E3 ’11: Binary Domain Preview
We take a look at Sega’s robot-inspired FPS
Binary Domain was yet another FPS to sit through at E3, but it thankfully had some features to make it stand out from the crowd. The year is 2080, and robots have become an integral part of our lives. The one rule that was established was that no one would make a robot that looked like a human. Well sure enough someone had to go and do just that, so an ‘incident’ leads to the dispatch of a team of soldiers into Japan to investigate and take down their robots.
That’s about all the storyline that we were given, so we moved on to the actual demo. After assembling our squad (each with their own abilities of course), we were deployed into the city to take on the bad bots. While your enemies are humanoid robots with a fairly competent AI, it’s worth nothing that these fellas just don’t quit. When we shot off the arm of one of the robots and it dropped its gun, it merely picked the gun up with its other hand and continued shooting. When we shot at its legs, it crawled towards us; presumably to headbutt us to death. And when a headshot obliterated its head, the robot continued shooting at both us and its fellow robots. Aside from the regular humanoid robots, there are some monstrous robots that are the size of small buildings – one such spider robot was an absolute pain to get rid of thanks to its heavy armor, but we disposed of it in the end.
Managing your squad is also an important part of the game, and Binary Domain has a few tricks of its own. The game makes heavy use of a ‘trust’ meter with your comrades, which is affected by how you treat them and your actions in the game. Send them into the line of fire and you’ll lose their trust – give them cover or help them and their trust will grow. This trust then comes into play when you need help – if you’re wounded and need help, your comrades may ignore you if you don’t have their trust, so it’s important to keep this in check. Our demo also showed off the voice commands that you could issue to your squad, although funnily enough we were most of the time greeted by “CAN YOU SPEAK PROPER ENGLISH?” Still, it was demo code so we won’t hold it against the developers. Your team also has a weapon and skill upgrade system, but we weren’t shown too much of it in the demo.
Binary Domain looks like an interesting game, and its dramatic boss units and never-say-die robots will offer plenty of gun-wielding fun, along with 4-player online co-op. If perfected, the voice controls could really make the game stand out with support for English, Japanese, French, Italian, and Spanish.