Binary Domain Hands-On Preview

By Lauren Alessandra on December 22, 2011, 4:21PM EDT

If you were ever afraid in the past about robots taking over the planet, Binary Domain will have you completely terrified. In short, it's 2080 and robots have gotten progressively pissed off, especially since some of them have only just found out they are robots; even politicians aren't safe. In order to solve this situation, the US sends over its best members to Japan who also happen to be their loudest. Dan Marshall heads up the group with other characters providing the occasional advice/joke here and there, but their relationship to the main character doesn't stop there.

Binary Domain makes it very much your game in that everything you do on the battle field as well as everything you say. There will be consequences for your actions, making your teammates either love you or hate your guts. For example, your teammates will not appreciate being shot so each time you accidentally friendly fire, you will also hurt the trust you and your friend share. Healing friends and successfully completing missions help make your teammates trust you that much more. But you will find yourself in situations where saying one thing will improve your trust with one friend, but hurt your trust with the other. If your teammate's trust in you gets a bit too low, they will become very difficult to work with by not obeying your commands. They might not even bother to revive you if you're hurt.

As for these robots, there are the traditional green ones, the ferocious red ones, the really aggressive black ones, and, finally, the really hard to beat white one who is about the size of a two story building. The green ones basically just carry around assault rifles and tend to be a nuisance when there's a bunch of them fighting you at once. Shooting them in the head is the best option because if you shoot them in the leg and perhaps forget you do, you'll come to find seconds later that you're now down on the floor in pain because the bugger is now clawing at your feet. The red ones are basically an upgraded version of these so they run a lot faster. The black ones are a bit bigger in size and tend to charge at you especially if you're covering behind something. The white ones are the bosses of the first section of the game. They can only be destroyed by using special things in the environment, like using a crane to drop a large crate over its head.

One of the interesting things about these enemies is that they can adapt. This means you'll need to fully analyze the best ways to defeat each enemy. This is especially apparent in areas where there are dozens of robots appearing and you need to clear them out fast. You really have to discover how to defeat the robots efficiently in order to progress.

Weapons management is also a very big thing in this game. Even with about 700 bullets, you may find yourself just carting around your pistol which is why it's important to upgrade. For each of your squad members, there's about 10 or so stats that you will be able to upgrade which definitely will help with mauling robots. There's also a few pick-ups here and there but most of the time you'll find yourself using the weapons store in order to refill your rifle. Grenades are also a prime choice for blowing up multiple robots.

The biggest thing about this title is the fact that it's a look into a possible future which presents the fear of what will actually happen to us in 70 years time. For example, a ton of countries have been flooded due to the unfortunate melting of the glaciers. They didn't clarify whether or not the problem was actually caused by global warming, however, this is something we're only seeing the beginning of at the moment which kind of sets an eerie image of what's to come.

Binary Domain might be one of those games next year to save your holiday money for. Certainly with the hype over Yakuza's very own Kazuma Kiryu making an appearance. Binary Domain will be out in stores starting February 17th for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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