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  1. #1
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    Binary Domain - PC - Xbox 360 - PS3

    Review referenced from PC version.


    Binary Domain



    The Story

    Binary Domain is set in infancy of the 21st century. The game's story uses global warming as an effect that has caused planetary flooding leaving about 75% of the Earth uninhabitable. The world's governments that are left have made new cities on top of the old ones as a result. The flooding has caused many millions to die in the process and due to this massive loss of the people, the powers left to sustain life and re-imagine the world if you will, have started to use robotics as an intuitive way of creating said cities. Now that robotics have become such a staple in the workforce to sustain life and society, The American based company "Bergen" has began to dominate the robotics industry. This has made America the one and only superpower in the world.

    However there was another company in the robotics industry that was very upset with Bergen's rise to power. Amada. They essentially tried to sue Bergen for stealing technologies that Amada had created. This case fell as Bergen was too big of a company for Amada to win.

    The world became concerned with the advances in robotics. It had become so advanced, that companies were producing human-like robots called "Hollow Children". This led to a new set of international laws being passed called "The New Geneva Convention". This convention banned the production of hollow children. In turn, The International Robotics Technology Association, or IRTA, created a global policing force known as "Rust Crews". The Rust Crews were used to hunt down any and all hollow children that had already integrated into society.


    As the game starts, the story begins with a Hollow Child attacking Bergen headquarters. Bergen was convinced that the Amada company's founder Yoji Amada, was behind the production and attempted destruction of Bergen, most likely out of jealousy and rage from the so-called theft of tech. A Rust Crew is then sent into Japan led by your character, Sergeant Dan Marshall.

    Gameplay

    The game itself is a 3rd Person shooter, and BOY does it do it well. Being produced by the creators of the Yakuza series, I had no doubts that the game's story and gameplay would be nothing short of great. Unfortunately it only has roughly 5 hours of gameplay so it might be a quick finish. There are 3 seperate endings to the game based on how you interact with the characters a la Mass Effect.

    The game had a multiplayer addon after is launch. This was implemented in a patch for all players. Multiplayer has many game modes to play. These consist of objective based, kill based, capture and destroy based modes. There is also 4-player co-op Invasion mode which is similar to Gears of War's Horde mode. Gameplay can be very intense with a full 5v5 match. As with all squad based multiplayer games, communication is key, which can be a problem as with every game.

    There is a small selection of weapons to choose from, but a variety. Weapons range from pistols to assault rifles to granade launchers and gatling guns. Which shows focus on quality not quantity. The game is also squad based, as you have 2 friendly AI's at all times which you can choose from a gradually growing list of 6 characters to fight along side you, all which have different play styles. Each of the characters given to you also have their own upgrade systems which you can buy at store kiosks throughout the game. Money is given to you through each kill.

    The game uses nodes to give bonuses to your accuracy among other attributes. They are set up similar to a puzzle in which you have to organize 3 nodes consisting of anywhere from 1 block to 4 blocks in a 6 block slot. This makes it a little more concerning with what you choose to have as you can end up sacrificing your money or a node you want in order to fit another.


    Something we all long to see in video games of this genre is dismemberment. Binary Doman can get away with this very easily because 99% of the game is killing robots! Hooray! Shooting robots in certain limbs can cause them to limp, crawl or drop their gun and take time to pick it up with the remaining arm. Shooting their head off results in them shooting their teammates which can help a lot in big firefights. Some robots (in the outside levels) have flying contraptions that can be very annoying though. They waste a lot of your ammo if you aren't careful.

    The game also sports riot shields! They are actually pretty handy in this game as the pistol can only be equipped but is accurate enough to take out robot's limbs with ease behind mobile cover. The only downside is that the cover mechanics can be clunky sometimes and can result in a death. Good thing autosaves are often!


    Another thing I love that has been making a comeback is BIG bosses. Games like Vanquish have done it recently, and Binary Domain does it here too. A couple of the bosses you fight give you that retro Sega feel that I have always loved about them. The only issue I have is that one of the bosses looks like he's a giant wheel when he curls up, or the Decepticon from Transformers 2.


