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About me: My name is Ben Nacca and I specialise in game reviews. Check here for the reviews in their natural format at www.lanraiders.co.uk Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BenNacca

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Review: Binary Domain


Solid graphics with good variety  |  Likeable characters  |  Surprisingly pleasing story

Voice system weak  |  Multiplayer lacks innovation  |  Better alternatives on offer

Detailed rating:




Value for Money

Difficulty & ComplexityAverage - suitable for most

LongevityGood longevity

MultiplayerOK multiplayer functions

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Binary Domain

Tested and reviewed based on the Playstation 3 version.

Review by Ben Nacca

(Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BenNacca )

XBL GT: Darkeyes1991 PSN ID: Darkeyes2k11

Game Info

Delving into the Sci-Fi genre once more, SEGA have given fans of the genre another option when it comes to futuristic action. Forget the undead or future cyber gangs and similar tales of that ilk. You won’t put a single bullet in a human at all so you can forget about blood. Instead, you get the destruction of robots and lots of them.

Set in Tokyo in the year 2080, a sinister company starts to create humanoid robots that will gradually filter their way into the human population. The Amada Corporation is one of the leading robot manufacturers and it is up to Sergeant Dan Marshall and his band of mercenaries to stop the company, the production of humanoid robots and save mankind. Now it all sounds epic and is played out rather well although the story does suffer from a slow build up. No one can argue the story does pick up rather well towards the latter half of the game with twists, turns and action everywhere you go.

The story is interesting and is helped largely by the variety of Neo-Tokyo settings that Binary Domain takes place in. From the gritty, sewers and slums of the underground to the affluent heights of the upper city, Binary Domain takes you to fresh and normally exciting locations. There are the occasional corridors that require some much needed paint and the boxes put away but thankfully they are few and far between.

If you’ve played Gears of War, or pretty much any third person shooter since that has had cover mechanics, the game will fall straight into your hands. The controls are practically the same as Gears of War so everything feels at home. The frustration of some cover issues, mainly the lacking ability to turn corners while behind cover, ensures that not everything runs smoothly as we would like but the roadie run, hopping over cover and blind-fire all find their way into the controls. For the most part, they work very well.

The main features that attempt to make Binary Domain its own product and not just a clone of other notable shooters are the voice command system and the relationship system. The first features the ability to use a microphone to issue your squad commands. Phrases such as “Fire”, “Cover me” and “Regroup” are a small part of the extensive list of commands you can issue, however the main ones are the ones mentioned. The voice recognition works really well for the most part with there being minimal hiccups in the software but it still feels a bit weak. There is no real depth to the system with no ability to flank or even come close to tactfully organising your hapless squad to do anything remotely complex. Fire and move is about as good as it gets.

The other slight downside will be for Xbox 360 users. Not an issue if you are using a PS3 but for 360 users who have Kinect; do not expect Microsoft’s device to pick up anything as it is not supported. Odd since Mass Effect 3, due for release very soon is utilising the motion detecting peripheral.

Don’t worry though if you lack a microphone or you don’t fancy shouting at your television because you can use the controller and select the command rather easily and with fluidity too. Your character doesn’t speak though so the effect is often lost regardless.

On the topic of speaking, voices in the game are generally pretty good. Some quirky comments and banter can leave a smile on your face as the characters interact but the smile is wiped when they come out with some horrendous one liners or comments that leave you cringing inside akin to imagining your own Nan in the shower. Less said the better and frankly, the script is not terrible overall, just occasional portions leave you wondering what went through their minds as they wrote it down.

The music is purely electronic and tries to capture the 2080’s feeling in a futuristic Tokyo. It doesn’t. What it does do is develop headaches and frustration as you slowly tune it out to background noise. It isn’t interesting and tries too hard to be futuristic.

The other feature on offer is the relationship system. This is rather pointless to be honest with how it has been utilised for Binary Domain when games like Mass Effect do this with such grace and complexity. Simply put, shooting or annoying your team mates will make them more likely to do their own thing, becoming disobedient and not following orders. The occasional cut scene here and there displays their emotions and feelings so you know how liked or not you are by their attitude.

The reason it fails to really work well is because quite simply, it makes hardly any difference whatsoever. The mechanics don’t change since the squad never leave you, there are no morality death sequences or any hint of consequence by ruling your squad as tyrannical as possible. It is a great idea but games like Mass Effect have done this so well that Binary Domain’s is rather weak in comparison. Not to mention you really have to go out of your way to upset them and anger them so most of the time, it is not even an issue.

So what happens when you swap human bullet sponges for robots? Well you lose the blood effect and in turn, gore. Now gore isn’t everything but it is for realism and also makes lots of people play games for some bewildering reason. Sadists will be disappointed to find no blood can be spilt from your enemies but they can be shredded from the bullet fire. The enemies are entirely destructible as bullets hitting their shells slowly but surely tear their armour off. Shooting their legs will result in them having to crawl their way to you in a manner almost reminiscent of Terminator. Ultimately, this game is just a Terminator shooter and only if it held such title, this would be one of the best made for that series.

The campaign will set you back around 10 hours or so, on an average difficulty, with the A.I. systems most likely complicating the game too much to have a co-operative system. Instead, Binary Domain offers deathmatches, Capture the Flag and other modes but nothing exactly innovative. It has a survival mode called Invasion that mimics Gears of War’s Horde mode as just about every other game has since but bottom line, there is nothing particularly outstanding and you can certainly get better offerings elsewhere.

Visuals 8/10

Easily the strongest aspect of Binary Domain, the environments are varied, the characters are well detailed and enemies are detailed and destructible. It lacks the polish that titles like Gears of War have however and falls short in that aspect.

Audio 7/10

Some good voice acting though some terrible one liners require the script writers to be locked away in a cupboard in the dark for a few days to think about their actions. The sound effects are crisp and gunfire is realistic. An electronic sound track begins to grate on you after an hour in and just lacks imagination really.

Gameplay 7/10

The cover system works for what it is but will leave some people desiring more. The controls in general work well though. It is a shame about rather dumb A.I. teammates that are kind of crucial in a squad based game. Various weapons, upgrade options and similar options of that ilk mean the gameplay stays fresh throughout the story though.

Delivery 6/10

Well a ten hour campaign will keep you busy but the fun stops there. No co-operative mode and a lack of decent multiplayer structure leaves more to be desired. There is no innovation with the multiplayer aspect and leaves this game as a rather short lived title.

Summary 7.1/10

It is a shame that Binary Domain is a clone of so many other 3rd person shooters. However, it doesn’t clone well enough as it falls short rather than improving upon the other games on the market. This is by no means a terrible game and anyone who likes Sci-Fi stories and action galore will love Binary Domain while the campaign lasts. After that is over though, you will be left wondering what to do with it as it finds its way onto a shelf to collect dust or is sold on.

This guide is the property of Ben Nacca and is for the sole use of www.lanraiders.co.uk, www.dailyecho.co.uk and www.ciao.co.uk. No copying to other websites or other mediums without written permission first.

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Product details

EAN 5055277015191
Genre Action
Sub Genre Third Person Shooter
Age 15 year
Publisher Sega
Release Date 2012
Theme Sci-fi
Max Number of Players Offline 1
Format Blu-Ray Disc

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Review Ratings »

This review of Binary Domain (PS3) has been rated:

"very helpful" by (100%):

  1. Dalbx
  2. fatman88
  3. xdonzx

and 6 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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