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About the product
- A NEW TAKE ON FUTURISTIC TOKYO - Experience dual layered Tokyo with a run down and derelict lower city and a clean and affluent upper city.
- THE CONSEQUENCE SYSTEM - Under the pressures of battle every action, every choice and every word affects everything.
- PROCEDURAL DAMAGE - Fully destructible and highly resilient robots adapt to the damage they sustain encouraging you to analyse each enemy, find their weaknesses and dispose of them in the most efficient way.
- WEAPON MODIFICATION AND SKILL SELECTION - Alongside a full armoury of unique weapons, put emphasis on the skills that will benefit you.
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THE MACHINE AGE HAS BEGUN in this immersive and atmospheric squad-based shooter in which you need to regain control of a futuristic Tokyo from an emerging robotic threat.
Set in 2080, the story starts when Dan Marshall and his squad are sent to bring the robotic community under control as they begin to infiltrate society and slowly take over undetected, leaving humans redundant in their wake.
Thrilling encounters with highly intelligent robotic enemies require you to think tactically, make challenging, real-time moral decisions and build up trust with your team mates in order to guide your squad to safety and success.
|Supported OS:||Windows XP,Windows 7,Windows Vista,Windows|
|Hard Disk:||none specified|
|Video Card:||none specified|
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Even going in and mapping keys to what I want, things do not work right. Stay away from this game if you plan on playing it on a PC.
A note of KUDOS to Amazon.com for refunding me my money. I had purchased the game as a download....the next day (after playing for about 2 hours) I gave up and asked Amazon for a refund and told them I will not be playing this game due to the keyboard mapping/porting issues Sega has with it.
They refunded my money and I thank Amazon.com for that!
Right off the bat, if you've played Gears of War (or Resident Evil 4, which inspired Gears to various extents), the game will feel very familiar. It's a third person, over-the-shoulder perspective shooter (the similarities with RE4 end here) that emphasizes cover in battles. It's pretty standard fare, with you and a squad taking on multiple opponents. The differences with Gears are as follows:
-enemy variety and mobility
Gears typically was you versus Locust hordes that varied in that one enemy had a bigger gun than the other. Or was on a turret. Either way, BD tends to have more varied enemies, such as small bug-like enemies that move quick and come in droves (but can be dismantled easily), enemies that fly in and attack from above, and the standard 'scrap head' and its more powered up counter-parts. You'll also occasionally be up against gigantic enemies whom have unique weaknesses and movements that vary up the battles. The point is that enemies tend to vary in their mobility type and range, and aren't just ground based like most enemies in Gears.
-The areas aren't wide, huge, and massive battlefields.
Gears usually had battled taking place in gigantic, massive areas that meant long treks to the enemy and working your way up to their position while taking cover. Binary Domain emphasizes more enclosed areas, which is a good thing, actually. It means that battles are actually more intense at times, the lack of huge, open areas means that battles tend to be quicker and more to the point than in Gears.
-upgradable weapons and character statistics
The weapon upgrade system is somewhat of a let down, since you can only upgrade each characters main weapon. The upgrades also don't amount to any huge difference in play (except for some changes, like larger bosonic count). The character upgrades are actually more significant, since 20% more health is sizable whichever way you spin it. Overall, this provides an incentive for the player to play better and reap more points from each kill.
-the plot is actually good
Gears suffered SEVERELY in this area. Epic Games (creators of Gears) seriously need better writers, and it shows so horrifyingly badly in their franchise. I could write an entire essay on several of Gear's faults, such as its barebones plot, how the Locust where never characterized well beyond 'they are bad, we are good, kill them' (and how the Lambent were introduced as a cheap way to add character but how it ultimately failed), or how they never explained why the god damn locust queen is HUMAN IN THE FIRST PLACE. Instead, I'll just say this:
the logs in Binary Domain actually bother to give the plot depth and add more to the games world (unlike Gears where nothing was ever really said in the logs). The setting in Binary Domain is actually feasible, well thought out, and contains many elements at play that are never portrayed as plain black and white. The robot enemies themselves are given several cut scenes where I questioned just who the real 'bad guys' are. If there is ANYTHING this game has over Gears its the plot. The world has been given a much more thought provoking and enticing plot than, not just Gears, but most games out there. There are many plot elements at play and it never truly overwhelms, but you do get the sense of a different world in motion with many active actors. Unlike Gears where the overall feel is simplistic, junior high school tier writing that amounts to: ''we are the good guys, they are the bad guys, let's do it''. While not necessarily breaking ground with some plot elements, Binary Domain still manages to draw out a plot in a shooter that is intriguing and could work out in another medium while not devolving into simplistic set pieces that are all action and no plot.
There are probably many parts I've missed in this review, and Gears has several points over Binary Domain itself, but the bottom line is: if you enjoyed Gears, but wanted a more substantive plot (MUCH more substantive) with a better crafted world in environments that didn't drag out battles because of their massive size, give this game a go. It's a third person shooter that does everything right, adds an interesting plot to the mix, and tries some elements from other genres (Squad 'trust' and interactions, and weapon and character upgrades).
Overall, this isn't a break out title, but it's premise is unique and the gameplay is solid. If you want a third person shooter, pick this game up. If you don't care much for plot, you still won't be disappointed since its gameplay holds well on its own.
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.
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