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Binary Domain has a very entertaining and engaging story, but the gameplay is lacking a little.

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Immersive"

Summary

The Good: Engaging story, entertaining characters, good voice acting, graphics look good technically, decent shooting, fun and challenging boss fights

The Bad: Stupid voice command system, same with morale system, recycled enemies get boring, unoriginal weapons, can be quite easy, average multiplayer

Binary Domain is a Japanese made third person shooter from Sega all about advanced robots. The story is actually the best part of the game as well as the characters and voice acting. Most Japanese shooters tend to suck, for some reason, or have a lot of major flaws. Binary Domain tries to remedy all this by making it feel more like a Western shooter, but still doesn't pull all the punches.

The story is about a Japanese robotics genius named Amada who creates robots that are programmed to think they are human, and don't know they are robots. They look, smell, talk, and even act human, but this is a violation of Clause 21 in the New Geneva Convention. Why Amada is doing this I can't say without spoiling anything, but let's just say there are a lot of nice plot twists and turns towards the end. You are a Rust Crew who is to bring Amada in alive, but it's not as easy as you think. The characters are well-developed and each have their own unique personality that you will grow to like. Dan is known as the "Survivor" and that's who you play as, and I actually really liked his sense of humor.

The shooting is solid enough. You get an assault rifle that you can upgrade throughout the game, but you also get to pick up secondary weapons like sniper rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers, SMGs, and probably every other gun you have shot hundreds of times before. They don't feel any different here, and that is one of Binary Domain's main flaws. There really aren't any cool and unique weapons. The assault rifle has a shock burst feature that stuns enemies, but this isn't anything really special. The cover system works similar to Gears of War, but not quite as well. When you run down hallways, Dan will stick to a wall if you get too close which is bad during timed events. You can go to shopping kiosks to upgrade your weapon as well as buy ammo, other weapons, and health kits. There is also the option to buy skill upgrades, but I found these completely useless.

These skills are dots that fill a small grid like 10% extra health, armor, etc. I just stuck with the ones I got in the beginning of the game and never wound up changing them. That usually isn't a good sign, and that's because the game is pretty easy. I rarely died, and this was usually only during boss fights which there are plenty of. These boss fights are varied and actually really fun, because you have to figure out where the enemies weak spot it and just blast away, but you also have to dodge their attacks. Most of the regular enemies don't go down very easy either. You can shoot them up all you want, but you have to take off their head to keep them from crawling around. If you take off their head before taking their legs out other enemies will attack it.

The game actually features a voice command system that works with your mic, but I found this to be useless. It failed to recognize two different mics, and there really isn't any point. Using the buttons is just as easy, but during some conversations your squad mates will talk to you and you need to respond. If you shoot them during battle, or give a wrong response they won't listen to you as much in battle. This was completely useless because the AI is crap anyways. A few scenarios you have to rely on them to heal you, or work with you, but they usually take forever, or seem to ignore you. Just turn the voice system off and stick with button inputs.

The graphics look really good, but the game has the typical Japanese sci-fi look that I am personally tired of. The menus feel like they're from circa 1996, but sadly the game doesn't even have a unique art style. The graphics really feel sterile and boring, but at least they look good technically. Overall, you should just come for the decent shooting, but mainly for the characters and story because I couldn't stop playing just to see what happens next. Every other idea in the game feels tacked on, but ultimately fails in regards of execution.




I ROBOT version of Mass Effect 3, good job SEGA Europe!!!

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Instant classic"

Summary

Welcome to the world of Binary Domain. The title doesn't really have much to do with the game except that machine code does use binary code as its base.

This game is a futuristic third person shooter with a few light elements of RPG mixed in. Game play is similar in style to Mass Effect 3 and it has a world that makes me think of the movie "I, Robot".

The campaign mode is just really fun to play with stereotyped comments by characters often just adding to the humor. Main plus here is the story telling.

Cast wise they probably should have had a British chick with much better looks as well which might have helped with increasing fan base and ratings.

There are also quite a few action set pieces that add variety to the story telling.

Voice recognition though not up to par but thumbs up for good effort as not many games have this implemented.

Don't forget to watch the cut-scene at the end of credits where Dan finds and saves Faye from government forces!

Definitely must play for games out this year. Haven't had this much fun and humor in a game for a while.




Very good storytelling and action scenes - decent gameplay

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Surprisingly good"

