Reviews by UndeadRufus

65

Competent, Frustrating

UndeadRufus | Oct. 30, 2013 | Review of Binary Domain

Binary Domain is a functional third-person shooter. Graphics and sound are terrific, and the sci-fi concept of a goon squad enforcing international robot law has some potential. As cover-based combat goes, the game fares quite well, with explosive gunplay and huge boss fights.

Voice-acting is lackluster throughout and just downright bad in places. I've heard worse, however, and it can be overlooked if you're sufficiently engaged by the more shooting-focused elements.

Sadly, things go off the rails early when the game's "trust" system is introduced. This is in effect the Binary Domain nod to role-playing games, wherein your squad-mates will gain or lose trust based on how you approach certain situations. The problem here is that the title of the game is very applicable -- it's one or the other, with little to no middle ground. Keeping your companions loyal boils down to just figuring out their personalities (or reading on a wiki), and then making sure you say what they want to hear. Much of the all-important banter is utterly childish. Through it all, you as the player aren't allowed to have a personality, because you have to constantly change based on who is in your squad. The characters are poorly-written, and their trust mechanics are far too shallow to add anything worthwhile to the game.

Additionally, the combat AI is atrocious. Squad members will wander in front of your firing weapon without a second thought. Oh, and if you hit them when they do stupid AI things, this also causes them to lose trust.

Take out the trust system, and you have a nice cover-based shooter in an interesting sci-fi universe. With the trust system, it's possible to still enjoy the combat and story, but everything soon reduces to a frustrating slog. Since the trust rating of each companion is fundamental and affects the endgame quite substantially, the system wastes little time in becoming an annoyance that, for me, offsets any good the game delivers elsewhere.

40

Nice Concept, Boring Game

UndeadRufus | July 30, 2012 | Review of APOX

The Mad Max-ish setting and general suite of ideas behind the game have a lot going for them. Unfortunately, the gameplay itself is bland. There's really no difference between factions. Graphics are meh -- much better in screenshots than they are in-game. Sound effects and animation are bottom-rung. Interface is clunky. Singleplayer mitigates the learning curve, and combat has the potential to be challenging, but it just isn't interesting. Even on sale, there are better RTS games for your money.