Binary Domain

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Binary Domain
Binary Domain Cover Art.png
North American box art
Developer(s) Yakuza Team (PS3/X360)
Devil's Details (PC)[1]
Publisher(s) Sega
Director(s) Toshihiro Nagoshi
Daisuke Sato
Producer(s) Masayoshi Kikuchi
Jun Yoshino
Designer(s) Hiroyuki Sakamoto
Composer(s) Mitsuharu Fukuyama
Platform(s) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
JP 20120216February 16, 2012

AU 20120223February 23, 2012
EU 20120224February 24, 2012
NA 20120228February 28, 2012
Microsoft Windows
April 27, 2012

Genre(s) Third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Distribution Optical disc, download

Binary Domain (バイナリー ドメイン Bainarī Domein?) is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Sega. The game is set in Tokyo in the year 2080 and features innovative AI technology. It was designed by Toshihiro Nagoshi, who created the Yakuza video game series.

Gameplay[edit]

A screenshot of combat showing Dan Marshall firing an Orochi G6 minigun at Japanese Assault Shooter security robots

The game is a third-person shooter in which the player issues commands to squad mates either by button or voice via a headset.[2] Binary Domain also supports the Kinect System for voice commands on the Xbox 360 console.[3] The game's AI is able to recognize six different languages, including English and Japanese.[4]

A major part of the game is its consequence system, which decides how the squad views and trusts the player in story mode.[5] Their opinion of the player is based on how the player performs and treats team members.[5][6] This affects both the storyline and gameplay, where the characters behave differently depending on trust levels.[7] Conversations between the player and the squad members can also affect trust levels.[8] Depending on the level of trust the team members have in the player, the ending changes.

Stats of both the player and the squad members can be augmented with nanomachines that need to be fitted in place similar to a jigsaw puzzle.[6] These nanomachines, as well as weapon upgrades, can usually be bought at shops that the player encounters throughout the game.[9] The use of grenades in combat is supported through the use of a visible parabolic arc, which allows players to adjust their aim.[10] The enemy AI in Binary Domain adjust itself on how to fight back against the player's advance, depending on the situation.[10] For example, they can work together in groups to flank the player's position or toss frag grenades if the player is in one spot for too long.[11] There are certain scripted stages where players need to navigate through dangerous obstacles and enemies in order to advance to the next stage.[12]

Multiplayer[edit]

Several multiplayer classes are available: Scout, Sniper, Striker, Soldier and Heavy Gunner.[13] For the English localization, these classes were reported to consist of Special Operations, Recon, Demolitions, Assault and Heavy Gunner.[14][15] The two factions consist of the Ministry of Homeland Affairs' Interior Security Administration Division and the resistance fighters.[13][16] Multiplayer modes consist of Data Capture, Domain Control, Team Survival, Operation, Invasion, Team Deatchmatch and Free for All.[14][15]

Plot[edit]

Story[edit]

In the early years of the 21st century global warming has caused world wide flooding, leaving three quarters of the world's cities uninhabitable. This forced the world governments to build new cities above the waterline, using the ruined cities as foundation, leaving the old cities to rot.[17] With millions dead, robots were used as the main labor force to create the new cities. The American-based Bergen company rose to dominate a very large majority of the world's robotic industries, making America the world superpower. The Amada Corporation in Japan tried to sue Bergen for stealing their technology in a patent dispute, which ended in failure since Bergen was too powerful.[17] This was despite the fact that Amada was the first robotics company that created the first humanoid robot in 2047.[18] This controversial lawsuit resulted in Bergen's control of the robotics market at 95%[18]

In 2040, the world's economic concerns lead to the creation of the "New Geneva Convention" a new set of international laws: clause 21 banned research into robots that could pass for humans, called "Hollow Children".[10][19] 150 countries have agreed to sign the convention into law.[17] The International Robotics Technology Association, which was founded in 2040, created a global task-force called "Rust Crews" to deal with breaches of the convention, especially clause 21.[20] In 2080, a Hollow Child attacked Bergen's headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, USA, apparently having previously had no idea that he was a robot himself.[10]

Believing that robotics genius and founder of Amada corporation Yoji Amada created the Hollow Child, the IRTA sent a team of Rust Crew headed by Charles Gregory to Japan to find Amada and bring him in for questioning under orders from the UN Security Council.[21][22]

Characters[edit]

The Rust Crew team in Japan, operating under the codename "Beetle". From left to right: Faye, Dan, Big Bo, Charles, Cain and Rachel

