When it comes to science fiction, few stories are more popular than the idea of man versus machine and the terrifying idea of an artificial AI attacking its creator. Popular mega series from the past like ghost in the shell and The matrix wrestled with this idea and created fascinating worlds built around its concept. Naturally, this classic sci-fi conflict could serve as the basis for a video game, and that’s exactly what Sega did with its cult 2012 third-person shooter. Binary domain.
Developed by Sega’s Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio and created by Yakuza the brain Toshihiro Nagoshi, Binary domain was a shooter that was criminally overlooked by gamers, but it’s easily a title that’s so much more than the sum of its parts. While it didn’t deliver a groundbreaking new idea or gameplay experience, it did brilliantly borrow from solid action games and popular sci-fi stories, to create a gripping adventure that’s more than worth watching. to be reminded.
Binary domain takes place in the not-too-distant future where Earth has been devastated by the effects of climate change. Forced to retreat to megacities built above barren ground level, humanity has created an army of AI-controlled robots to replace the working class. Realizing the potential of these AI-powered automatons, governments around the world are adopting a “New Geneva Convention” that prohibits the creation of robots that could pass for humans, known colloquially as “Hollow Children”. When a brutal attack reveals someone has broken this rule, two huge robotics companies go to war, with American company Bergan taking on the powerful Japanese group Amada.
Players take on the role of Dan Marshall, a soldier employed by the United Nations Security Council, who is drawn into this storyline alongside his squad of international soldiers named the Rust Crew. One of Binary domainThe brightest aspect of is how it tells its story from the perspective of a soldier in the field. Dan and his team are just pawns as part of the powerful corporations at war and the UN trying to figure out who’s behind the Hollow Children. At a time when most games sought to position their protagonist as the savior of the world, it was refreshing to have this perspective of a regular soldier doing his best to survive in conflict above his pay grade. .
Another reason why Binary domain deserves praise is its solid gameplay and shooting mechanics. Throughout the campaign, players face off against a literal army of killer robots bent on bringing down Dan and his team with extreme prejudice. While it’s true that the game relies on copying many of its core mechanics from armament of warlike almost every other third-person shooter of the time, it also combines this solid foundation with clever choices and thrilling combat.
When engaging with robotic enemies, players can blast enemies in a variety of ways, choosing to blast a limb that wields a rifle or remove a leg to limit enemy mobility. However, since the robots are made of steel, this kind of damage is just a mere inconvenience and won’t stop their steady progress. The experience of blowing off the legs of a squad of enemies, only to have them keep crawling towards the squad is a downright scary sight, and Binary domainCombat constantly has players jostling for new positions as they separate the steadily advancing enemies. Not only does this make combat incredibly visceral and satisfying, but visually awe-inspiring, as the robots’ armor flakes and flies off with each bullet, exposing their metal frames underneath.
In addition to that, Binary domain uses the squad combat of its armament of war inspiration and takes it a step further by allowing players to issue orders to their AI-controlled allies on the fly using either a button prompt or even voice commands. Where gears uses his allies for more scripted story moments, Binary domain allows players to issue orders in the middle of battle and directly orchestrate each encounter by having teammates regroup, provide covering fire, or even charge an enemy position.
At the end of the day, Binary domain is not the pinnacle of innovation, but an action shooter that excelled in the way it delivered its story and gameplay, and for that it deserves praise. With recent rumors that Sega wants to revive some of its past properties, fans can only hope that it will remaster this memorable game so that a new generation can experience its fascinating world and enjoyable shooter mechanics. Until this dream comes true, Binary domain will continue to be one of the most criminally overlooked titles of the seventh generation of consoles.
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