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4.3 out of 5 stars
Binary Domain - Xbox 360
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
I didn't know much about this game until about a week prior to its release. Given my location (Afghanistan), it wasn't readily available once it came out, so the decision to pick it up took some time. I had read a few previews in some magazines and some online chatter as well, but nothing screamed "must buy"...it was merely interesting, if nothing else.

I mulled over the purchase in Thailand and actually left the store without it, but upon my return to Afghanistan it was at the PX so I finally scooped it up with the expectation that it would be a fun, if uninspired shooter. I was right about the fun part...but this one was definitely inspired.

The core gameplay element, combat, was tight but nothing I hadn't seen before...but you can't fault a developer for sticking with a formula that works. The cover element is basically what you've seen before with Gears of War, and the weapon selection is limited, but good enough to where I didn't see it as a negative here.

I loved how you accumulated credits through combat to use toward purchasing items and upgrades. This kept the combat interesting even when it started to get slightly repetitive, as it always made killing the robots worthwhile. Also, because you could get more credits for blowing off limbs before finishing the robots off, later in the game I became somewhat surgical in my approach, taking off arms and legs until I had a combat area full of crawling robots to then melee to death with my shotgun. Very cool.

The upgrade system was another plus here, setting the game apart from the standard shooter-fare. Any game that allows you to upgrade or customize will always be a more satisfying experience than its equivalent that does not offer that option, in my opinion. Also, the ability to choose your two squad-mates was nice, changing dialogue, and seemingly changing the story as well, though I cant be sure as I only beat it once thus far. I plan on a few more play-throughs to test that theory. There are also points in the game that, based on your actions at that moment, can determine much of the story, or so it would seem.

The trust element...I think its a bit blown out of proportion as unless you really go out of your way, youll gain max-trust with mot of your teamates eventually no matter what.

Graphically, its solid but not spectacular. Not a negative for me...gameplay and story trump graphics for me all day.

Speaking of the story...by far the BEST aspect of this game. I certainly did not expect to be more drawn in by the story than the gameplay here...but that was the case. Generally, you wait through cutscenes to get back to the action...for me...I looked FORWARD to the cutscenes...not for lack of action...but to see where the story was going next. SO well done, so well integrated into the game, and in no way did it slow the game down at any point.

Overall, this game is a 5 star, 10 out of 10 for me. It doesnt revolutionize the genre, but it does everything we expect from the best of the genre, and it does it well...with a better story to boot.

I recommend this to any Gears...Vanquish...or even Mass Effect fan.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2012
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Verified Purchase
This game is made by the same developers of the Yakuza series. You should expect the same great stories and cutscenes, with even better gameplay and the added benefit of having English dialogue. The game takes place in the future where humans have plenty of access to the assistance of robots. Think "Bicentennial Man" if you will. However, some organization is molding robots with synthetic human skin and many of the robots don't even know their not human. It's up to you and your comrades to ensure the continuation of the human race.

Pros:

- Shredding down robots with gunfire is excellent. You feel the destruction as pieces come flying off. You get a great sense of causing actual destruction, which seems to be lacking in many shooters
- You can blast off limbs as the robots try to crawl towards you and grab you with the persistence of a Terminator, no legs and all
- Disarm enemies by blasting off their weapon wielding arms and watch as they scour to reclaim their weapon with their remaining remaining arm (assuming you haven't blasted that one off too yet!)
- You AI partners actually help you unlike many AI characters in games. They'll pick you up, ask if you need assistance, listen to your orders, and actually kill enemies aplenty. They'll even show you where ammo is if you start running low!
- You can give your squad voice commands using a headset or use the controller if you're not up for chatting
- You can press the Left Bumper (left trigger) to get ideas of how to respond. However, there is a huge list of orders, remarks, (even swears) that they'll respond to. You can easily pull it up anytime in the options menu or just use the left bumper hints or remember what's worked before.
- Your actions reflect how well team members respond. It's not hard to keep them liking you, but you can always try to be an antagonist as you see fit
- You have a handful of partners with various abilities and skills. You have 2 partners at all times to help reduce clutter on the battlefield and also helps to add re-playability as they react differently and have varied personalities and ways of handling situations
- You get to choose which 2 partners you have with you the majority of the time
- Dialogue and situations differ depending on which 2 partners you have with you. Your partners will react differently with different partners.
- You can upgrade your weapons and abilities
- You can upgrade your Team mates weapons and abilities as well
- The guns are great with machine guns, pistols, sniper rifles, shotguns, heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, grenades, etc.
- Your main gun as an alternate fire that shots out a huge wave of electricity with a great deal of push to it depending on how much you upgrade it
- There are plenty of ways to take on the epic boss fights, and different team members will recommend different options. The boss fights are fun and engaging unlike some of those "just shoot them until they die" situations in many games. And some of the bosses are huge!
- Gameplay is smooth and you can take cover, roll, run and gun. Their are other gameplay elements that I won't spoil for you, but they keep it varied
- Gameplay is varied and has good pacing, and again, you have multiple ways of approaching certain situations and boss fights. You can decide to be the run and gunner and have your team hold back or you can let them take the heat while you sit back and enjoy some sniping, etc.
- Story and cutscenes are great and are very engaging
- Graphics and visuals are great, with nice and unique environments and plenty of explosions and destruction
- Has plenty of multiplayer options

