Binary Domain‘s biggest crime was it released only a couple weeks before the juggernaut Mass Effect 3, thus was probably overlooked and/or quickly forgotten by the video gaming community. I had briefly started the single-player campaign of this game, until Mass Effect 3 came along and consumed the next month of my life.
However, once returning to Binary Domain, I was pleasantly rewarded with completing a game that is very polished and great fun to play.
Set in the near-future, you are military soldier Dan Marshall, and along the way he meets a variety of skilled personnel that can join together to complete objectives and seek out the truth of their situation. Binary Domain is a third-person shooter, relying on this squad interaction, with a huge influence from “Gears of War” mentality. Make no mistake, this is a straight-up shooter, enhanced by the use of weaponry upgrades and a competent cover-system.
There is a good variety of game levels/missions, including a jet-ski section, controlling a mech warrior and even some train surfing. Yet, it was the story and characters I enjoyed the most. Make no mistake, this aspect of the game is quite corny, superficial and cliché (dare I say … “Japanese!?”), but it also works very well. Despite this statement, the storyline explores relevant discussion of such things like “What makes us human?” and “Do AI robots deserve equal rights to humans?”. These are core narrative aspects also explored by other recent video games Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Syndicate and Mass Effect 3.
Weapon choice and who you decide to take with your team truly matters and makes a difference on how easy or difficult it will be to completing objectives. Differing dialog/story scenarios plays out, depending on the level of trust your squad mates have in you. The enemy AI is among the best I’ve experienced, as they enemy is relentless in their attacks and are intelligent enough to take appropriate cover or even try to flank your position.
The single-player campaign takes about 10 hours of robot-killing! I admit to rarely using the voice team-chat facility, nor did I explore the online multi-player matches to any real depth. Though, I felt I got the most out of the game, thoroughly enjoying Binary Domain, just based upon the story play-through.
Under-rated video game and highly recommended! 🙂
score: 8 out of 10.