on April 30, 2012
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.
on July 5, 2012
I received this game as a gift from a member of a message board I frequent. I asked whether Binary Domain was being praised for being legitimately good or simply because it was a Gears of War clone that happened to be made by a Japanese developer. In response he bought me the game to decide for myself. Having now played through the single player campaign, here are my thoughts:
Comments on the PC port - Overall, this game ran well on my PC. I have an older Phenom II X4 945, with a GTX560 and 8GB of RAM, but was able to get a solid 60FPS (with no drops that I noticed) at maxed settings. The graphics options are a little bare. You can set your FOV, choose FXAA or MLAA, and a few other options but that is about it. You can only change these options in the game's configuration tool, and cannot tweak anything in-game.
I started the game using KBM but hated the default keymapping and decided to switch to a 360 pad instead. If you are set on using KBM, you are going to want to change your mapping ASAP. I play PC games from my couch on my 37" TV. While the subtitles are nice and clear from the 8 foot distance I play from, the key prompts use a different font that is hard to read. What is more annoying is that, after switching to a 360 pad, the prompts still referred to KBM keys. I am not sure if this would have been different if I fiddled around in the configuration tool. Either way, it doesn't take long to figure out that Space = A, Q = Y and so on.
Comments on the Game - This is a game that you need to give a chance before deciding whether you like it or not. I don't know what portion of the game is covered by the demo, but if it is the beginning segment, know that chapter 1 is probably the weakest part of the game. In fact, I really disliked the first 30 minutes or so. The generic robot enemies seemed lame, and Big Bo wouldn't shut up. It initially struck me as a B version of Gears with worse voice acting and graphics. However things really pick up if you make it through those first few sections.
- Boss battles with big ass robots. Miss boss fights in your shooters? This game has like 10 of them, including a few that are absolutely massive. The boss fights were by far the best part of this game. Furthermore all of them are unique and none are reused. How you take them out also depends on the boss. Some can be defeated using your regular weapons. Some require you to use the environment, and at least one is fought from the back of a moving truck during a chase sequence.
- The shooting. You carry 4 weapons in this game. Your main weapon which is an assault rifle, a side arm, and two open slots for a third gun and a grenade that you pick up from enemies as you go. Your main weapon is upgradable through in game item vending machines. All of the weapons fun to play with, but your main gun is especially satisfying. Once you make a few upgrades you will be tearing through enemies. You almost exclusively fight robots in this game, but you can blow off their limbs, head, and armor in satisfying sprays of sparks and shrapnel. This is a cover shooter, but the cover mechanism is mostly intuitive.
- Enemy AI. Like any shooter, regular grunt enemies will shoot from behind cover, come at you with body shields, or rush you with shotguns or melee attacks. However, since they are robots, they react to the damage you do to them. If you blow off their weapon arm, some will pick up their gun with their other hand, and others will switch to a secondary gun. If you blow off their legs, they will drag themselves towards you (like in Terminator 1), grabbing your legs in an effort to self destruct.
- The story and characters. If you like cheesy 80s/90s action movies, you will probably like this. Most of the characters are big stereotypes, but the game doesn't really take itself seriously so I didn't mind. If you ever wanted to lead an elite international squad of soldiers that include a gigantic black man (your main bro), a Chinese sniper, and a French Robot, this is your game. The plot itself is interesting enough, but like most games, the final execution could have been better. The dialogue is b-movie cheesy. One character justifies killing sentient, organic robots that are mostly non-violent, and have blended into society by saying that the world already has enough racism without adding robots to the mix.
- Your Squad AI. Your squad is dumb. While they can kill regular enemies fairly proficiently, expect them to crowd you at a cover point (even if there are 10 others) or run blindly into your line of fire. This is especially annoying since your teammates have a trust system, and shooting them lowers their trust score. I'm not sure if the trust score means anything, but it does unlock a few of the Steam achievements. I will mention that the game has a squad command feature that I made only light use of. It is designed around voice command using a mic (which I don't have). You can issue some basic commands from the pad (charge, regroup, cover me, and fire) but I didn't really use it much.
- Quick Time events. There are only a few, and they are pretty easy, but they were annoying because I couldn't read the key prompt (which was also for a keyboard instead of my 360 pad as mentioned above) from my couch at times.