Con's

- Unfortunately, no co-op in the single player campaign. However, the AI is great as mentioned and your teammates will help you plenty and keep you engaged. This actually serves as a great benefit for any of you who don't like playing on-line, but desire a sense of comradeship and connection with a team
- Some dialogue situations do come off cheesy and squeezed in to make more use of the voice commands and headset chatter. Many situations are very funny whether or not it was intentional
- Press for this game wasn't that great as hardly anyone knew this game was coming and there isn't a lot known about it, which is sad because it really is a great and fun game.

I know I am coming off biased towards this game, which I am because I really do like it! It's a fun run and you owe yourself the experience. Give it a chance as it is a remarkable experience. You should definitely check it out if your a fan of the Terminator movies, sci-fi, or great 3rd person shooter experiences.

Some may claim that this is a Gears of War knock-off. It's a 3rd person cover shooter and you switch weapons with the d-pad. That's about the extent of the comparisons as far as I'm concerned. This game stands on it's own two feet and has plenty of elements that make it unique and it is unfair to call it a Gears clone. If anything, I'd say if you like 3rd person cover based shooters then you owe it to yourself to check it out. As a side note, I honestly enjoyed the story and presentation of this game better than the Gears.

I'm greatful for this gem of a game that came out of nowhere. I'm looking forward to replaying it again and again to play with different team members to see the change up. And I want to play it more just because it's so much fun turning all those foes into scrap metal! I certainly hope to see sequel!
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on February 29, 2012
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
I went into this game not expecting anything. In fact, I wasn't even going to give it the time of day. The demo was something that I didn't feel was that great or solid of a game. However, I wanted something new to play in this week leading up to Mass Effect 3, so took a deep breath and spent the money to pick this one up. I'm so happy I did that.

The game is a cross breed of Gears of War and Mass Effect. It is set in a world where it's the planet vs robots and you play as Americans. It has a Terminator/I, Robot feel to the story making it both exciting and at times, silly.

I'm having a blast playing through as the cut scenes remind me of a movie and the gameplay is just as fun.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2012
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
I was hesitant to buy Binary Domain, with SSX and Mass Effect 3 releasing a week apart. I played the demo and decided to give it a go and I'm very glad I did. This is a very good game. The graphics are not Uncharted like, but they are pretty good and sharp. The music goes with the gamplay and action. The controls are very smooth. Binary Domain feels a bit like a cross of Vanquish and Gears of War. The voice on the characters are kind of silly at times, but I dont mind it much other than some of the AI you have to haul as part of your team repeat the same lines a few times too many. Still does not take much from the actual gameplay where you are fighting robots (I-robots)armored robots and huge a.. robots! That keep on coming to you. If you shoot most in the legs, they will crawl and try to get to you like a Terminator. The guns sound almost like Gears of War where they are powerful but the sound is not realistic.

The only complaint is that there is not a lot of people online to play. As you can imagine, there will be even less people to play once Mass Effect 3 releases. But there is a mode in multiplayer in which 4 players can take on a slew of robots kind of like Horde for Gears.

The game is good enough and fun to give it a try. I feel many will miss on this oportunity to play Binary Domain.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2012
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
First off I would like to say thank you sega for releasing another great game. I love the gameplay experience simply because its along the line of gears 3 which is another great game. The more I play the game, the more I begin to enjoy it. I must recommend this game to anyone who loves the gears of war series. Great game!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2013
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Verified Purchase
Shooting Robots has never been so much fun in this exciting but sometimes flawed game.

