Sega decided to try to squeeze in Binary Domain a week before the highly anticipated Mass Effect 3. Unfortunately, the newly formed Yakuza Studio’s third-person shooter is now more likely to be missed and forgotten, and possibly end up on one of those “best games no one played" list, like Beyond Good and Evil. Sega should have given a bigger cushion to its Gears of War, Dead Space, Mass Effect mash-up that borrows plenty from Ridley Scott’s 1982 film, Blade Runner, set in a dystopian Los Angeles.
At first glance, Binary Domain feels like a generic Gears of War clone with none of the personality for which Gears is so well known. It starts off in the year 2080 where someone has illegally started creating robots that are indistinguishable from humans, so much so that they themselves don’t know that they are robots. The Amada Corporation in Tokyo, Japan is fingered as the culprit and that’s where you come in, Dan Marshall, an Army Sergeant nicknamed “The Survivor.”
The game drops you and your fellow American representative (members of the "Rust crew") outside the fortified Japanese seawall. With a setting of darkness, concrete, and the ocean, as good as the textures are, the location isn’t likely to pull anyone in. Your stereotypical buddy, Bo, gives you a bit of tutorial and introduces you to the limited dialogue tree and command system. These can be executed with the controller or a headset.
The beginning is definitely the weakest part of the game. With uneven voice acting and unremarkable location many will give up on this game 10 minutes in. For some reason, many Japanese games have the same problem reaching western gamers with lengthy intros and the initial pacing. At least Binary Domain lets you shoot stuff and blow things up and you can turn off the voice commands that barely work.