Binary Domain PS3 review

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You might think the 7/10 I’ve awarded Binary Domain suggests it’s not a success. Well, don’t because Binary Domain is probably the best 7/10 you’ll play this year. There’s a greater drive for invention here than in 100 slack shooter sequels. In the same way that protagonist Dan attempts to forge friendships with his squadmates, so too does Binary Domain long to be loved. And much like Dan, it’s not entirely successful – but you know what, Binary Domain? We’re still impressed, because you tried.

Sega’s speculative fiction sees a team of soldiers – a ‘Rust Crew’ specialising in mechanical warfare – sent to Tokyo to investigate the insidious origins of lifelike robots in human society. The game tries to be many things – tactical shooter, action adventure, violent friendship simulator – but at the armoured core it’s a simple, solid cover shooter.

The weapons feel seriously meaty: machineguns judder violently and pistols pop with satisfying urgency. Your robot foes spark and shred, adding to the sense of impact. That’s a clever way of saying what you probably already knew: shooting legions of I, Robots is bloody good fun. Well, not bloody. Oily.

The whirring hordes are a challenging, varied enemy, and in typical robot fashion their AI feels superior to that of your teammates. When the shooting starts to get slightly whack-a-mole, they switch tactics and start outflanking you.

It’s not so tough that it grates, but it’s enough of a challenge to still feel rewarding. The cover system works well, and your aim is easily switched from shoulder to shoulder for a clear, head-popping view. Boss battles are less successful, thanks to combination of massive enemies, dodgy cameras controls and insipid, repetitive advice from your team.

Individually these things are tolerable, but together they combine like a Japanese mecha embodying mild annoyance. Construct, Crapotron-7! Or don’t.