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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
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.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
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).

Final Verdict:
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2014
This game ended up being worth more than what I paid for. The 10 hour campaign was full of awesome set pieces, beautiful graphics, likable anime-esque characters, and tense action. I definitely recommend this to everyone.

Only problem I had were the controls initially but luckily it was an easy fix.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2014
It's a shame that SEGA didn't make some more publicity to this game. Great gameplay, epic story and awesome multiplayer!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2014
Looks nice but the reports of "co-op" are great exaggerated. Only has a survival mode you can play with a friend, I got it in the hopes of campaign co-op, I guess I should have done more research first. Still entertaining but nothing fantastic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2012
Easily one of the more memorable 3rd person cover shooters around and a steal at $9.99

Engaging story and good gameplay mechanics
Interesting set pieces
Good boss fights
Handles well with the 360 controller
Decent/Good graphic quality (esp after the FOV patch)
Decent/Medium length game time (took me 11 hours)

Voice "novelty" feature is a big turn off, fortunately the command controls via gamepad works well enough
Big Bo bromance dialogue during the early parts of the game
Unskippable cut scenes (esp after reloading in order to make the correct Trust choice. Fortunately not too many times for me)
The "Redundant" characters - Played through the entire game without choosing/using Charlie/Racheal/that resistance dude when given the choice.
There might not be Binary Domain 2 :(
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 7, 2012
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2012
If you have an Xbox controller and like shooting things, interesting stories and good character developement I am pretty sure this game will be on your top10 from all time. Honestly.

This game is far from perfect. Let's begin with the flaws:

The adaptation to mouse and keyboard control is apparently horrible (as I read before buying it, might have been fixed with a patch but I've played it with a pad so I don't know).

Graphics are slightly outdated, just slightly but that prevents it to become an AAA+ game.

The cover system can be a little bit rough from time to time. It's on par with ME3 from my point of view, but unfortunately not as refined as GOW3 or uncharted 3.

Finally, the voice recognition system is completely rubbish, although it's not something I missed much it would have been an interesting feature if it worked properly. Alas, that's not the case.

And these are all the flaws this game has. On the good side are:

The boss battles are breathtaking. You remember when you fought Metal Gear Rex on mgs? You'd wish you could do it again with the technology featured in this game. Huge robots are ripped piece to piece by your bullets, changing their movement patterns as their limbs are being ripped away by firepower. Dynamic situations force you to change the strategy making it an epic experience, specially on higher difficulty settings.

It's utterly enjoyable to shoot hordes of smaller robots and see how they behave after missing a leg or an arm. The fact that they go berserk after loosing their heads adds a bit of challenge since you'll find yourself aiming for headshots quite often just to chuckle after you turn a pair of scrapheads against their former comrades. I myself LOVE IT.

The story and character developement are brilliant. Although it takes quite a bit to take off, by the end you will most likely emphatise with your most used buddies. Drama is guaranteed on the final chapters, be warned!

Finally, the french speaking robot is ****ng hilarious. Maybe it's just because I have some french friends who speak english just the same as it, but I had many laughs with its interventions :D

Honestly, if you have 20 bucks to spend you won't be disappointed by Binary Domain. I'd give it a 8.75/10.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2012
This game was marketed absolutely wrong. It's an excellent, if basic, third person shooter with interesting RPG elements and an INCREDIBLE story. The characters, filmography, and atmosphere make me wish this would be directly translated in to a film. The set pieces in the game are amazing. Have you ever fought a massive spider-robot? Of course you have, but have you made it jump around on its one remaining leg like it was on bath salts? You haven't, quit lying and buy this game.
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