Rust Crew:

  • Dan Marshall (ダン・マーシャル?) - Born to a lower class working family in Nebraska, Dan enlisted in the United States Army in order to escape the poverty he experienced.[21] He served together with Big Bo in the Special Forces prior to serving in Rust Crew, where he earned the nickname "Survivor".[20][21][23] Dan holds the rank of First sergeant.[20][21] Dan is known to be anti-robot since he discriminates against them.[23]
  • Roy Boateng (ロイ・ボーテン?) - Like Dan, Roy was also born into a lower class working family living in Massachusetts.[21] Roy's father was employed at a robotics factory.[21] Much like Dan, he enlisted in the United States Army and eventually to the Special Forces to escape poverty. He played football in college.[20][21] His nickname was "Big Bo".[19] Also like Dan, Big Bo holds the rank of First sergeant.[21]
  • Cain (カイン?) - A combat android made by Bergen for IRTA's French division, Cain is named after his serial number "CN-7".[21] He has numerous capabilities, including hacking; he also has a sense of humor,[21] although his jokes aren't considered funny by the other Rust Crew members.[23] His Japanese deployment is seen by the IRTA as a test case to see if combat androids can be deployed in future Rust Crew operations.[21] Cain's AI system was created from data stolen from Amada Corporation patents.[24]
  • Rachel Townsend (レイチェル・タウンゼント?) - Born in the United Kingdom, Rachel was known to have high athletic marks with superior physical abilities and reflexes.[21][25] She served alongside Charles when they were with MI6 prior to joining the Rust Crew.[21]
  • Charles Gregory (チャールズ・グレゴリー?) - Born in the United Kingdom, Charles studied at the Royal Military Institute before he joined with the British military.[21] He then served with Rachel in MI6, but was forced to leave after he sustained an injury while on-duty.[21] Charles serves as the commanding officer of the Rust Crew element deployed covertly to Japanese territory.[21] During his time with MI6, Charles had participated in British-sanctioned black operations throughout the Asian continent.[25]
  • Philips (フィリップス?) - An officer in the United States Marine Corps who holds the rank of Major, he's in charge of launching the Rust Crew operation into Japan.[10] He is also responsible for providing liaison support between the USMC and Rust Crew forces.[10]

Resistance Forces:

  • Akira Shindo (新堂?) - A leader of an anti-government guerrilla fighter unit based at the ruins of the Greater Tokyo Area, he was born and raised in in the abandoned slums from a young age.[26] Because of his life, this gave Shindo the conviction that he needs to fight a guerrilla war in order to get people living in the slum the right to life decently.[26] He joins up with the Rust Crew as an additional player for a short time.[26]
  • Yoshiki (ヨシキ?) - A trusted guerrilla fighter in Shindo's unit, he has been with him since the beginning of his struggles.[26] However, he doesn't know that he's a Hollow Child android programmed to infiltrate the unit to take it out from within.[26]
  • Yuki (ユキ?) - A young girl who lives in the abandoned slums, Yuki serves the resistance indirectly by acting as a courier.[24] She also works under Mifune by being a guide for the Rust Crew.[24]
  • Mifune (三船?) - A Yakuza who earns a living through the underground black market in the slums, Mifune was able to acquire a massive amount of money that he was living an upper class lifestyle.[24] He assists anti-government forces by providing arms and equipment through his smuggling operations.[24] Mifune also served as the Rust Crew's main contact when the team was able to successfully infiltrate Japan.[25]

Amada Corporation:

  • Yoji Amada (天田洋二?) - A man known in the robotics industry for founding the Amada Corporation, he was credited for creating humanoid robots with advanced AI features at a young age.[21] He used his profits to back a new political party called the New World Order, which eventually gained power and isolated Japan from the rest of the world.[20][21] This backing resulted in numerous contracts to reconstruct Japan after the floods.[21] He isolated himself from the world after he lost a court case where he accused the Bergen Corporation of stealing most of his patents.[20][21] Amada is seen with suspicion by the international community as the person behind the Hollow Children.[24]

Bergen Corporation:

  • Alexander Bergen (アレクサンダー・ベルゲン?) - The current CEO of Bergen Corporation, he was brought in to advise the American government after a Hollow Child was detected by the U.S. Secret Service from within the administration.

