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Binary Domain preview

5 September 2011

You’re going to have to earn the trust of your friends in SEGA’s upcoming shooter Binary Domain, a cyberpunk thriller conceived by Yakuza creator Toshihiro Nagoshi.

The setting of Binary Domain is a world in conflict. “Hollow Children,” robots who believe they are Human, have caused an uprising in Tokyo that you and your crew have been brought in to quell. Your squad consists of between two and four members (including yourself), and you advance by taking cover behind scenery and shooting at the bad guys.

To paraphrase M. Bison: For a gamer, this is a Tuesday.

While a third person cover-based shooter isn’t the bleeding edge of video games these days, it is somewhat unfair to judge it now and decide to give it a miss. It has more in common with the Mass Effect series than anything else, with an unlock and upgrade system based on RPG elements, and an interesting trust system that affects the relationship with your team mates in a battle.

This new trust system was revealed at Gamescom, and it’s based on a combination of how you play and interact with other characters. For example, at various intervals in a battle, your colleagues will ask for assistance by laying down some covering fire. If you do so, they will begin to ‘like’ you, and will likewise show admiration for your skills in battle if your character happens to perform well in an engagement.

There’s also a hub area where you can have conversations with your various team mates. These conversations also have an effect on the trust level - however you can’t just choose the top right answer every time ala Mass Effect to get people to like you. Different responses work better with different characters.

The level of trust will cause different responses in a skirmish. At a low trust level, your team mates won’t support you that much, whether it’s giving you covering fire or helping to revive you. You can use your own medical supplies to get yourself back on your feet, but it’s a lot easier when your squad is following your commands and saving you from rushing enemies. The choices you make trust-wise also affect the path that you take to your ultimate goal, as well as changing cut-scene dialogue. The cut-scene’s themselves were quite remarkable, flowing seamlessly between action and story breaks.

While it may not seem like much, Binary Domain has some interesting features. With six months to go until its release, there should be plenty more time to impress...or disappoint.

Stay Tuned.

You can also catch Rob on CurrentGen.com for daily podcasts and audio coverage of Gamescom and games in general.


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