We're not even completely halfway through the year but I'm just going to call it...I have to: Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon has to win best original score for 2013's VGAs. It might seem petty to want the game to win for its soundtrack from an awards show that we all groan and moan about, but come on, this game deserves it!
So have you actually been playing Blood Dragon? I know some of you out there just see it as an amalgamation of regurgitated neon colors from an abandoned Madonna music video that never saw the light of day during the 1980s, but the one thing that makes Blood Dragon both fun and hilarious is how authentic the whole thing is, right down to the terribly befitting soundtrack from the 80s-themed synth-rock group, Power Glove.
Dean Evans and crew over at Ubisoft were given an opportunity to churn out a total conversion mod based on the Far Cry 3 engine and they didn't just churn out a conversion, they unleashed a masterpiece of nostalgic proportions. The typical overly macho hero played by action star Michael Biehn, the token black guy with a subplot everyone sees coming a mile off, right down to the stylishly misplaced Dr. Darling who still manages to keep a strong sense of fashion during a dual apocalyptic holocaust, it all fits and it all works.
The reason the game works so well, though, is because it's not trying to make fun of the 80s, it's celebrating everything we loved about it and Power Glove – even with a ripe opportunity to completely cook up something cheesy and unremarkable – took the music helm and avoided overdoing it, instead they powered through it like Steven Seagal at a turkey tasting event, leaving nothing on the table.
One of the things that really stands out so much with the Blood Dragon soundtrack is that it combines many elements from previous big profile blockbusters from the 80s, including the deep synth chords from James Cameron's The Terminator, the melodic harmonies that Vangelis used to help shape the Blade Runner score, an electric piano similar to that of David Michael Frank's Above the Law score, and even a heroic tribute based around Rocky 4's soundtrack. Power Glove reaches deep into the pop cultural fascination of the neon-themed 1980s era to give gamers a truly unforgettable score.
It would be nice if Blood Dragon walked away with the win for best original score, as it would validate that a game doesn't have to be contemporary, overly-marketed game to win, or that it has to be running brand new proprietary tech to be rewarded for creativity. And maybe, just maybe it'll spur more publishers to use established proprietary engine assets to branch out and try new things on a smaller budget but based around a really big idea...sort of like how the community took it upon themselves to port GTA: San Andreas into GTA IV.
Barring any scores that are as touching or moving as Journey, it's easy to believe that Power Glove could walk away the victor at this year's award show for their amazing score on Blood Dragon. Again, we're only halfway through the year but Blood Dragon has thoroughly impressed with its authentic recreation of a mature, sci-fi B-movie made to air on a Saturday afternoon.
If you can't get enough of the soundtrack you can actually pick up the digital album from Amazon right now. Hopefully Power Glove will also release a physical album at some point, as it would totally be worth owning.