For when the metal ones come for you.
Sega Japan is trying to tell you what I’ve been saying for years; Robots are the new Zombies. After all, a Robot Uprising is far more likely to happen in the near future than a Zombie Apocalypse. The scariest things about the Robot Uprising are that, in the world of Binary Domain, the Robots were secretly given emotions and can easily disguise themselves as humans. Just try sleeping on that tonight.
Binary Domain is set in the Tokyo of the year 2080. The, once benevolent, robots have infiltrated every facet of society and have begun a rebellion that you are tasked with putting down. Players will control members of the International Robotics Technology Association’s elite special forces, nicknamed the ‘Rust Crew’. The current task force you are a part of is made up of a number of operatives from a number of different countries and you’ll see plenty of action movie stereotypes in them.
Binary Domain is a third-person, cover-based shooter and plays much like other games in this genre. I found the action to be smoother than some but the control scheme was missing a few elements that other third-person shooters have. You can dive and roll from one piece of cover to another but only laterally, and can’t turn corners in cover. There is no smooth way to move ahead while in cover, you must break cover first and then run up to your destination. The game also couldn’t seem to decide which shoulder it was going to look over when you’re zoomed in, and there isn’t a way to change this view manually.
Despite being a little clumsy, Binary Domain is a lot of fun to play. The robots are fantastic opponents who will come forward relentlessly, but intelligently, using cover and flanking tactics the whole way. Since they don’t feel pain, you will often see a robot with no legs dragging itself toward you with one hand, firing at you with a pistol in its other hand. Creepy. The robot’s armor will crumble in pieces depending on where you’re shooting it and destroying these things is incredibly satisfying.
Killing robots is also kept interesting by the fact that you’re earning credits for each kill, with bonuses for headshots and the like. These credits can be used to buy recovery items and upgrade your guns. Another way that players are kept invested is squad loyalty. Each member of your squad has a personality that you’ll have to mesh with if you want them to follow orders. Curiously, all interaction with your squad is done by voice commands. Even stranger is that there is no Kinect support for these voice commands, so you’ll have to sit there, playing single player, with your headset on the whole time.
Binary Domain will also feature a full competitive multiplayer suite for up to ten players, which we didn’t get any hands-on time with. In addition, there is a six (0r four, depending on who you ask) player co-op mode that Sega is keeping under close wraps. We really haven’t been able to find any details on this co-op but we can tell you it’s not the main story campaign, which is sad. I think the campaign would be perfect for co-op.
While it makes a few strange decisions in terms of controls, Binary Domain is a lot of fun to just play. It will be interesting to see how the whole package comes together on February 28th. For now, you can check out a video of one of the boss battles below: