Binary Domain had an unfortunate launch window. Released a week before Mass Effect 3, Binary Domain was always going to be compared to Bioware’s epic. Though it was destined for the bargain bins, Binary Domain is a fun third person shooter which is certainly worth a play.
What Binary Domain does best is making it fun to press the trigger. You’ll destroy hundreds upon hundreds of robots throughout the campaign and you’ll enjoy every bullet that comes into contact with metal – because that bit of metal will come off. Getting swarmed by a group of enemies in a small corridor? Aim for the legs and spend the time it takes for them to crawl towards you to pick them off one by one. Does an enemy have superior firepower? Blow their arms off. Are there just too many enemies to fight against? Blow their heads off and watch as they fight for you. The variety of the fighting keeps things fresh from start to finish and certainly stands Binary Domain from the standard third person shooter.
The bosses are great to fight, though always bottle down to “shoot the glowing bit”, or alternatively “shot a bit or armour to reveal the glowing bit, then shoot the glowing bit”. Though the strategy will be similar, the sizes and locations of the bosses add the needed variety to the fights.
The world of Binary Domain is great; set in the near future in a world full human looking robot sleeper agents tries to bring as much philosophical questions as it can into the narrative (Such as where does the line of human & machine blur?), but for the majority, takes a back seat to blowing the limbs of robots. That’s a shame, because when the story’s at it best it starts to be thought provoking and I can’t help but feel that the story, as adequate as it is, could have been something very special if a bit more time was spent on it.
The lack of narrative focus starts to feed into the gameplay as the games feels almost awkward to play when in one of the safe zones. These safe zones are small hub areas where you can speak to NPC’s and your teammates before jumping back into the action and again, if a little bit more time was spent sorting out the mechanics of these areas, it could have been something special. As it is though, you feel as though the game doesn’t want to have these scenes, as your character drags himself round these areas at a snails pace while NPC’s talk loudly about covert ops to anyone within earshot.
Saying that though, the English voice acting is superb and certainly adds a lot to dialogue, even going as far to help save some of the weaker lines of dialogue. A few of your ‘Rust Crew’ characters are fantastically well written and truly are stand out characters. Cain, the charming womanizing french robot in particular is hilarious and a joy to bring with you in the game.
The trust system in Binary Domain is good, if slightly binary. Essentially each of your team has a trust meter which fills when helping them out of a tricky situation and being nice to them and drops with accidentally shooting them (Always a relationship breaker) and being mean to them during conversation plots. Without spoiling anything, it plays a part in the ending of the game and I would love to see this system being built upon in future games.
The ability to physically talk to your team members using your headset is also something I’d love to see built on, as the novelty shortly runs thin once a handful of orders\conversations go the wrong way after your dialogue was picked up incorrectly.
The multiplayer is very by-the-book and is slightly disappointing (and all ready starting to lose players unfortunately). The horde like Invasion mode is fun for awhile while the Vs mode is exactly how it sounds. Nothing you haven’t seen before or are all ready playing elsewhere.
Overall, Binary Domain is a very fun shooter which is worth picking up. There are some quirks that can be forgiven and a few things that can be worked on for a sequel. However, this is a game that I feel deserves a sequel, which in a world full of sequels is recommendation enough.
- Fun Fun Fun!
- Fresh, innovative gunplay.
- Great voice acting.
- Some stand out supporting characters.
- Some quirks to the gameplay.
- By the numbers multiplayer.
- Hub areas feel stiff.