Summary

So, this guy Toshihiro Nagoshi, the creator of Yakuza series, made a pretty good game, just met my expectations, but it has some really clunky weird controls and gameplay. Don't expect to see the next generation "tactical" shooter, but an above-average one, elevated by the superb storytelling and epic action scenes that suck you in and eventually make you want more and more of this shooting-dismember-smashing robots experience.
"2080 AD Tokyo, Japan. The Amada Corporation break Geneva Code, Clause 21 by creating humanoid robots that believe themselves to be human. These so-called Hollow Children have infiltrated the human population, blurring the lines between man and machine. Dan Marshall and the Rust Crew are tasked to find Amada at all costs.Will the team's human bond be their greatest strength or will they fall to the machines?"
Well, the PC version is optimized , though the graphics aren't that high-end, the robots are very detailed, but the background details don't stand out to much, overall the engine does a good job, and the flying pieces of the dismantled robots is one of the best features here.
This shooter is not that tactical as they say, I mean, I was there just blazing robots and the tactical commands don't make a difference (on Normal). Also, the 'Consequence System' it's not executed right, I answered the green response to every question and all the characters seemed to have confidence in me. Well, I don't know, it doesn't have to be RPG, but I think it's a bit useless...they were some moments while in a battle,they ask you tactical questions but you can't pay attention and give an answer that will change something major in the game. (if you accidentally shoot a friendly AI, or give a bad response they lose their trust and don't follow you commands. so what? they were useless anyway and can't shoot a damn robot :) )
The controls on PC are very clunky and annoying sometimes, it takes a while to get used to them, and the camera angle is weird, the cover system is as usual like in Gears of War.
The cutscenes and the action scenes are superb, breath-taking and you do some insane stunts, battle a lot of huge epic bosses (with armors that cover their weak spots) every 30 minutes; so these are the finest moments;
Also the storytelling is great, Yakuza's style and make you care about the strong characters, though they could develop them even more. By the way, I don't think the upgrade system was nice, it was original,ok, but it didn't help me very much with the skill selection, and weapon upgrade (where I spent all my credits) and upgrading the other members of my crew seemed pointless. (THEY ALSO KILL ROBOTS ,SO THEY HAVE CREDITS :) )
Overall it was a good game, with strong campaign (8-9 hours), I enjoyed it, and I over-rated it a bit, feels a lot like "Lost Planet" in the future, but with a great story and some over the top moments.
Thank you for reading this, I hope it was helpful.




Well-paced shooting action. Some parts can be annoying unless you figure out the right way to do them. Very addictive.

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Immersive"

Summary

The action itself in the game is very good and you will like the way it is done. Dismembering enemy robots is funny and satisfying :-).
What I most like is using headshot because the "headshotted" robot atacs the other ones (robots). Often boss fights are challenging but not too much (and that is the right way IMHO). Some of the boss fights reminded me of Lost Planet giant animals fights.
Some scenes was annoying due to way of controlling ... especially the water jetski sequence (I have to go through it almost 30 times before I successfully did it).

As a sci-fi fan I like both the story and the way of storyteling (cutscenes, flashbacks etc. - dosed accurately).

I think this is very good shooter with not best but nice visuals, good story, fine storyteling, addictive action and decent game play time (about 18 hours) - so it definitely deserves i's 8.




Pole Position 2012 - Like a car crash but not as interesting to look at.

1.0

Abysmal
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Disastrous"

Summary

I have decided to write a quick review for this game, as I cannot find any other review of it on the internet.

Firstly in case you don't read the whole review I'll start of with a summery DON'T BUY THIS GAME

Right I'll now tell you why

The first think that strikes you when you start this game up is the shocking presentation, The initial launcher has a dated 90's look and this theme continues throughout the game (Think Theme Hospital or Sim City 2000 but 20 years later and without the charm that those games have)
You have to register to get the game started and this system is broken
Once you get the game proper launched the music hits you Wow! I have literally played hundreds of games since the late 80's and this is the worst video game music I have ever heard. It could be used at Guantanamo Bay when interrogating prisoners, (after 10 minutes of being forced to listen to this they'd talk believe me). It is loud synth pop created using dated MIDI technology you cannot concentrate on life never mind the game until you turn it off.
You have to set up a team, don't expect Red Bull Racing or Ferrari, Jenson Button or Sebastian Vettel
They haven't got an FIA licence to use these names instead they are poor imitations like "Blox Bull Racing" for Red Bull and "Red horse Team" for Ferrari; Sebastian Bettel and Johnson Knopf for Vettel and Button
These are accompanied by team logos which look like a 7 year old child has drawn them on MS Paint
Once you decide which team you are going to use you are then hit by the mostly text based menu driven system that the game runs from. It is difficult to know what to do from here as the "tutorial" is so bad you may as well ask the pet dog what to do next
Eventually after 10 minutes of trial and error clicking, getting through the horrendous car set up and driver selection sections. I managed to work out how to get to race day, unfortunately the problems continue The cars look horrendous and are technically broken with textures popping in and out of the screen, they sound like poorly sampled go kart engines and the race screen is totally unfathomable.
Basically the game is terrible, some games are so bad you want to play them to laugh about how bad it is (In kind of a so bad it's good way like Revolution X for the PS1 for instance) But this game is not one of those. It is just soul destroying how a game company can release this into the public domain and charge 20 for it.
To put it in perspective I have played hundreds of games on Amstrad, Amiga, Atari Lynx, PS1, 2 & 3. NES, SNES, N64, Master System & Mega Drive, Dreamcast, Wii, Xbox and other weird and wonderful systems and this is by far the worst game I have ever come across.
If you have a spare 20 give the money to charity instead. You'll still have nothing to show for your money but at least your soul will be that tiny bit happier. I didn't, I bought Pole Position 2012 and my life is that little bit worse for it.

5.0

Mediocre
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