Gun and Game — Far Cry Blood Dragon

I love the Far Cry series of games. They are the video game equivalent of comfort food to me. I love them; they relax me, the gunplay is usually solid, and the games provide me with thoughtless fun. I’ve played and beaten every Far Cry game up until this point, and my very favorite isn’t even a real Far Cry game. No, my favorite is an expansion of Far Cry 3. It’s a spin-off called Far Cry Blood Dragon.

The titular Blood Dragon kills brutally.

Most Far Cry games set you in an exotic location that’s quasi-realistic. You face the elements, scale cliffs, deal with animals, and more. Blood Dragon is more akin to a balls-to-walls LSD trip. It’s the 1980s interpretation of the near future with the near future being 2007…the game was released in 2013, by the way. It’s a synth-wave retro ride into the nuclear apocalypse promised to us by films like The Terminator.

You walk in the shoes of Rex Power Colt, a cybernetic super-soldier voiced by the one and only Micheal Biehn. You arrived on an island plagued with evil soldiers, crazy animals, and the titular Blood Dragons. Along the way, you wield the A.J.M. 9.

Into the World of the Blood Dragon

This first-person shooter allows you to kill at your heart’s content. One of the first missions has you blasting away at bad guys as you assault a base with the Terror 4000 Minigun from the side of a dropship. You quickly see that this isn’t your normal Far Cry game. Blood Dragon provides awesome visuals and a style that brings the 80s back before 80s nostalgia was even cool.

Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon video game

Your trip into a VHS-style future is dark and grim, full of neon purple highlights and synthwave music. As a super-soldier, you’ll complete missions, liberate bases, and deal with cyber sharks and crazy evil birds. The game features an open world where you can play however you choose.

The Neon Nightmare

You can go in balls-out, guns blazing with a wide variety of weapons, or go stealthy with silent takedowns or a silent but neon glowing bow. Blind blood dragons roam the island. Rex uses them against the bad guys and they can be a devastating weapon if used wisely. The weapons are almost all entirely references to 80s action flicks, including Terminator and Robocop. From the Cobra Assault Cannon to the Winchester 1887, Arnold wielded in T2.

Blood Dragon Neon Nightmare
Players embrace the neon nightmare in Blood Dragon.

This neon nightmare strikes a chord with me. I grew up with a stack of VHS tapes of violent 1980s movies. I loved the near future that people in the 80s envisioned. Blood Dragon as a game fully encompasses the vision of the future I wish I lived in. I’d make a great cyborg goon for the big bad of one of these movies.

Your first sidearm references one of the best 80s action flicks, Robocop. They named it the A.J.M. 9, and the writers made a reference wrapped inside a reference, wrapped inside a real gun.

A Legend from the 80s

The A.J.M. 9 is the official sidearm of Rex’ Power’ Colt. From the beginning, it was my favorite gun. As a Robocop fan, I realized instantly that the A.J.M. 9 was Robocop’s own Auto 9 machine pistol. Why is it called the A.J.M. 9? Well, what was Robocops name before he became Robocop?

Here is the star of today’s article, the Auto-9 aka the A.J.M. 9 aka the Beretta 93R

Alex J. Murphy. I’m not clever enough to figure that out, but the gun’s description claims it’s named in honor of a fallen DPD officer. You know what, the description is kick-ass enough you should just read it yourself.

“It’s a given that this handgun is awesome, with a kick-ass muzzle flash and 3-round burst fire that’s like mule-kicking enemies in chuckies. The gun was built and named in honor of a fallen DPD cop who fell in the line of duty fighting the creeps of the Detroit mega slums and industrial wastelands.”

Yep, just like in Robocop, the Blood Dragon A.J.M. 9 fires in three-round bursts and has some real kick-ass muzzle flash. We get an impossibly large magazine with 30 rounds in the stock mag, 60 in the extended, and 280 with the max mags. A three-round burst delivers some immense pain to the villains standing in your way.

Robocop used a heavily modified Beretta 93R.
Robocop used a heavily modified Beretta 93R.

If you prefer silence in your violence, you can equip your gun with a suppressor that’s massive and even a laser sight. The A.J.M. 9 isn’t the only gun in the game, but it’s the gun I stuck with for my most of my play.

The Auto-9 is Born

In real life, the dwarves armorers built the A.J.M. 9 and Robocop’s Auto-9 off the Beretta 93R machine pistol. In Robocop, the Auto-9 uses a gussied up Beretta 93R to give Robocop his distinctive hero gun. Originally the filmmakers wanted to use a Desert Eagle, but it looked too small in Robocop’s armored hand.

Robocop shooting Beretta 93R
The muzzle device makes a distinct flash.

Plus, a three-round burst of automatic fire provides a distinct report and muzzle flash that’s suitable for a giant cyborg’s hands. Armorers attached a barrel extension and longer dust cover, complete with a three-port compensator on each side of the gun. This gives it a very distinctive and recognizable muzzle flash we see in both Blood Dragon and Robocop.

The addition of this bulky piece raised the front sight, so the rear sight was raised to keep the sight plane consistent. This was a nice touch that helped the Auto-9 and A.J.M. 9 make a bit more sense.

The Beretta 93R in Real Life

Beretta designed the 93R for close security work and VIP protection. They modified the Beretta 92 to fire three-round bursts at a rapid 1,200 RPM cyclic rate. A selector switch at the rear allowed you to go from safe to semi, to burst.

Beretta 93R
The Beretta 93R looks cool.

Machine pistols are notoriously tough to control if you aren’t a cyborg. The armorers installed an extended barrel and compensator to help, but structural changes were made as well. To increase control, the Italians enlarged the trigger guard and added a foregrip. Users put the thumb of their support hand through the trigger guard and gripped the forward grip with the rest of their hand. Shooters could also add a stock if they chose.

The Future is the 93R

According to Blood Dragon and Robocop, the Beretta 93R would be the future of firearms! Well, in real life, the 93R suffered from machine pistolitis. You see, machine pistols kind of suck. They are tough to shoot and control in full auto. A dedicated submachine gun just makes so much more sense.

The point of both Robocop and Blood Dragon is to be badass, violent, and fun. The Beretta 93R, aka the Auto-9, aka the A.J.M. 9 meet those requirements full stop. Far Cry Blood Dragon scores high for me.


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Author: Joey Webster

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