Home » Opinion, Vault Play

Vault Play: Binary Domain

13 February 2013 by Jim Hunter

binarydomain-1

When I first started up Binary Domain on the PC, I became angry. To call this a console port would be doing a disservice to other console ports. It’s clear that the job of Devil’s Details was getting it to run, and that’s about it. No effort was made in bringing typical PC game settings, such as resolution or even controller settings, in-game. There isn’t really even any mouse control for menus. All the settings are handled by another executable outside of the game, so if you’d like to update something simple like mouse sensitivity – which for me was wildly unwieldy by default – you’d need to quit the game, update the setting, and then re-launch.

Even after five initial restarts and tweaking throughout my playthrough, by the end of the game I still wasn’t happy with the way Binary Domain controlled; it’s just meant for a game pad. If it wasn’t for the added touches, it would have been easy to write off. Instead, there’s a bit of charm in multiple areas that elevate what would seem to be an unremarkable title to decent heights.

binarydomain-2To improve the cover-based shooting, SEGA has made more than headshots count. While battling legions of robotic drones, you’ll waste a ton more ammo if you aim for ‘center mass’. Instead, you’ve got the fun of knocking out their legs to make them shimmy along the ground instead of just coming straight at you. They’re still able to shoot at you, but fast robots can be crippled quickly and are opened up to a nice mechanical curb stomp. Additionally, while a headshot won’t take down a robot immediately, it does destroy their targeting ability. This means robots just shoot or punch whatever is nearest, including other robots. These seemingly minor changes help keep the action fresh and entertaining throughout.

When the smoke clears and the fodder has fallen, your “Rust Crew” – an international special forces team for dealing with robots – will go up against gigantic and powerful boss machines. Instead of just sequestering these to a single arena, some will take an entire level to defeat completely. They won’t die easily. Multi-stage and faceted, their intriguing designs are fun to face and destroy.

binarydomain-3Another piece that SEGA tried to innovate on was issuing squad commands and talking to your crew. You’ll team up with several different, mostly interesting personalities and how you interact with them changes their perception of you. This is handled with mixed success through crappy voice recognition or keyed input. If you accidentally shoot a friendly or say something they don’t agree with, they’ll like you less. Perform admirably in battle or say stuff they like? They’ll like you more. These binary states are fairly uninteresting during gameplay but apparently lead to minor differences during the endgame. I’d recommend turning off voice control as it just doesn’t work as advertised.

Not unlike Spec Ops: The Line, Binary Domain layers an interesting, twist-filled story of ethics and technology on top of mostly standard gameplay. Science has advanced to a point where robots can truly resemble humans, and in some cases think they are humans. The manufacturing of ‘Hollow Children’ is not allowed by the New Geneva Convention and anyone caught doing so is to go on trial for their crimes. That’s where your “Rust Crew” comes in. You play as Dan Marshall and are joined by Roy ‘Big Bo’ Boateng to represent the United States arm of the crew, dispatched to bring the purported evildoer to justice.

binarydomain-5

While at face value the Hollow Children may seem to be a weak concept, they present an ethical dilemma that’s believable, and creepy enough within the context of the world. Combined with convincing motion capture and voicework, it’s easy to get caught up in the questions that arise. I was surprised at how uneasy it made me feel.

Binary Domain is easy to write off, but its story makes a playthrough worthwhile and changes in standard cover-based combat combined with huge boss battles certainly keep it from being stale. It won’t make you question violent video games like Spec Ops: The Line, but Binary Domain isn’t the slouch that it appears to be. If you find it on sale, give it a shot.

Related Posts:


Rocket Jump: 082 – Racial Profiling

Wii U – Innovation Wasteland

SK 2012 GOTY – Aaron Phokal

The Recurring Bosscast: 016 – Xbox One and Dog of Duty: Bark Ops

Kickstart Guide to Skyrim Mods – March’s ENB Edition

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Thad 3 months, 1 week ago.

Author Posts
Author Posts
February 13, 2013 at 9:10 am #19789

Jim Hunter

Binary Domain is easy to write off, but its story makes a playthrough worthwhile and changes in standard cover-based combat combined with huge boss battles certainly keep it from being stale. It won’t make you question violent video games like Spec Ops: The Line, but Binary Domain isn’t the slouch that it appears to be. If you find it on sale, give it a shot.

[See the full post at: http://splitkick.com/vault-play-binary-domain/]


  Quote
February 13, 2013 at 2:04 pm #19821

xXJayeDuBXx

I will admit that I am surprised you enjoyed this game. At some point I was sure you would come to the conclusion that Binary Domain just isn’t that good.

I thought the gunplay was pretty good and upgrading yourself and the team was a neat feature as well, but I absolutely hated the boss fights.

The story in the beginning was amazing, I was blown away when the reveal of the Hollow Children was made. Problem is I felt the game focused more on repetitivetive combat and never advanced the story in an interesting way, I was left wanting more I guess.

Binary Domain for me was worth the ten bucks I paid, but I’m glad I didn’t pay more.

BTW, really like these Vault Play write-ups, keep them coming!


  Quote
February 15, 2013 at 6:52 pm #20076

Thad

I need to push through this, story did seem like it’d go somewhere. The super-linear gameplay with all of the off-putting Japanese arcade touches threw me, and I had a thoroughly infuriating time trying to get the voice chat to work at a basic level. Decided to backburner it for a rainy day playthrough.

Will be making sure voice commands are off when I do load it up again.


  Quote
Reply To: Vault Play: Binary Domain
Your information:




Pick a color, any color... as long as it's black.
Link URL:
Link Name: (optional)
Apply Link
:wink: :-| :-x :twisted: :) 8-O :( :roll: :-P :oops: :-o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :-D :evil: :cry: 8-) :arrow: :-? :?: :!:
Online Video URL:
Apply Link

Supported video providers: Dailymotion LiveLeak Megavideo Metacafe Vimeo YouTube
Random Example: [video]http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ca2_1313725546[/video]

bbPress Post Toolbar Help

About

This toolbar allows simple click-to-add HTML elements.

For the options that are simple buttons (e.g. bold, italics), one can select text and then click the button to apply the tag around the selected text.

For the options at open panels (e.g. link), open the panel first, add the url to the text box (if link), then hit Apply Link. If it's font sizing or colors, then select the text and click the size you want, e.g., xx-small.

About bbPress Post Toolbar

Help

This toolbar allows simple click-to-add HTML elements.

Version 0.7.5 by master5o1.



<a href="" title="" rel=""> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <pre> <em> <strong> <del datetime=""> <ul> <ol start=""> <li> <img src="" border="" alt="" height="" width="">