In keeping with this week's theme of "brilliant shooters that only found a niche audience", the next Ubisoft game to go free as part of the publisher's "Ubi 30" 30th anniversary celebration is Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.
It's camp and silly, but underneath all that neon and disco, Blood Dragon is a fundamentally straightforward shooter. It's one of my favourite Ubi games because it's utterly committed to its own ridiculousness, and that makes it a blast to play, especially if you're old enough to remember a time when this style of thing was taken semi-seriously.
"Far Cry is one of the first open worlds Ubisoft created. The game was first introduced to the public at E3 2001 as X-Isle. At that time, Ubisoft showed an impressive open-world of forest inhabited by dinosaurs, supported by the powerful Cry-engine from Crytek," Ubisoft wrote, explaining the game's significance in the Ubi pantheon. "The co-developed game by Ubisoft and Crytek changed name and adapted its context to become Far Cry in March 2004. From the beginning the game offered the root of an open world: large playground, freedom of choice and initiative to the player, emerging gameplays."
Blood Dragon is a stand-alone expansion to Far Cry 3, and at first glance looks like a throwaway gag. When it first came to light, in fact, some people thought it was an April Fool's joke. But it's a top-notch shooter—it's Far Cry underneath, after all—and the over-the-top '80s parody is executed so well that, for my money, it's better than the original.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon will go free as of November 9; until then. Beyond Good and Evil is the Ubi freebie of the month. Get them at the Ubisoft Club website.