Concept: 9/10
Take the cover and shoot mechanics from Gears of War and use your microphone to issue squad commands. Then wrap it all up in a thought provoking story about artificial life. The concept is good, but at times the execution is iffy.

Story: 8/10
The story behind Binary Domain is a very good one. It examines the future of robotic technology and examines how advanced artificial life can evolve. The characters and dialogue need an awful lot of work, though. The two main characters are Dan and Bo. They're less like super soldiers and more like the two weird guys you avoid at your buddy's BBQ. Dan and Bo are later joined by elite soldiers from other countries: A sniper from China, an explosives expert and a commando from England, a gangster from Japan, and a suave scene stealing classy French Robot. The characters argue and bicker at times and you need to make decisions on who you support by speaking into your microphone (or selecting responses from a list). The ending you get depends on your relationship with each of the characters. If they all like you, it sure helps out with the final battle. Some of the dialogue is awkwardly written or delivered and that hurts what would be a very intriguing story.

Gameplay: 8/10
There are two main types of gameplay: Shooting and Commanding your squad.

Shooting
The Shooting is Great! The enemy AI takes cover, tries to flank you, and charges at times. Where you shoot the robots determines their reaction. If you blow off their legs, they come crawling after you. At one point, I was firing at enemies and I heard an eerie robotic laugh. The camera panned down and a robot grabbed my legs and pulled out a grenade. I had to blow his head off before he blew us both up. If you blow off their primary gun arm, they pull a sidearm. If you do severe damage to their heads, they get confused and attack other robots. This is a great way to streamline gameplay. Instead of pausing the action and casting a slow spell on enemies or a "confuse" spell, you just do it with your aim.

There's a pretty good arsenal of weapons and grenades at your disposal and you'll need them all. There are powerful melee enemies, sniping enemies, commando enemies, flying enemies, acrobatic enemies, and a huge variety of large bosses.

Talking
Commanding your allies works pretty good about half the time. Bo saved me once and I absent mindedly said, "Thanks," into my headset. Bo replied, "You're welcome." At this point, I felt very connected to my allies! There is a fairly extensive vocabulary that you can say to your squad. You can issue commands, encourage them, scold them, argue with them, etc. However, your microphone often picks up random noise and thinks you said things that you didn't say. Your buddies start acting confused. There are also some very awkward moments where an enemy or ally asks you a story driven question, "How do you feel about artificial life surpassing humanity?" Your options are something like: Dammit, OK, Pop Tarts, and No. It gets really confusing at times. It would have been great if this was planned out better. After a while, I turned the microphone off.

Levels: 9/10
The levels have a good variety of mission objectives and scenes. At times you fight in corridors, arenas, on top of vehicles, etc... Almost all of the levels are really fun.

Leveling Up: 9/10
You earn credits by killing enemies. The more damage you do to one, the more credits you get. If you kill them with a single shot, a melee attack, a head shot, or a multi-kill, you get bonus credits. Throughout the game, there are kiosks, where you can exchange your credits for consumables like ammo, grenades, health packs, and temporary stat boosts. You can also purchase permanent upgrades to your squad's weapons. Each attribute is upgraded independently: Accuracy, Firepower, Clip Size, Range, etc... This works great!

Graphics: 8.5/10
The levels and enemies look great and the animations for the characters are incredibly smooth. The robots are intelligently designed as well. One problem is that many of the main characters are very plain and they really don't have any distinguishing characteristics.

Sound: 8/10
Overall, the voice acting is OK. The sound effects really highlight the action and the soundtracks create an exciting or interesting atmosphere.

Multiplayer: n/a
There is multiplayer with a bunch of different modes, but nobody is playing any of them. I tried a few times and there were no games available for any of the modes.

Replay Value: 5/10
There are different difficulty levels and a mission select. Without Multiplayer Mode, I'm not sure why you would play the game over again. The Campaign is about 10 hours long.

Maturity: Older Teen
There isn't any graphic violence and the bad guys are machines, so there is no gore. There is the type of swearing you'd hear in an action movie, though.

Overall: 8
This was a great idea for a game, but the execution was a bit off. If you're looking for a fun 3rd Person Shooter for cheap, pick this game up. The combat is the best part of the game.
Buy it if you enjoy combat like Mass Effect or Gears of War.
Rent it if you have 10 hours to finish it, although you can just buy the game for around $10 now.
Avoid it if awkward dialogue bothers you or you really need multiplayer modes.

