Saturday, September 15, 2012

When Does Underrated Mean Bad?

I tend to toss out the word 'underrated' often when talking about certain games and in fact I see it used on the interwebs quite a bit as well. Rage, Syndicate and Darkness II are three games I've played this year that I would consider to be underrated. What exactly makes a game underrated? There really seems to be little criteria to make a game underrated except that it sold little and never met sales expectations. So it would seem to be an underrated game you have to be a financial bust and be liked by either or both critics and gamers.

So when I heard about Binary Domain I looked and saw that the game was receiving descent reviews and the most common thing said by those who enjoyed the game was that it's underrated. An underrated game with somewhat decent reviews and it's on sale, well that's right up my alley!

I was genuinely excited to play Binary Domain; the game looks good, has decent voice acting, but the story is what really made me want to finish this painfully brutal game. In the future there are these Hollow Children, robots that look and act human in every way and they themselves believe they are human. This has freaked out some of the world's leaders so they create what is called a Rust Crew, a group of people sent in to eliminate any and all Hollow Children and to take their creator alive if possible.

The story premise frankly is awesome, very Blade Runner-ish if you will. But except for a couple of pretty cool cut scenes and a nice plot twist at the end, the game does nothing with the story. This is the only game that I can think of where I wanted more exposition, more cut scenes to flesh out and expand the story instead of all the mindless combat that you get instead. What you get with Binary Domain is a cool story idea with lots of cut scenes to slow down the game and mounds of awful, crappy cover based combat with awful controls.

Ultimately Binary Domain is a boring, repetitive, formulaic and contrived Japanese cover-based shooter that misses the mark with the one thing that was even remotely interesting, and that is the story. I could have mentioned that the mouse and keyboard controls are awful, it doesn't support a wired Xbox controller like every other controller supported game, and there's a loyalty system much like KOTOR as well, but it doesn't matter cause the game is just bad. Underrated my eye, Binary Domain is garbage.


mbp said...

Ha ha. Sometimes the customers are right. I too have noticed BD on sale and thought about it. Think I will wait a bit longer now.

Pity they didn't make the most of that great story concept. I can put up with iffy game play if the story delivers. Cryostasis comes to mind and to a lesser extent Alan Wake.

What controller does it support?

Jayedub said...

I have the wired Xbox controller, and there's and option for the on screen prompts to use the Xbox controller scheme, but it seems to only fully support some Madcatz controller. I've read that a few of the Logitech controllers work as well. The problem is the left and right triggers are mapped to turning left and right, not the right analog stick and you can't change that. Pretty stupid if you ask me.

Bronte said...

Well thank you for this man, you saved me some money! I am a sucker for sales, and I was actually debating if I should get this... :)

Jayedub said...

Glad I could help!

Scott said...

I was eying this game, too. After reading your impressions, I am glad I stayed away.

I am still eying Syndicate, though. :)

Jayedub said...

I loved Syndicate, so much so I played and finished it three times before moving on to something else.