    The best thing about this game that I found, was the voice activated integration. This hasn't been used much in games lately. The last I remember is Tom Clancy's EndWar, which wasn't really good for it. This game however makes very good use of the mic. Being able to detect up to 6 languages in total including English and Japanese respectively. The voice software recognizes upwards of 80-100 words if I remember correctly.

    The thing that makes this voice recognition shine over well known uses such as Mass Effect 3, is the immersion. You don't just feel like you are giving commands to your squadmates, it's more like you are fighting with them by your side, more like they are your friends in a multiplayer match.

    The AI of course has it's issues and are not as good as another player in game. The mic, if too close or too far, can sometimes recognize other words instead of what you are trying to say. This can make intense moments frustrating and lose immersion. However, there is another side to this voice recognition that they have added. It's personality. Each character has a set of responses to every recognized word. This can include personal things such as "I love you!" and "Idiot!" Which can increase or decrease their outlook on you. This can include saying something at the wrong time, giving responses like "What?! Focus on the battle Dan! God!", which is always kind of funny.

    Presentation


    The game's overall feel and environment changes constantly. You go outside, inside, in the rain, through rubble and smoke, it really works for this different take on the post-apocalyptic world. Every level looks different. There is no copy and paste in this game from what I could tell. The first level brings you through a part of an old city that is flooded. It's dark, gritty and dangerous. Meanwhile a later on in the game, they bring you through some labs which are very clean, white and organized. Two ends of the spectrum. Even the menus are sleek in design and are easy to navigate.

    There are intense moments that you would think are going to be all cinematic but you get to interact in them which is a nice bonus. The water effects have to be my favourite in this game. Very well done.

    The story is nicely put together with a few twists and turns closer to the end of the game. It also includes a bit of romance with either one of the 2 women at the character's disposal. This can add a bit of relief to the game's action driven gameplay and story.

    Overall

    This game deserves at least a rental. It's a solid game through and through and kept me intrigued to the end. It has it's downfalls involving the voice recognition and some gameplay faults, but overall it's a nicely polished game. I would recommend a buy at a lower price as the multiplayer scene has probably already moved on for the most part meaning single player will be the only highlight of this game.

    Personal Rating: 8/10

    Written by: Oxidious

  2. #2
    Senior Member McConnaughay's Avatar
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    I am glad to see that you gave it a positive review, as I was unsure whether or not I was going to pursue this game. I mean, it looked good, but some of the other critics have been a little less positive regarding it.


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  3. #3
    Press X To Rescue Orphans Ride the Walrus's Avatar
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    Nice review, I adored that game, I'd have given it higher still personally.
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  4. #4
    Prosecuting with style Vyse the Legend's Avatar
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    Enjoyed that review, pretty much the same score as I would give it, and agree more or less with the positive and negative aspects you mentioned. Personally would have touched on the story a little more, as definately felt that was the games real shining light, but definately agree it's worth at least a rent for those who haven't tried it.

  5. #5
    Thanks guys. First review since the couple I did way back in 08 here. I'll submit my next one soon when I buy something new. Might review NFS The Run

  6. #6
    Fear is the Mind Killer Star Hustler's Avatar
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    Never really heard of this game. It looks interesting and by reading your review it also sounds like it. I may give it a spin later down the road.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoLt View Post
    Never really heard of this game. It looks interesting and by reading your review it also sounds like it. I may give it a spin later down the road.
    It basically bombed because it released alongside Mass Effect 3. But the team who worked on it are the same ones who worked on the Yakuza series, so that oughta give you a hint as to how polished it is. Definitely my favourite third-person shooter of all time. The karma system worked beautifully, and I actually built a connection with the team.

  8. #8
    great review and cool game grpahics!

  9. #9
    GF Member rippergand's Avatar
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    Oooh this did pick my interest. Maybe I can get this when I'm on Christmas vacation. Awesome review, thanks for posting it!

  10. #10
    cool game seems very interesting and good grahpics as well well i guess their is no point reading about it i better play it.

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