Developer: Team CS1 > Publisher: Sega > Systems: XBox 360, PS3 > Rating: M
Binary Domain is a third-person shooter with its fair share of problems, ranging from repetitive enemies to an at-times spastic camera. But despite these problems -- and despite the fact that you're shooting robots nearly the entire time—the game has soul, and that's more than I can say for many games in this genre.
Take, for instance, the shooting: your enemies' destructible metal bodies are like those of the Terminator: shoot off an arm, and watch the robot re-align its parts, grab its gun with its other hand, and continue coming at you. Blast off leg and watch the robot hit the dirt, trying to right itself with one arm and one leg. Blast off its head, and it will start aiming for its robot friends. Little touches like this make the combat a lot more fun than just watching enemies die or explode.
And then there are the bosses. Binary Domain includes big baddies of the "animal robot" variety, ranging from gorilla to jaguar to tentacled undersea creature. They're enormous, screen-filling giants, and the battles themselves are some of the most epic you're likely to face this side of Donald Trump.
From the underwater infiltration of a future version of Tokyo to various other sections of the Blade Runner-ified city, the game is a visual stunner. The cover system isn’t quite up to the level of the genre’s best, the weapon selection is fairly standard fare, and the multiplayer modes are ho-hum. But the single-player campaign is so full of memorable moments and small touches so plentiful that this is one battle to save the planet well worth showing up for.
by Devin Santos