By Sam Coles:
If you were around during the Xbox 360 and PS3 era you’ll remember that the third person cover based shooter was really popular with the success of Gears of War with other games trying to emulate its said success. You don’t see them around as much these days as the open world genre has become the default template for developers. However there was a unique hidden gem on the 360 and PS3 called Binary Domain with an interesting story and good squad based gameplay from the same developers who made the Yakuza series.
Binary Domain takes place in the distant future where the world has been overflowed with water and the human race created robots to help rebuild society. The governments around the world had to make a new Geneva Convention for robotics where militaries and corporations are not allowed to make robots that mimic humans. These are dubbed hollow children where they look like humans but are robots underneath, however they don’t know they are robots and are completely clueless. A hollow child ends up attacking people and a team is sent in to Japan to extract a man who is known for manufacturing the hollow children. A team of different Special Forces from the US, China, France and the UK are sent in to clean up the mess.
At first you would think “oh no it’s another generic third person shooter from the 7th generation”. Yes it does seem fairly standard at first but it sprinkles different mechanics to make it stand out from the crowd. You have a trust mechanic with your squad and how this works is that they will trust more if you give them specific responses during dialogue and this in tandem will make them respond to you more efficiently in battle. However if you give them a poor response or shoot them they will lose faith in you, this is good most of the time but it can be a pain as your AI team mates have a habit of getting in the way during firefights which can be aggravating.
The shooting is satisfying in this game as when you shoot an opponent their body parts just explode into shrapnel as you’ll be fighting robots. It can be used to your tactical advantage targeting different body parts such as arms where they can no longer use assault rifles to blowing their heads off which disorientates them and they end up turning on their allies.
The presentation is beautiful with excellent animations from the character models coupled with the environments which take a Blade Runner style with atheistic with fantastic rain effects at the start of the game. The game does struggle with the frame rate in some parts especially with the giant robot boss battles as they do take up a lot of the screen as they send hundreds of missiles your way but it doesn’t happen too often.
I was pleasantly surprised with Binary Domain it’s an interesting shooter with a good narrative and great gameplay. It’s a super cheap game these days I picked up my copy for 99p so you’re getting more than your money’s worth so pick it up if you have the chance.