If you like this game, definitely check out Gears of War, Vanquish, and Mass Effect.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2012
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Verified Purchase
I won't go into great detal repeating everyone else's comments, but I would like to hit on the main points that made me happy with this game.

First, the single player campaign is about 9 hours long, give or take. While that may not sound like much, it stands out in the arena of shooters that now days try to pass off a 4-6 hour campaign as a game. Unfortunately no coop in the campgain, so I knocked it down a star.

It does have a coop mode that is not part of the campaign, which was great. So many shooters don't have anything beyond the campaign or competitive multiplayer. It is nice to see when a developer realizes that not everyone likes competitive multiplayer and gives us another option.

Overall a pretty cool concept and a pretty solid game. Nothing innovative here, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. So many games try too hard to innovate and end up ruining their games. I got my copy used for about 30 bucks and at that price it is absolutely worth it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2013
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Verified Purchase
Sega has a problem. The Saturn was great, the Dreamcast was incredible, their games are amazing, and yet nearly all of their endeavors under perform, commercially. In an age where Gears of War is a house hold name, Binary Domain should have been a revelation. By now, we should have been hearing rumors of the highly anticipated sequel. Unfortunately, Sega just doesn't know how to market their products. Not only was there zero buzz for this game leading up to its release, look at the cover; it's terrible! The scene it depicts never even happens, and in no way does it even begin to get across how amazing the game truly is.

Binary Domain is a third person, squad based shooter. While the concept isn't anything new, what elevates this game passed series like "Gears of War 3, is something that rarely shines in modern gaming; its characters. Say what you want about Marcus and Dom, they are cardboard cutouts when placed next to Dan and Bo, the first protagonists you encounter in the game. It has always struck me how clumsy and unnatural in game dialogue has become, and that is what sets Binary Domain apart; the dialogue is incredible. I felt like I was in the middle of an exciting Hollywood blockbuster every time the characters spoke. Witty one-liners, catch phrases, sharp retorts, playful banter, casual flirting; this game does it all, and more importantly, does it incredibly well.

Now, all that wondeful dialogue in the world doesn't mean a thing if the gameplay isn't there to back it up, and thankfully Binary Domain exceeds expectations. I jumped in on the most challenging difficulty first available, and I never felt overwhelmed. If I died, it was on me. Dan, the character you play, moves well, and while I found the cover/run mechanic to be sticky at times, I can honestly say it never once caused me to die, and that is a lot more than I can say for other games in this genre. Each character has a main weapon, which you can upgrade through the stores littered throughout the game, with scrap you have collected from your enemies. This is a point of the game that I love, and it ties into another big part of the games; how much your teammates trust you.

Binary Domain features a system where you can use your mic to order you team around. My mic isn't working at the moment, but the game lets you use buttons just as easily so it isn't an issue. The more your teammates trust you, the more likely they are to listen to you when you ask for cover. How do you earn their trust? Well, there are scripted moments where you can speak with them, and provide common sense answers, but the best way to earn their trust is to be great at the game. Getting head shots, mulit-kills, meleeing enemies, and just being a beast in battle overall earns you respect with your squad, as well as nets you plenty of scrap to use on items, weapons, upgrades, and status boosters. It is so refreshing to play a game that actually rewards you for playing well. Be careful though; you can lose your teams trust through instances of friendly fire, or not holding up your end in battle.

So, the dialogue is the best I have heard in a game in years, the gameplay mechanics are rock solid and reward players who do well; what about the story? I am happy to say that it, like the rest of the game, is amazing. In the future, after major flooding, humanity came to rely on robots. One day however, a man attacks the worlds leading robotics experts, and it is revealed that the man was actually a machine, and it didn't even know it. THe government labels these beings as "Hollow children", which they believe are being made in Japan. They send a "rust crew", the protagonists, to take care of the problem. From there, the moral and philosophical laws of humanity are questioned, but it never becomes preachy or gets in the way of the blasting of "scrap-heads". It is, far and away, the most satisfying story in a third person shooter, I have ever played.

