Binary Domain

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Binary Domain review
William Thompson

Review

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Short Circuit (cntd)


This leads to the difficulty in choosing which of the characters to add to your team for each mission. Do you keep using the same teammates so that you can level them up, or do you experiment with the other characters? Each of the characters has their advantages. The Chinese girl Fei lee is an expert with the sniper rifle whilst English girl Rachael is an explosives expert wielding a Rocket launcher. Certain situations call for a specific character, but for the most part, any of the characters will be able to help get you through a section of the overall mission.

The Day the Earth Stood Still


Probably the most disappointing aspect of Binary Domain is the default control scheme. It can be clearly seen that the controls are a direct port from the console versions. As a primarily PC gamer, it certainly took awhile to get used to the default keyboard and mouse controls. Yes, the aiming and firing controls are basically the same as other shooters as is the movement, but its the other controls that feel unintuitive. Reloading, for instance, requires the middle mouse button by default rather than the R key. Yes, the keys can be reconfigured, but this is a shooter and shouldnt need to be.

A second control issue comes when trying to communicate with your team members when you arent using a headset. The first mission has Big Bo walking you through the controls. At one point he asks you if you understand and waits for an answer. Unfortunately, he seems to expect you to have a headset because he fails to mention which keys to press. The final control issue comes when you want to vault over small walls. For some reason, whenever I wanted to do so, the game thought I wanted to use the wall as cover. It was only then that I was given the option to hurdle over it. Not really a major issue, but one I believe stems from the console porting.

I, Robot


I also had occasional problems with the camera. For the most part, it works well, but at times it can be a touch sensitive, moving with the slightest mouse movement. Despite the camera though, Binary Domain does a more than adequate job in the visual department. The locations are well varied and are quite smooth. There are the usual shooter areas of narrow corridors, but there are also some wide open areas especially when it comes to the boss battles. The lower levels of the city are run down, whilst the upper levels are clean and pristine. The characters are well animated too if not a little robotic themselves in their movement, each seeming to have their own mannerisms. The same can be said of the enemy robots, although I would have like a bit more variety in the robots.

Audio is respectable too, with each of the numerous playable characters having their own accent. Dan and his best mate Big Bo have the stereotypical American bravado, Charlie has an upper-class British accent and then there are the other characters with Chinese, Japanese and even French accents. Each sounds authentic enough to pass for a citizen from their supposed homeland, though each has a tongue-in-cheek dialogue.

Terminator, too


Despite the issues surrounding the unintuitive ported controls, Binary Domain is fun to play, especially after becoming familiar with the control scheme and how to best use the voice commands with your squad members. Watching as headless robots pinpoint their closest ally is hilarious, as are the robots that continue to crawl toward you after their legs have been blown off. The option to choose various squad members throughout the course of the campaign can certainly add some replayability to Binary Domain as well. You can also play multiplayer online, but as with many games of its type, the servers are sparsely populated and the game types are standard fare. The visuals are nice and the audio dialogue funny at times. It can be a bit corny and stereotypical, but fits in well with the classic characters. If you havent played the console versions and would like a view into a possible future world, Binary Domain should be on your radar.

7.4

fun score

Pros

Watching a headless robot shoot his teammates whilst watching other legless robots continue to crawl at you is a great feature.

Cons

Controls have been poorly ported from the console versions