Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix Season 1 Review – A blood-soaked homage to Ubisoft and retro gaming

By Kieran Burt
Published: October 19, 2023 (Last updated: October 29, 2023)
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A blood-soaked homage to both Ubisoft franchises and retro gaming, Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix gives audiences a short yet enjoyable ride, with a simple animation style bursting with imagination.

After creating compelling video-game adaptations of Castlevania and Castlevania: Nocturne, Netflix is hoping they can repeat their success with Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix. Though this show doesn’t attempt to adapt a singular game, it draws on Ubisoft‘s stable of well-known and well-liked video game IP, seeking to create a new story while still taking bits of lore and characters. The idea is a good one and side-steps a lot of the critiques an adaptation might get.

One of the main sources of inspiration for the show is Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, the shooter that drenched Far Cry in a 1980s attitude and bright neon colors. It’s a spin-off to the main series that fans love, and, surprisingly, it took this long to adapt it into an anime, as its visuals and action practically beg for it. And this is evident in Captain Laserhawk.

Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix Season 1 review and plot summary

Created by Adi Shankar and brought to life by French animation studio Bobbypills, Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix follows the story of Captain Dolph Laserhawk. It’s 1992, and the USA has been replaced with Eden, a technological dictatorship that’s ruined entertainment and everything else. Laserhawk used to work for Eden, and they made him a super-soldier, but he decided that he would rather rebel with his boyfriend Alex Taylor.

But Alex quickly betrays Laserhawk for the cause, and Laserhawk is placed in Eden’s Supermaxx prison, where he and a cast of colorful characters — Jade the human, Bullfrog the Assassin, Cody, and Pey’j — are forced to work for The Warden, a character with a shadowy past and her own motivations. While working for The Warden, Laserhawk seeks to get revenge on Alex and uncover what The Warden is really up to.

Another part of the show follows Rayman. He’s retired from his platforming days and is now the content daytime TV host who spouts Eden’s propaganda and riles up the citizenry until one incident opens his eyes to just how disposable he is to the government that he serves.

Although Captain Laserhawk features elements from popular Ubisoft video games — Bullfrog is an Assassin like those found in the Assassin’s Creed series, the popular platform mascot Rayman is forced to serve audiences propaganda on TV, Marcus Holloway and DeadSec from Watch Dogs 2 and more — they aren’t one-to-one with their respective franchises either. There aren’t any frog Assassins and Marcus isn’t an old man, but their core remains broadly the same.

Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix Season 1 Review - A blood-soaked homage to Ubisoft and retro gaming

It’s a good idea, as it frees the narrative from predefined expectations to tell whatever story the creators want, rather than being shackled to a specific iteration of a character or a well-known story. There are plenty of twists and turns packed into the six episodes, and while some of them are brief and the implications not dwelled on enough, others are more satisfying and have good payoffs. The show isn’t afraid to off some of its major characters with impact, though one of them dies a bit prematurely.

Although Bobbypills’ style for the show is a bit simple, there is imagination brought into the action onscreen. There is one decision made in the later half of the show that changes the style, and while it’s a cool gimmick it’s held for a bit too long and starts to look odd, especially surrounded by everything else.

RELATED: Will there be a Season 2 of Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix?

At certain points, the show will change from its anime style into an 8-bit retro look, and switch up the action as though the characters were in a game. It’s a neat idea and it is used with restraint so that it doesn’t wear out its welcome. The retro bits use different gameplay styles to change it up, such as a sneaking section or a dialogue mini-game.

The end of the series provides an intriguing look at where it could go next, especially in regards to delving into the lore of a faction prominent in Assassin’s Creed, but with a futuristic anime twist. Hopefully, a future season could develop the animation a little too.

Is Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix worth watching?

Exploring a sci-fi dystopia with bright if simple animation, the imaginative sequences and a new take on some of Ubisoft’s most well-known franchises make Captain Laserhawk worth checking out. And when the credits roll, it seems like there are still intriguing places to go in future seasons.

What did you think of Captain Laserhawk: A Blood Dragon Remix Season 1? Comment below.


Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Reviews
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