hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

E3: I really *want* to like Binary Domain

3:36 AM on 06.08.2011 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

Not a lot has been seen of the SEGA-published Binary Domain since the first trailer released last year. Behind closed doors, however, we got a chance to see the game in action and get to grips with this third-person-shooter involving sentient robots. 

I will say this -- I really want to like the game. 

I want to like Binary Domain because it speaks to me on a narrative and stylistic level. The story revolves around robots that have been produced to replicate humans in terms of emotions and intelligence. Unfortunately, the robots inherit ambition and ego as well, and thus seek to usher in the next stage of human evolution. 

Stories about robots gaining sentience and overthrowing their human masters always appeal to me, and the intro cinematic to Binary Domain is pulled off with a great sense of flare, even if it's not wholly original. One particular section shows an angry, emotional man waving a gun. He looks and acts human, but in a later shot, half his face his missing and revealing a metallic skull underneath. This sense of lines blurring between humans and robots is carried through into the logo, which has a skull split in half -- one side human and the other cybernetic.

Of course, great concepts don't always equal great games, and Binary Domain's position as a lesser publicized SEGA title makes it ripe for the same issues that plague many potentially awesome mid-tier titles. 

From what I've seen, Binary Domain is a decent third person shooter in which cover is used and enemy robots take procedural damage. If you shoot a robot's leg, it can come off and the opponent could crawl toward you and grab at your ankles. I love how creepy the enemy robots can be. The regular drone moves in a way that clearly tries to mimic human movement, but doesn't quite work thanks to its thin, lanky stature and clinical motions. The game is pre-alpha so the visuals are rough, but if they can improve the graphics and animations, these robots could be potentially unnerving foes.

They are foes that you can also shoot the heads off of, and they will wander aimlessly around the environment. They then run the risk of shooting their allies, who will identify them as a threat and attempt to kill. I hope they add more neat tricks like that.

Players take on the role of Dan, a guy sent into Tokyo to apprehend a man suspected of building illegal robots that resemble humans. You can choose a variety of squadmates -- a heavy weapons guy, a sniper, a tactician and a demolitions officer -- who each have their own skills. Before each level you can choose from various skills to compliment your playstyle,

The biggest feature is voice recognition. Squad mates will respond to your commands via a simple headset. You can call an ally by name and then shout out a simple order such as "Charge" to let them do their thing. If you're downed, you can shout "Help" for a recovery, and you can even say "Okay" to a team mate's suggestion. It is not complex stuff at all, but it is clean and it works. 

Binary Domain is a game that excites me in concept, but I want to remain apprehensive about its chances as a final product. I definitely want to love it, and I will be keeping an eye on it, because I think this game is definitely onto something. It all hinges on whether or not the game develops a compelling story and does unique things with its promisingly creepy robot enemies. If it just aims for a simple shooter, it won't do well. If it aims higher, it could achieve something special. 

I wish it the very best of luck.



Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Snaveage avatarSnaveage
Phantom Pain is fucking glorious.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
Anyone remember the cartoon "Freakazoid"? I'm doing artwork for a box for work to hold my supplies, but I cant remember some of the better characters. Freakazoid, Steph, Cosgrove, Candlejack, the Lobe, Caveguy... but who else?
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Gotta love all those Dtoid community members that magically appear whenever there's a giveaway.
DSBrad avatarDSBrad
Newest Madden may be one of my favorites. Been taking all my time up.
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
TWITCHTOID! I'll be playing some more PS4 Zombi and then some Until Dawn if'n I want to change things up. Link: [url=http://www.twitch.tv/thedefenestrator]Twitch.tv: TheDefenestrator[/url]
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Bless Wasteland 2's custom portraits [img]http://i.imgur.com/JuWaB1W.png?1[/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Sorting out a bunch of university stuff and going through a bit of writers block. I'm also holding some of my best stuff back for freelancing purposes (uni ain't cheap!), so sorry if my blogs have been a bit lackluster lately. And will be for 4-ish weeks.
gajknight avatargajknight
Been looking for a car to buy today. I swear, I am so sick of my mums voice. "It's too expensive!" "Don't you think it's a little big..." "INSURANCE!" Goddamn woman, chill your beans.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Hey look! I bought some toys and stuff and junk and what-not. [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/Felth/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-08/IMAG0656.jpg~original[/IMG]
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Yes, it's essentially a trace job, but this is my first piece of pixel art: [img]http://i.imgur.com/N0zmHiL.png[/img]
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Oh for fuck's sake, why is there no Netflix app for my PSTV?
Zenbrains avatarZenbrains
A new fun game for iOS and Android devices. Featuring a beautiful minimalistic design and an easy gesture based interface. Hope you'll like it. [url] https://itunes.apple.com/app/id1022015201[/url] [img]http://bit.ly/1EtWjdJ[/img]
Ben Davis avatarBen Davis
Apologies for the lack of Experience Points lately! I'm taking a short break from writing them, but don't worry. They'll be back soon enough!
RexterNathan avatarRexterNathan
Am I the only one excited to play the Forza Motorsport 6 demo?
The Travisionist avatarThe Travisionist
Adventure games are a big part of the indie scene, but there's a reason their popularity plummeted as graphics evolved. This clicking on everything, just in case, nonsense is for the birds. 90s birds, but birds.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Spotted some "The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3" (1989) DVDs in a store. Hearing music and sound effects from the game is more amusing than it should be - although the running shrill gets old quickly.
extatix avatarextatix
Diablo 3 patch 2.3.0 equals more grinding. Good.
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Funny coincidence: Last week saw the release of Until Dawn, which talked about a Canadian tribe of Native Americans called the Cree,and last night a Cree woman (Ms. Canada) won the Ms. Universe contest. Butterfly Effect updated.
MeeGhoulz avatarMeeGhoulz
Playing UNTIL DAWN 1st time:I'm alright with QTE,but an option to use direction as choices instead of buttons poppin' on screen would be welcome!Also:NO SHINY ITENS TO INDICATE CLUES!LET ME DISCOVER THEM!All in all,it's fun enough...
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
If I was to play through the NES library, besides being madness, what order do I do it? Alphabetically or Release date-wise? Whats the Dtoid universe think?
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -