Best Laugh of 2013

Awarding the Best Laugh of the Year is a delicate business, with humour in video games a bit of a tricky thing to nail just right – if the jokes are too obvious it’ll come off as obnoxious and cheap, too subtle and they’ll be overlooked altogether. Do you target sly, sophisticated humour or go for cheap gags? There have been fantastic games that do both, and I’m a little embarrassed that this year’s winner is a form of the latter. It’s still fucking hilarious though.

The award for Best Laugh of 2013 goes to:

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

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The announcement of upcoming Far Cry 3 DLC was widely considered a joke that totally blindsided the entire internet – this was on April Fool’s Day, to be fair. When I discovered it to be true I’ll admit I was initially very wary, worried that the over-the-top personality would overshadow any gameplay developments that were hopefully included. My worries were put to rest, however, and this April Fool’s joke turned out to be the most incongruous yet perfect expansion possible for the title; Blood Dragon.

Sergeant Rex Power Colt proves to be a fantastic protagonist to lead players through what little excuse for a story there is, with inappropriate quips and sarcastic retorts all over the place. The odd witty line of dialgoue is well-appreciated but not even what earns Blood Dragon this award. The very mechanics of the game have been designed with maximum laughs in mind; mission objectives are presented with the most casual, blunt and bro-ey expression, and the objectives themselves feel ridiculous. Ultra-bright neon lights and lasers contrasting against a perpetual night emits a real retro vibe, and though the graphics are fantastic, the world is depicted as the future as imagined by a 1980s sci-fi nerd, and the deliberately awkward jokes are made to suit.

Ubisoft Montreal developed something special in Blood Dragon; something that shamelessly and in fact proudly struts itself about. Blood Dragon knows what you want from it and delivers exactly that in a concise package that takes all the fun and leaves out the peripheral wish-wash action titles feel obliged to include. What’s left is an experience that’ll keep you chuckling along throughout as you murder robot baddies and enormous lizard-dragons. They managed to get away with in Blood Dragon what they couldn’t with Far Cry 3 – a fun, funny title. Sheer and true.

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