Binary Domain: Hitting first and hitting hard!

This year is well underway; with high-profile titles already making their way onto store shelves. Here at EVO we are bracing ourselves for the inevitable onslaught of shooter games that flood into the market every year.

First out of the gate is a little game called ” Binary Domain”. I have had a watchful eye on this title for a while now and have seen very little information released about it and even less information is available about the games competitive multi player offerings . For the most part I belive that  this title will completely fly under the radar for most gamers due to the fact that it does not have a huge marketing push and the fact that most shooter fans are still in love with the shooters that released in the q4 holiday season of last year. I know it will take a massively big name to draw people away from the likes of Gears of War ( which ironically this game will get the most comparisons to), Battlefield and Call of Duty.

Today I had my chance to play the demo that Sega released on XBOX live marketplace. Sadly the demo only contained two chapters of the single player campaign ( the XBOX  live button was teased on the menu but was not selectable)  so my preview will do its best to give you a basic run down on the game mechanics and overview of quality levels , from there we will have to wait until the game goes live to see how the multi player component of the game delivers.

Lets break it down.

Graphics: This is not Gears of War 3 level graphics folks. While not a bad-looking game by any means ; my initial reaction was to try to compare it to that said game. DONT! Epic Studios have a massive budget at their disposal and even own the technology that powers their game. While this game doesn’t have the extreme graphic fidelity of Gears it is a very nice looking game. The character models are large and detailed and the environments are very dense with the city streets in the demo coming alive with lots of ambiance ( Destroyed cityscapes always give Devs opportunity to go crazy ). animations were fluid and quick and the whole game had a Anime feel without going to over the type stylistically. If I was to compare it I would say it fell somewhere between Resident Evil 5 and Gears of War from an art style point of view.

Playing through the game I was hit by a very ” Terminator Salvation meets i Robot ” vibe especially since the main antagonist in the game are out of control robots that look like armored up versions of the ones in the movie i Robot.
The coolest aspect of the graphics that I should note is the ability to target limbs of the robots enemies that are attacking you! You can actually see the armor plates falling off them as you spray them with bullets and I would advise shooting out the legs first but beware, they will still crawl after you ” Terminator style” unless you destroy them completely.

Gameplay: Control wise the game uses a layout similar to Gears of war. In fact its pretty much a carbon copy minus the fact that they have swapped out the melee button ( Melee is ” X”) and reserved the “B” button for context actions.
Gunplay is very satisfying ! The guns all recoil nicely and have a weight to them.Sound is handled well with all the guns having a unique effect.
The cover system in the Demo was tight. In fact I would almost say I enjoyed it as much as Gears of War and maybe a little better. Animations of your character in cover where very dramatic and fit nicely with the over  the top action. I noticed a few examples of the animations being customized to the type of cover you are on and specifically the side of the cover that you are using. This is a cover system working at its best. I really felt that I was hiding for my life when the bullets started flying.

With all of this said I need to caution that until final release is upon us we have no idea how all of this will translate into the multi player arena . I do have some initial concerns over some of the design choices I have seen on other sites ; most specifically the fact that your characters in multi player are not based on the campaign heroes/characters. It appears that generic soldiers are being used which to me; in a 3rd person shooter is a NO NO. If I can see my character in a shooter then you better make sure he looks suitably bad ass unlike a FPS when I can only see my hands ( in which case you better make sure my hands look badass)

On top of all that we still need to see how the matchmaking and the other features that Multi PLayer games need to be equipped with. For now I will say that the game in its current form with the single player mechanics makes me very excited for the competitive modes but if it ditches any of the window dressings and mechanics that are on display in the demo ; I will have reserve judgment.

Dwayne “EVO Knight” Morash