- The game is linear. You spend most of it fighting in corridors and small rooms. There is a little exploration in some areas, but not much. If cut scenes bug you in action games, be warned that this game has a fair number of them. What's worse, the game will sometimes take control away from you (forcing you to walk slowly and stopping you from using your weapons) when a team member is giving you instructions before or after a gun fight. No reasons why the same thing couldn't have been done without the semi-loss of control. I thoroughly enjoyed the boss fights but most of them could only be beat in a specific way (sometimes using a specific weapon).
This is not the best or most polished shooter I have played this generation, but I definitely think it is worth the current sale price of $10. Especially if you are a big fan of boss fights and can stand (or better yet, like) B-movie stories. The game took me just under 9 hours to beat going by my chapter complete times. Even if you rushed through, this is a solid 7-8 hour game. Blowing away hordes of robots is surprisingly satisfying, and the game performs well on older, mid-range machines. The port was lazy when it comes to default key-mapping and button prompts, but those were minor nuisances. I am not a graphics person, so I can't tell you how the the textures look at higher resolutions. I didn't notice any screen tearing, or glaring graphical hitches like I did in the Mass Effect PC ports. To answer my own question, yes this is a more Japanese Gears of War, but that isn't a bad thing. Thumbs up for me.
on July 8, 2012
When I first installed this game, which went flawlessly, I was pleasantly surprised about what I had stumbled upon. The controls for PC are the only thing I can possibly think that hindered the game for me. I found that game controlled much better with the Xbox 360 controller. The KBM controls aren't unusable but it feels unnatural. The gameplay itself is like gears of war meets robots. I love the fact that as your rip through robots with your weapons of choice, pieces fly off in great detail. It runs absolutely amazing on my nearly 3 year old rig. (Listed below for reference.) The most amazing thing about this game are the boss battles. They are freaking massive. This alone is a breath of fresh air because many games these days fall flat in this aspect. I have yet to finish this game and I have already killed 3 massive bosses that were incredibly fun. I could go on about this game, but there is no reason. At this sale price, it is the best bang for your buck!
Phenom 955 BE stock 3.2 GHZ
8 GB DDR 3 1600 MHZ
GTX 470 1280 MB
Crosshair Formula III
Xonar DG Soundcard
on September 24, 2015
It's a third person Gear of War type game at its core. But it's so much more. Basically the combat is all about combating robots by shooting them in various spots for different effects. Which is really quite fun. There's more to the shooting here than just headshotting humans. Plus you've got the squad system, in which you earn the trust of your squadmates by being good at shooting, and not shooting them. There's a voice command feature that doesn't work very well, but it's inconsequential and can be turned off.
It feels like a cheesy 80's action flick in it's plot and execution. And it's just fun to play through. The characters are all mostly great, with a few real standouts. The plot and characters are just fun, and it gels well with the overall game mechanics.
Probably my biggest issue with the game are the quick time events. These are your average pass/fail things that make you watch an entire cutscene if you do fail. And the keyboard prompts for them are pretty weird, so there's a high possibility of failing the first time just based on not knowing what the game is asking you to press. It does slightly mar the game, but I feel like this game is still good enough not to get a star knocked off the score just for that.
The shooting mechanics are what carries this game, and they are great. Shooting robots never got old in my several hour playthrough. This was just a joy to play through. On top of that, this game goes for deep discounts frequently. Like $3 or less. Which is a steal for this kind of game. So yes, I do very much recommend Binary Domain.
Developed by Devil's Details/Yakuza Studios and published in April of 2012 by Sega, "Binary Domain" is a third-person team based shooter set in Tokyo, Japan circa 2080. Global Warming has caused worldwide flooding leaving millions dead and three fourths of the planet underwater and uninhabitable. In order to combat the loss of humanity and aid in the rebuilding of societies robots are created. Unfortunately, not all robots are being created for labor and numerous experimental artificial intelligence models violate international laws, requiring termination. The player assumes the role of Sergeant Dan Marshall, a young spec-ops soldier who leads a team called a "Rust Crew" who specialize in eliminating "Hollow Children" (banned robots that are able to pass as humans). You and your team are sent to Japan under the orders of the United Nations to apprehend the suspected creator of the Hollow Children. Here are my thoughts on Binary Domain;
+ Fantastic graphics, especially the bosses, character models and facial expressions.
