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E3 2011: Binary Domain

E3 2011

In a half hour gameplay demonstration and Q&A session, Sega showed off their new squad-based shooter, Binary Domain. In a future where robots are everywhere, someone in Japan has been illegally manufacturing them to be indistinguishable from humans. You’re sent in as part of an international team to confirm the rumours and find out who’s responsible.

Like a number of other third-person shooters, you’ll rely on cover and the co-operation of your squad members to get you through each level. The mechanics are largely familiar with what we’ve seen elsewhere, but there are a number of interesting additions.

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With the possibility that anyone could be a robot, Sega have introduced a character trust element to the gameplay. If your teammates don’t trust you enough, they won’t be as willing to follow your orders or help you when you’re injured. This trust level will also affect larger plot events along the way.

Each robot takes a number of shots to take out, which opens up an opportunity for some interesting procedural A.I. Shoot of an enemy’s head and they’ll become confused, wandering around and attacking other robots. Those still with their wits about them will even put their fellow machines out of their misery.

A huge boss battle was shown, which also made use of the same A.I. As the giant spider’s legs were shot away, it tried to keep itself stable by grabbing onto a nearby building. It’s this kind of adaptive behaviour that’ll add interest to the otherwise straightforward gameplay.

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Multiplayer will feature, although you won’t be able to play through the campaign in co-op, which is a surprising omission. Instead, there will be separate co-op levels designed for network play.

On the surface, Binary Domain looks like a run-of-the-mill third-person shooter, but the detail that we saw in this demo suggests that it’ll have more to offer than you expect.

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

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