All About Crash_WL
When I first heard of Binary Domain, I had that silly smile on my face, being a software/web developer myself. I thought, "another game of hackers saving the world". But I was totally wrong. Then, I thought it would be a mediocre game, although I was following it, but my expectations were not high. Again, I was wrong. Having just finished playing the demo, I can safely say it's exceptionally good.
Binary Domain takes place in 2080 Tokyo, in an era where machines dominate and humanity struggles to survive. You are in control of Dan, a British soldier, and your squad must consist of 3 people, Dan included. You get the options of various team members, such as "Big Boy", an African-American heavy machinegunner, and Charles, a British Spec-Ops soldier.
You be trippin', bro?
The whole game has a Vanquish feel to it, from the environments and the interface to the background music. That's not a bad thing to say; I enjoyed Vanquish, and it was a fine game that sales didn't do justice for. While you play Binary Domain, you will feel that the control scheme is pick-and-play; you won't have to look through the control scheme screen, you'll know, more or less, what each button does by the time you pick up the controller.
Gunplay is surprisingly tight, and thoroughly enjoyable. You get a futuristic Desert Eagle variant with infinite ammo as your side-arm, an Assault Rifle, a slot for weapon purchase/pickup and a slot for grenades. All these are mapped to your d-pad. I talked about weapon purchases... The game features a shop that's accessed during missions through terminals. There, you can upgrade your weapons or buy new stuff, some of which might be compatible only with a specific character. The game's currency is, the usual, Credits. You get Credits by performing good in combat, and by doing special feats, such as bashing your opponent to death, up close and personal, instead of sniping from behind cover.
What's worth mentioning is that the battle system is also very, very fun but also needs you to think. The fact that you downed an enemy robot and it looked dead for a while doesn't mean it is. It might start crawling or limping its way towards you guys, or just shoot while on the floor. Be sure to make sure they're dead before walking away. Also, you can tactically cripple your enemies. For example, you can shoot off a robot's head, and it will act like a headless chicken. You can shoot a leg off and watch it limp and try to keep the fight up. If you get too close, it might try to roundhouse kick you, but not if it's missing a leg or two. That way, you can play and be a lot more tactics-oriented, and try to cripple the enemies instead of mindlessly shooting at everything that moves.
Also interesting is the Consequence System, that's even built within the battles. For example, if you accidentally (or purposely) shoot a teammate, they will kindly ask you to stop, but if you do it repeatedly, they will like you less and less each time, resulting in them refusing to follow your orders, or not doing well in battle. Outside battles, you can answer to chit-chat to continue building or destroying trust within the team. After a good battle, you can tell your teammates they "did a good job", or that "you were craptastic". Apart from combat affections, Consequence System will also affect storyline. An interesting system that I can't wait to see in its full form.
The graphics are brilliant, especially the character and weapon models. There's enough detail and diversity in the environments that make you overlook the, sometimes, cheesy dialogue you'd expect. Let's not forget, I said it's Vanquish-stylε, and that game was good but cheesy. While it's set in a futuristic landscape, where you'd expect tons of grey and white, the developers decided to color them a bit. You'll see screens, plants, and other props that make the scenes colorful instead of plain boring.
What I can say I disliked is the music part. Under a Japanese developer (Yakuza Studio), there's all that electronic arcade music that will sink through your skull and turn you psycho. At least, that's what it does to me. It's not that it gets in the way of gameplay, by distracting you or anything, but it's just that it's what you'd expect for this kind of game from the Japanese. I'd much prefer some orchestrated sound to electronic music, but I might just get used to it once the full game is released. Apart from that, the gun sounds, voice acting and general sounds are well-made, and will not leave you down - at least based on the demo.
All in all, Binary Domain looks like a successful game to me, and is definitely a day one purchase. To accompany you after you've beaten the campaign, Yakuza Studio has added online competitive modes, pitting a maximum of 5 people versus 5. Based on what I've played and seen from the gunplay, online, if populated enough, will be a blast. Binary Domain is due for a February 28th release.
