Binary Domain Review

Paul Goodman | 2 Mar 2012 17:30
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Where Binary Domain does succeed in being a competent third person shooter, it falls short in a few of its secondary features. There are some gameplay mechanics that simply don't hold up to the rest of the game's more polished features, like the trust system, which is affected by how quickly you dispatch enemies, if you accidentally shoot a teammate and what you say at certain points in the game's story. Supposedly your teammates will ignore you if their trust in you gets too low, but unless I purposefully targeted them repeatedly, they liked me enough to revive me if I went down. Furthermore, even though the game's female love interest didn't find me particularly trustworthy, apparently she trusted me enough for a post-fight make-out session.

Second is a quasi-RPG system in the form of nanomachines and weapon upgrades you can purchase to boost your and your teammates' abilities. You earn credits for each robot you smash, which you can then use at various ammo stations to buy weapons, nanomachines or upgrades. However, aside from your own character, it's difficult to tell if upgrading a teammate's fire rate or installing a health-boosting nanomachine made any difference. Also, given how often you switch out your characters (and in some cases you don't get to decide who backs you up and who stays behind), it's annoying to sink money into improving a teammate's stats only go a full third of the game without seeing them.

Finally, if you happen to have an Xbox mic available, Binary Domain also allows you to issue voice commands to your AI teammates. Pressing down on the left bumper and saying something like "Charge!" or "Regroup" will issue orders, and you can also use it during the "Trust" conversation points. However, you'll probably find it just as easy to issue orders with a button press or two then it is to try and get the game to understand you're asking for cover fire or if you're trying to agree with Big Bo that "yes that last firefight was intense." There was even a few times where Binary Domain thought I was dropping eff-bombs at it, leading to my teammates telling me to quit being so negative when I wasn't even touching the voice command button or really saying anything at all. It's an interesting idea to mix in more voice control into a hectic shooter, but Binary Domain does it poorly. Thankfully, though, the voice commands aren't required in order to play.

Bottom Line: Binary Domain is definitely a very solid third-person shooter, and while it falls short in some areas, there's enough variety in the meat of the game to make it worth a playthrough.

Recommendation: If you're a third person shooter fan, you won't be disappointed with Binary Domain's gameplay. Those also looking for an in-depth examination of humanity and robotics, on the other hand, might not be too impressed.

Game: Binary Domain
Genre: Shooter
Developer: Yakuza Studio
Publisher: Sega
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360
Available from: Amazon(US), GameStop(US), Amazon(UK),


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