Posts Tagged ‘Binary Domain Xbox Live’

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AVOID: Binary Domain

Binary Domain Box Xbox 360Developer: SEGA

Publisher: SEGA

Platforms: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3, PC

 

With some impressive titles under their extensive belts, games developers SEGA bring you a new third person shooter in the form of
Binary Domain. The trouble is, it’s just not worth playing.

As shooters go, the concept is interesting. You play a team of future soldiers attempting to rescue Tokyo from a 2080 robotic invasion. That’s where the intrigue ends.

Why? Because it’s Gears of War 4. Everything about this game reeks of Epic’s renowned sci fi shooter series. Binary Domain has exploited various features directly from the franchise, including the cover system, roady run, weapon inventory menu, blindfiring, bleed outs, grenade animation and the hilarious quota filling found in the core team (White American? Check. Huge Black guy? Check. Woman? Check). Now although these features are staples of most third person shooters (ok, perhaps ignore the last one), the way they look and function in Binary Domain is unequivocally Gears-esque. This is entirely unforgivable considering how acclaimed Gears of War is, and undoubtedly SEGA is aware of this.

The robotic enemies are interesting, though I found myself becoming tired of them just in the demo, and the ‘Trust’ system which affects your team mates’ obeying of orders has the potential for being a unique addition. It’s just not enough though.

I applaud SEGA for giving you two playable levels, it’s generous of them. Ironically, it’s worked completely against them however. The first level plays well, it’s engaging and almost, ALMOST, exciting. This is as a result of the pace and variety of action that awaits you. Then you play the second level and this all goes out the window. Binary Domain suddenly becomes tedious and unadventurous, just another mediocre shooter.

Binary Domain. It’s tired, it’s been done before. It’s Gears of War. Save yourself the time and just play the original.

DOWNLOAD: Minecraft 360 Edition

Minecraft 360 Box Xbox 360Developer: Mojang, 4J Studios

Publisher: Mojang

Platforms: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PC

 

Minecraft is a creative triumph, offering glorious respite from a gaming market saturated with guns, blood and an ever-increasing sense of linear realism.

After the cult success of Minecraft for PC in 2011 (as well as for iOS and Android), developer Mojang has caved in to consumer demand and released a version for Xbox Live Arcade. The Swedish developer, fronted by creative genius Markus ‘Notch’ Perrson, worked in conjunction with Scottish devs 4J Studios (also responsible for XBLA ports of Banjo Kazooie and Perfect Dark) to make the transition to the Microsoft console. Importantly, Notch has stated publicly that the game will only be available for Xbox 360 as a console platform.

Though I’m sure you have some idea about what the game entails from the massive publicity or the interesting merchandise, I’ll give a brief description. Essentially it’s a sandbox creation game, allowing the player to forge his own world out of pixel-like 3D cubes. You must investigate your surroundings, mine resources, create buildings, tools, weapons and all manner of luxury items in order to sustain yourself. Along the way you’ll also need to protect your character and your constructions from monsters of the night who threaten to attack you and everything you’ve built. The game really is what you make of it.

Though Minecraft 360 Edition is currently based on an earlier Beta version of the PC release, there are some interesting additions including 4 player split screen, 8 person online multiplayer, Kinect functionality, and a comprehensive in game tutorial, notably lacking from the original.

The inclusion of this tutorial is vital for your first jaunt into the world of Minecraft. It explains the basics of mining resources, your inventory, and combining materials to generate new ones. After completing it you feel sufficiently prepared to release those creative juices, especially in the completion of your house – you’ll see stolen beds and fences all over the shop! The tutorial is enjoyable, slowly learning the game mechanics in a manner of structured guidance that also affords you some creative freedom; you can mine as much wood as you like, and explore the small opening area for the entire demo if you so choose.

However, the real wonder of Minecraft is revealed when the tutorial is completed, as you exit the miner’s house into a beautiful open landscape. The tutorial felt somewhat like looking out into the world through a keyhole, but suddenly the player gets a significant glimpse into the actual scope of the game. No spoilers, but what you see really captures your imagination about what can be created and across what sort of expanse (that miner’s house you developed and were pretty proud of? Well yeah, now it looks like a bungalow in Hackney). From this point on you are aware of Minecraft‘s true majesty, and you cannot help but be completely enthralled by it. Until the short demo runs out that is…

… but then you play it again! I myself played the trial three times straight off the bat, my appetite whet for exploring this foreign land. The combination of limited demo time and the gradual exposure of the picturesque landscape successfully engages your curiosity, demanding that you play again to discover what you may have missed the first time round. It’s been a long time since I’ve replayed a demo so excitedly, forming an ideal mindset for future purchase.

Games like Minecraft 360 Edition are few and far between. Make sure you at least try this one out!

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