+ Fast paced and fluid gameplay and gun combat.
+ Epic boss battles.
+ Non-stop action.
+ Intriguing story.
+ Varied sequences (boating, driving etc.) kept the game interesting and fresh.
+ Can activate on Steam.
+ Able to take down enemies by shooting off limbs (much like Deadspace).
Cons <Contains SPOILERS>
- Some really terrible and repetitive dialogue. Japanese doesn't always translate well to English. The character of "Big Bo" was by far the worst offender with his constant use of "aight and bro." Ugh.
- Stupid AI constantly runs in front of you while you're firing and then proceeds to chew you out for shooting them.
- Cut scenes stuttered from time to time.
- Use of the spacebar for sprinting/tumbling/cover was troublesome at times if you were too close to objects that provided cover.
- No real character choices that could change the outcome of the game.
- Characters were very slow to recover after a knockdown/resuscitation. Often you would go down immediately after being revived as the enemy would just stomp you again.
- Game ending was predictable and the final boss fight was lackluster compared to other bosses you encountered throughout the story.
- Character movement while climbing ladders was stiff and jerky.
- NPC movements can be glitchy, especially when they're next to each other.
- Teammates constantly yell at you (Over here! Follow me!) when you're trying to explore to find collectables and ammo. This gets to be a bit annoying.
- Bosses have no health bars and at times it's difficult to tell if you're damaging them or wasting ammo. I learned that if you see blue sparks/lightning when you're firing at them then they're taking damage.
- Some characters are not available to select for your team at times. This can be bothersome if you just spent a lot of credits upgrading their skills rather than your own.
- Some poor water/rain effects early in the game.
- Story can be a tad too predictable at times.
- Shallow team "trust" based system.
- Lacks depth for character/weapon customization.
- Stereotypical characters.
- Requires use of Steam.
- Linear gameplay.
- Checkpoint save system.
- No crouch option.
- Console port.
- Too short.
Despite a lengthy list of Cons (mostly minor), "Binary Domain" was a relatively short but extremely entertaining action filled shooter. Filled with challenging and fun gigantic robot boss fights and a storyline that keeps you playing, Binary Domain was well worth the play through. The level designs, while linear are varied enough that the game always has a fresh approach as you progress. Unfortunately, it's easy to be put off in the early levels of the game because of the incredibly annoying teammate (Big Bo) you start with. Luckily you're able to swap him out after you meeting up with the rest of your team in the beginning. I should mention that I purchased this game during Amazon's Summer Sale for only $9.99 and for the 13 hours of gameplay it provided me I felt it was well worth the purchase price. If I had paid the full MSRP price of $39.99 I might have been a bit more disappointed in its short length. That being said I'd definitely recommend Binary Domain to anyone looking for an entertaining team based robot shoot'em up.
on September 20, 2014
I'm a fan of FPS games, but this one is entirely unsatisfactory. I have had to quit the game before finish, there is no way I can beat the Gorilla Boss. This game does not allow you to save your progress, instead it creates save points. This sentences you to playing the same lever over and over and over until you beat it... unless you don't. In other games when I've reached a similar barrier, I am able to change the game settings to "Easy" to at least defeat that level. But once you set your difficulty level at the start of Binary Domain, you are stuck with that level for the remainder of the game.
The cut scenes are excruciatingly long and tedious. I found myself leave the computer and going in the other room to watch TV. Finally when I hear the talking end on the computer speakers, I can return and continue with the game.
There are no puzzles to figure out, no strategies, no advantages or opportunity to use stealth, no climbing onto boxes or crates to drop down on an enemy, no alternate avenues of attack; the game is entirely linear as opposed to open map games such as "Fallout New Vegas" or the "Far Cry" series. Shooting down wave after wave of charging robots becomes tedious after a while.
Game deleted unfinished.
I played once through Binary Domain for the PC, beginning to end. The game was stable, never crashed, and the graphics and artwork, as well as the imagery is pretty nice in general.