Now, for the handful of negatives. There is online multiplayer, but it is very bare bones, and there is hardly anyone online playing it. While your primary weapon is more than serviceable, the way the secondary weapons are handled could have been better. You will never find ammo for them laying around, not all stores carry ammunition for all secondary weapons, and they aren't upgradeable. Lastly, while the bosses are big and epic, the fights themselves drag out, on average, about five minutes longer than they should. Each boss has multiple forms, and certain weak points, but on the higher difficulty the amount of health they have is absurd, and the fights go from thrilling to monotonous very quickly. None of these minor quibbles are enough, in my eyes, to take away a star from the score, but they are there.

For all you achievement/trophy hunters out there, Binary Domain is a mixed bag. The single player achievements range from story and chapter awards, a handful of skill awards, and lastly trust awards. The multiplayer achievements are more difficult than they should be just for the fact that so few people play this game online, and even fewer play seriously enough to get the achievements. Two achievements worth mentioning are "Big Bo Rescue" and "Comrades in Arms". The former comes towards the end of the fifth chapter, and on the higher difficulties is a pain, just because of how much health the boss has, so I recommend going for it on the lower difficulties. The latter achievement comes if you are trusted by a certain teammate, and for me, makes the ending much better.

Overall, Binary Domain is incredible, and it is a shame that Sega did so little to promote it. The story is engaging, the characters will stay with you, the gameplay is fast and fun, and it is probably my personal game of the year. I highly recommend it. A new classic and a must buy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2012
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
This story is amazingly detail. The voice acting was ok, not so great. The Graphics are what sega does. The story is like I Robots but looks like humans and fighting for human kind. Just like Terminator.

I had to do this review because people are calling this like Gears of war wanna be or try to be like gears. If you think about it. Gears took the idea of cover from Metal Gear Solid, Rainbow Vegas and other games. Stop comparing this game. This review is not for comparing this to gears or a rip off. Its a review on THIS GAME. I love this game. The controls are easy, love the voice commands. Weapons are awesome. In my OPINION, If you like Cover systems and shooting games and tired of ZOMBIES and ALIENS games. Pick this game up, you will destroy a lot of robots. This game is for anyone who loves shooters or 3rd person mode.

Multiplayer- Its a wave with robots, you and your friends can team up and kill. TDM, Capture the Flag type, are great. I play this game on my days off to have fun. This game is awesome. By the way, I love Gears Of War. Im Quick Execution on GOW3 im number 5 in the world, GOW1 im 56 rank execution, GOW2 I was 23 in the world Rank execution before people hacked the leaderboards. My GT is bl4ck Ch40s. If your a true fan of gears, you will not compare this game to gears. If you do, stop playing games.

Story/Multiplayer Game Play- A+

Voice Acting- B-

Graphics- A-

Multiplayer- B

Co-Op- N/A

Fun As Hell playing this Game- A++
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Platform for Display: Xbox 360Verified Purchase
Look, Binary Domain is not the greatest game ever to be released and it's certainly not without its fair share of problems but it deserved far better of a reception than it got. It's quite a bit of fun and plays like a weird hybrid of Gears of War mixed with liberal doses of "I, Robot" and "The Terminator" films. Once you start playing it, you'll really see the similarities between it and Gears of War, due to the similar weapon selection and cover system. The major difference is that you're shooting up robots instead of crazed mutants emerging from craters. One of your sidekicks is a cyborg that looks like he could have stepped right out of "I, Robot", a similarity so obvious that it could only have been done on purpose as an homage. The graphics are well done and the music and general sound design are designed equally as good. One of the best aspects of this game was the action, which was pretty intense. The bosses are HUGE and the battles vary from stage to stage, in a pretty surprising number of ways. Your enemies are generally cyborgs and when you shoot them, it's pretty cool how you literally take them apart yet they keep coming at you, dragging themselves towards you intent on taking you out. The voice acting is decent but if there's one thing about this game that I have to say was realized pretty horribly, it's the voice activated commands. You shout orders or say general responses to character dialogue via the headset(sorry, no Kinect connectivity here) and half the time, the headset is picking up other sounds or not recognizing your commands. I found it so frustrating that I simply turned off the option. Trust me, you'll probably want to do the same.

I didn't get to try the online portion of the game because no one was online for me to play with, so my apologies on that end. I would totally recommend Binary Domain, especially to people who liked the Gears of War game that it shares so much in common with. It's surprisingly enjoyable, has a decent story and cool characters and is a genuinely fun game that was sadly and mistakenly overlooked for reasons I'm not even sure of.
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