Five Throwback Games in the Style of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Ubisoft’s standalone Far Cry 3 expansion brings us all back to a simpler, more neon-soaked time without casting aside the things that make modern games great. It’s a fun amalgamation of styles and mechanics both old and new, and I really hope it isn’t the last such throwback we see. In fact, I’ve got ideas for five more, a few of which take advantage of specific old school franchises in a manner more specific than Blood Dragon’s generic 80s sci fi action flick sensibilities.

– Borderlands does Army of Darkness. This one’s an easy match. Both titles rely on a combination of comedy and over-the-top mayhem. Pandora’s bleak, brown landscape matches that of the movie. Hook Ash Williams up with a boomstick that shoots elemental ammunition, send him on a few fetch quests to find the Necrimonicon or take take on his evil twin, and add the option to switch between chainsaw and cyberhand attachments and you’ve got a winner. Hail to the king, baby.

– Need for Speed does Smokey and the Bandit.  Let’s bring car chases back to a time when they had some style. Burt Reynolds may have been the nominal star of Smokey and the Bandit, but Jackie Gleason’s Sheriff Buford T. Justice absolutely stole every scene in which he appeared. Those are the shoes I want to fill; who cares about getting the girl and winning a bet when you can play a wise-cracking, tough-as-nails representative of the law pursuin’ the goddamnedest pursuee I’ve ever pursued. Put the evidence in the car!

– Rock Band does The Blues Brothers. Are plastic instruments good enough to accomplish a mission from God? There’s only one way to find out. The story of Jake and Elwood would work well as Need for Speed, fodder, too, so maybe the two ideas should be combined. Regardless, who doesn’t want to play “Rawhide” to a bar packed with rednecks or stall the cops with “Sweet Home Chicago” while Belushi and Aykroyd make their grand escape? Throw in a game over screen featuring Carrie Fisher and a flamethrower and you’ve got a winner on your hands.

– Mass Effect does Star Trek. BioWare’s science fiction epic owes a lot to Gene Roddenberry. Shepard and his crew regularly go where no man has gone before, seeking new planets and new civilizations. And when an intergalactic threat appears to wipe all sentient life away, the Normandy bravely leads the fight. Any Trekkie will tell you that the relationships between crew members are some of the most important parts of any Star Trek series, and the same is true of Mass Effect. This one seems almost too easy.

– Angry Birds goes Game Boy. Today’s most popular mobile game should give a shout out to its roots. We’ve seen the birds take on Star Wars and every holiday shy of Secretary’s Day, but where’s the monochromatic tribute to the original Game Boy?

What say you, dear readers? What throwback ideas did we miss?

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