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Jan 23, 2013

Binary Domain PC Review

Binary Domain is a third person action rpg squad based shooter game produced by SEGA and developed by Team CS1 (Xbox 360/PS3) and Devil's Details (PC). Though this game seems like it has a lot of potential to stand up to more popular games like Mass Effect 3, I'd say it's not quite there, but the effort it made was respectably noted. Does this mean it's a good game? By all means, yes, but it's not without its flaws.

What I disliked:

1.) Stereotypical Characters and poor voice acting: English translated voice acting for this game was painful, to say the least. Not that there were mispronounced words or anything, but more so the accents where horribly executed and more like drunken slurs or just stereotypical in the case of the French characters. The characters were rather stereotyped by their nationalities as well and this makes for a rather uncomfortable experience.

2.) Consol ported Control Layout: Unfortunately the PC version of this game was very crudely ported. Default keyboard controls are awful, but thankfully customizable via the configuration tool. If you've played Mass Effect 3 for the PC and liked that control layout, then it works perfectly for this game.

3.) Lack of weapons/character customization: Though you can upgrade weapons, there's not a lot of weaponry to choose from. Each character has a default primary weapon and side arm (in the player's case, an assault rifle) and you can pick up an extra secondary weapon from the ground that your enemies drop. you can't upgrade these secondary weapons, only your primary. Character upgrades have a unique style to them, but in the end it's an over glorified points system that you have to work around for basic stats like +10 health and +12 defense. Not bad, but not great.

What I liked:

1.) Interesting Story: The Story and plot of this game is very captivating, in my opinion. Fans of "Ghost in the Shell" may like this game as the philosophy behind it is somewhat similar, emphasizing on questions like "What is 'life' and what can be classified as being 'alive'?" and "What is the difference between man and a machine that's become self-aware?" This deep philosophical story almost makes up for all of the games imperfections.

2.) Intense and Innovative Combat: For most of the game you're fighting against Humanoid Robot Soldiers and these guys can take a lot of fire to put down. What's nice about these tough enemies is that you can whittle down your enemies by targeting key body parts. For example, shooting a robot's arm off hinders its ability to aim accurately or drop their weapon. Shooting out the legs of a fast moving enemy causes them to limp or fall over and crawl. Blowing off their heads disrupts their targeting systems, causing them to fire blindly or attack each other. Though these features are in place, this isn't exactly a shooting gallery, so you'll have to think on your feet on how to deal with specific enemies. If you take too long eventually the enemy will charge your position and take advantage of their more durable bodies to get in a few hits before they get taken out, so you have to act quickly.

3.) The "Trust" system: Some actions you take in the game as well as specific dialog options you choose will change a partner's opinion of you. This trust will determine how they perform in upcoming firefights and how well they'll execute your commands when things go south.

4.) Multiplayer and Online Coop: Though I haven't played Multiplayer yet, It seems like a straight forward third person Call of Duty or Gears of war. Coop mode, or "Invasion" mode, is more equivalent to Mass Effect 3's Multiplayer where players must survive an onslaught of 30 waves, each one progressively getting much harder than the last. Online players can choose from up to 6 different classes and upgrade them according to their play style using XP they've earned in combat.

With all its flaws I still liked this game. They were flaws that I could get used to or work around, and they don't really bother me as much as most other people. I can't say that this game is "amazing" but it fairs out pretty well, and though I haven't beaten the game yet I'm still dyeing to know what happens next, and that to me is a huge plus for me. The game isn't exactly original, but I like the direction that this game is going. In a way the game feels slightly Nostalgic for me, though I can't quite put my finger on why. It has a lot of exciting moments, but it also has a few cheep, annoying moments too (like timed quicktime events that kill you instantly and kill the flow of the game). For me, it's an action packed and challenging game, and I hope others like the game as much as I do. This is definitely a game that I would recommend if you're looking for an "Action/Adventure" title that'll help kill some time.    
Verdict: 80/100

Genre Shooter
Style Squad-Based Shooter
Themes Robots Futuristic Warfare
Release Date April 27, 2012
Developer Sega of Japan
Publisher Sega of America, Inc.


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