motherfuckers that are doing it

they don't really put up a fight

the prize is a real prize: blessed silence
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:15 PM on May 3, 2013


Isn't that exactly what the video shows this game making fun of? It has like 10 tutorial screens in a row.

Not quite. The video is spoofing the beginner tutorials in every game that are all the same: look around, jump, walk, etc. when what you're really thinking is "just let me kill stuff already!"

But what zixyer is complaining about are the games that teach you some really complicated shit in the very beginning ("throw a grenade while rolling behind cover" etc.) and expect you to remember the keystrokes 4 hours later, when you finally need it.
posted by ShutterBun at 6:07 PM on May 4, 2013


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