The story is interesting, not totally original, and we've seen it before in various different incarnations, but the blend of Japanese style makes it subtly more interesting in many ways. The extremely futuristic Japanese mega cities and all the cool techno ideas that are there definitely added to the ambiance.
The characters are decent for sure, with most of the voice acting pretty convincing, and a decent type of squad based camaraderie that was actually better than most squad oriented action games. The character driven story twists are even a bit surprising in a good way.
The action is mostly good, with the usual video game diversity of enemies. Later in the game, there are quite a few really interesting enemy robot types that keep it interesting for sure. The basic action, shooting, and combat is decent enough, although not exactly stellar.
As far as the overall gameplay, good, but not great. There are no quick saves, just checkpoints. Fortunately, they are in most cases close enough together where you don't want to always pull your hair out. But, and a big BUT, this is a game focused on Boss battles in much of the game. I personally, don't like most boss battles, as I find them time consuming and annoying most of the time. But I can enjoy them if there's at least some relief, like quick saves, or status bars to know how you're doing against the boss, or any way to at least know it won't last 45 minutes and you die in the end and have to do it over and over and over.
Unfortunately, because of all the boss battles, it gets exhausting and frustrating, as you have NO idea how you're doing. In certain cases, there are incremental save points with the bosses, but in most cases, its yet another 20-30 minute grind when you get killed at the last minute. This is simply one of the most annoying and un-enjoyable things that many video games seem to have lately.
Now for the not so good. The controls are painfully bad. Not a little bad, but really bad. There is an auto-cover system that also doubles as the running/jumping/tumbling key combo, that causes you to be in the wrong place in much of the game. You think you're jumping out of the way, but you end up auto covering in FRONT of the cover point and dying. Dumb, just dumb. And then there's the really stupid slowdowns in action, where you have to look at someone when they ramble on and on about something, and your character simply doesn't move fast, even if you need to. What were they thinking?
The controls and their awkward problems make the overall experience highly compromised, in whats a basically good and enjoyable game. Its not really a case of console-itis, as much as its the fundamental design decisions about what are valid controls and not to the characters. It just doesn't make sense, and really detracts from the gameplay.
All in all, I liked it enough to play through it. The story and characters, the settings and overall game were pretty good. If the controls were just much less weird, and more precise, it could have been a great game, as the overall concept is pretty good.
on May 7, 2014
Like the game. Very fun. but got extra copies for friends and family and my sons computer couldn't run this. Kept getting errors and wouldn't even get to the loading screen. We tried everything recommended on line with no success. Please note that it worked on other 3 computers just fine. But I had to knock off a star for not working on the other. This is a gaming laptop that is better then 2 of the 3 other pcs in the house. The lower ends ran this just fine and so did the higher end one. His laptop has no problems with any other games and never did figure out what the issue was
All in all just know.. If it runs for you.. Im sure you will enjoy this game. But know the risk before buying.
Hope your enjoyed the review. Good gaming everyone
on November 24, 2012
While it may appear to be another of those generic shooters, you will be surprised how good this game really is. The game is action packed! there is never a dull moment in Binary Domain, awesome boss fights, plenty of weapons too chose from and upgrades. You control your squad with certain commands even by communicating with them with your mic, even though the AI can be clumsy (like getting in your way)the cast of characters are cool just not lovable like in RPG's. Now.... the best part of this game its is story, i could compare it to mass effect, humans vs. robots, but there is more to the story which includes romance, conspiracies, funny moments, suspense etc. It will keep you interested in the game till the end. It also has multi-player, a survival mode (hoard mode) and the usual versus mode. the downside is that you wont find any matches unless you play with friends. Graphic wise, this game looks nice but it wont push your PC to its max, yes this is a console port, and moving around the menus can be annoying, the voice command feature is very inaccurate but good thing you are not forced to use it. I wish this game had a single player co-op mode but it is still fun to play alone, i beat it in around 8 hours. If you like games like gears of wars, or mass effect 3 then i recommend picking this one up, and for the low price its a steal!
on December 23, 2014
Its great when a game is exactly what it claims to be. Nothing more, nothing less. Binary Domain doesnt break any new ground. Nor does it need to; it does just about everything [that its supposed to do] correctly. The only reason why I didnt give it 5 stars is because controls couldve been slightly better.