Hello everyone, I got my Gears of War 3 Limited edition last Tuesday, finished it on, technically, Thursday's early hours, and I've been playing online since then. Now, I've found the time to review it, and give my views on it for everyone who's checking it out. My opinion? It's a great game, one of the best my X360 library has to show off, together with Alan Wake. But as a Gears, what is it? It's the best Gears ever made, up to point. It takes the best out of the previous two games, and ends the trilogy in the best way, gameplay-wise. But the story, it just wasn't as satisfying for me, for a simple reason: when a franchise starts as a game, I expect it to wrap up major plot details in the games, and provide a lot of backstory and other points of view on the events in the books. Gears? It just left things afloat, forgetting about things that were crucial in previous games, like they weren't ever mentioned nor happened. And what do some people say? "It's in the books". Well, I have the two Assassin's Creed books, the Mass Effect books, and a God of War book. All of them, I got after I finished the games, and still, I perfectly understood most things in the story, and the story didn't hype me up for a finale that would let me down, unless I "read the books'. The books flesh out the characters, depict past events, events in between... but a series of books based on a video game that contain the main plot? That's bad writing for the game. Anyway, without further ado, you can go ahead and read my review, and get a detailed look in the game, what it offers, and what you should know about it that can decide your purchase. Have a nice day!
It's true that most FPS games look alike, but that's expected. You always see a floating gun, and occasionally a pair of legs. How much can games differ from one another if this is a standard they can't change? Most times, it's the first thing the player gets to see when the game allows him to take control of the character, so that's the first thing that also gets stamped on his mind. I think we've all thought about Halo not feeling like walking when you walk because everything stays completely stable, or about Killzone making you think that you're really moving. About the gun barely moving when hip-firing, or about the gun going out of control when doing the same thing. About some over-encumbered HUD, or about a lacking HUD or non-existent HUD. It all depends on mechanics and what the game is offering based on its concept. The question should not be if FPS games look alike, but if they offer the same, recycled thing over and over again, and I'm sure they're not. Well, franchises are franchises, and I'm obviously talking about comparing different franchises.
I can't really compare these, can I?
For example, Halo has its perfect hip-firing system combined with a lot of killing in space, whereas most other games don't rely much on it, and I'm glad to be honest but that's another story. Killzone has that weighty feel to it, and each gun works in its own way, making them "feel" better for the player. Resistance has that crazy alien technology for the player to use, and that's where the game's fun in shooting is hiding at for me. Brink has that parkour, fast-paced action stylε that rewards the player for having a coordinated team. Battlefield relies on the Frostbite engine, making you use your head more occasionally than your trigger, because of bullet drop, thinking whether to destroy something that would later provide cover etc. Call of Duty is that arcade, pick-and-play game we all know, with not a big learning curve for someone to be an average player. Duke Nukem Forever has that retro feeling, simplistic aim-and-shoot action with some explosive goodies along the way, its highlight being the Duke's sense of humor. Homefront relies on how the player will accumulate points in order to reinforce his arsenal with more deadly means of destruction. Crysis makes you use your suit to its best, push it to its limits, in order to complete your goal with efficiency - makes you think you are in the suit. What pattern did you see here? I pointed out the main thing that characterizes each game mentioned. Maybe not what it's advertised as, but surely something that can describe the game without much thought put in it. Try crossing out each name and just reading the following sentence; you'll see that you'll understand which game I'm talking about, well, provided you do know the game exists and have taken a look at its basic, defining mechanics.
I'm sure that this is not the same as...
... this! See my point?
They are all so similar, yet so different, but we fail to see it because each month a new FPS is thrown in the mix, making the player's mind keep the most basic concept out of all the depth a game might have; aim, shoot, kill, repeat - with this making them not really appreciate what the game is offering, and how it's trying to differientate itself from the other competitors. I believe there's still a lot of life in the FPS genre, but I hope it doesn't get sucked away by incompetence, recycled themes and mechanics.
I enjoy the FPS genre, and I'm glad that I can play each game for what it is. I occasionally enjoy the criticized Brink for its hectic action combined with parkour; I play Call of Duty with my friends because it's simple to boot and doesn't require much in-game coordination; I play Battlefield Bad Company with a microphone when I feel like I have to make my mind think a bit more on the strategies; I play Duke Nukem Forever when I want to have some goofy fun; I play Homefront when I want to have that feeling of "survival" that rewards me with points; I play Halo when I want crazy action in space. I play Crysis when I want to combine superpowers with smooth action. Whatever floats your boat, but I hope you got to understand my point, and why my opinion is that the FPS genre is not just oversaturated by new releases, but also misunderstood - maybe a side effect of the aforementioned situation? We'll get to understand some day, but till then, I hope we enjoy each and every game brought out, and support the makers of it. Have fun!
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