Police:

  • Kurosawa (黒澤?) - A police officer working under the Japanese Ministry of Homeland Affairs, Kurosawa was placed in charge of investigating reports that the Rust Crew were able to infiltrate Japanese soil.[24]

Development[edit]

A promotional model dressed up as Faye at the E3 2011

The game was announced on December 1, 2010.[27][28] Director Toshihiro Nagoshi said that the theme he wanted to explore was about life, especially when it was expressed through the use of robots.[29] He stated that despite not being a fan of the robot genre, he wishes to use it as a major part of the game's drama.[29] Several brands were promoted in the game, such as Nissin Foods, Shochiku, Timex and Tokyo Marui.[30]

The cast of Binary Domain was created with Asian and Western characters in mind with different visuals, setting realistic personalities and behavior.[23] For the creation of Cain, Art Director Nobuaki Mitake said that he had to be careful not to make it visually similar to the enemy robots encountered by the Rust Crew, thus Cain was given a "bit of alien elements while giving personalities to his design and motions to make him a bit closer to human."[23] There were unique animation sequences done for a variety of enemy robots as well in order to make them unique from each other.[23] Nagoshi stated that he intended to "create the human drama in the action moments, rather than showing them one after another in cutscenes."[31] The development team acclaimed for the Yakuza series aimed to appeal to a global audience and worked closely with Sega Europe and its producer Jun Yoshino.[32]

According to Takashi Atsu, one of the game's programmers, he said that the team used the Hierarchical Finite State Machine, which is an algorithm program used to determine many factors, such as the robot's condition and ally information to judge their next move.[11] The creation of the Consequence System was done to make Binary Domain as a competitive game in the third person shooter genre.[33] By using the system, it would allow players to reach out to the NPCs who fight alongside them in the game's story in conjunction with the trust levels.[33] The development team has spent a lot of time recording lots of dialogue lines in order to market the game in more than six spoken languages.[33]

Several videos were released on the Internet detailing the everday life of Mr. Assault, which was an enemy robot in the game.[34][35] The trailers for the game utilized licensed music not featured in the game. The trailer titled "The Machine Age Has Begun" was released in April 2011,[36] featuring music from 65daysofstatic's "Aren't We All running" and narrated by Faye Lee who speaks about the plot of the game as well as emphasizing the importance of the trust feature in game.[37] In January 2012, a trailer titled "Bigger Than You Think" was released, using "When Things Explode" by Unkle, featuring Ian Astbury and primarily composed of in game cut scene clips mixed with gameplay.[38] Playable demo versions were shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2011 and Tokyo Game Show 2011.[39]

Release[edit]

Sega has released a pre-order exclusive for the game's multiplayer mode, which consists of the exclusive multiplayer map, “Outside High-rise, Upper City", the new Ninja class and two multiplayer weapons, consisting of the Hoga Type 69 sniper rifle and the Yamato-0 revolver;[40] it was also released for the PC via Steam.[41] Downloadable content was released for multiplayer, which consists of characters from the Yakuza, series such as Kiryu Kazama.[42] Other characters included consist of Shun Akiyama, Ryuji Goda, and Goro Majima.[43] released in Japan on March 13, 2012.[43] Customers who made pre-orders in Japan were able to acquire free download codes for the Kazama multiplayer skin.[44]

In November 2013, the game was made free for PlayStation Plus suscribers on the PS3 [45]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PS3) 74.50%[46]
(X360) 74.27%[47]
(PC) 63.29%[48]
Metacritic (X360) 74/100[49]
(PS3) 72/100[50]
(PC) 68/100[51]
Review scores
Publication Score
Famitsu 35/40[52]
Dengeki PlayStation 85/100[53]

Binary Domain received positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 74.50% and 72/100,[46][50] the Xbox 360 version 74.27% and 74/100[47][49] and the PC version 63.29% and 68/100.[48][51]

Famitsu gave the game scores of 10, 9, 9, and 7, adding up to a total score of 35 out of 40.[52] Another Japanese magazine Dengeki PlayStation has given the game scores of 80, 85, 90, and 85, averaging out to 85 out of 100.[53]

GameSpot criticized the lag in multiplayer and that voice commands do not always get recognized by the game.[54] Eurogamer praised the lack of music as it gives gamers to factor in noise and in-game effects to determine their gaming strategy[55]

Despite favorable reviews, the game had only sold 20,000 copies in North America by April 2012.[56][57] In Japan, it sold 73,683 copies when it was released, being the #2 game sold at the time.[58]

References[edit]

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  36. ^ Binary Domain: The Machine Age Has Begun
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  57. ^ "Binary Domain sells just 20,000 units in North America". SEGAbits. 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
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External links[edit]