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Bodycount review

AT A GLANCE
  • Fantastically destructive action
  • OSB works beautifully... online
  • Very fun when it's all kicking off
  • Poor signposting and checkpoints
  • Bodycount mode is a level select
  • Highly suspect grading system

Score attack attacked

I could live with the repeated set-backs if you only had to do it once in the campaign mode, but Bodycount mode sees the exact same instances of repeat deaths happening all over again. Why's that? Because you're literally doing everything again in exactly the same way.

The idea is that you play through previously-cleared levels, trying to better your grade for the level, then you compare your Bodycount score with your friends via online leaderboards. A great idea in theory, but it's incredibly under-developed.

You don't get to keep your unlocked weapons from the campaign mode, instead travelling back in time to the unlocks you had when you started that level. They're the same for everyone as there's no weapon shop here, but the game is replaying everything like it's the first time you saw the level. The first mission even has the tutorial instructions again! That's not a bespoke score attack mode, it's a level select.

Above: Bodycount mode is a glorified level select, only with your mates' scores next to it

Then there's the scoring system. The combo idea is solid enough – skill shots like grenade kills, headshots, explosion deaths and 'backstabbing' attacks from behind earn you a point on your combo meter. I could argue that it's somewhat haphazard, but let's say for argument's sake that you can pull these things off deliberately every time.

It's not based at all on perfection or clever ways to keep your combo up. The time between kills can be really long and will stay active as long as the skill shot kills keep coming. And while dying does stop your combo, it doesn't seem to affect your overall score. I died about 20 times replaying the Pirate Bay (same bit with the damn general), yet my 16-strong combo at the start earned me an A-grade. I didn't deserve an A-grade – I was embarrassingly bad in the latter half.

Above: Sure, my 19 combo was decent, but I died so many times. I do not deserve that 'A'

As a result, this score-attack mode is unlikely to see friends competing in earnest for bragging rights, which is a shame. I mean, The Club's scoring system is brilliantly balanced, yet even that didn't take off – what chance does this have?

OMG OSB

It all comes back to the Operative Support Button, which is assigned to the D-pad and gives you access to four different boosts in all but the first few levels of the game, each of which using different amounts of your intel bar. At preview stage, this looked like being Bodycount's biggest asset, with the idea being you get more intel from enemies killed while using the OSB, thus souping up the action into a non-stop barrage of usage, reward and replenishment. However, after finishing the game, I'm not convinced it quite works like that.

The adrenaline shot works very well, giving you near-invincibility for a scant few seconds and really is your best friend in a tricky situation. However, the explosive rounds' effect wears off so quickly (and leaves you without that crucial adrenaline shot safety cushion), it's not really worth using in a firefight.

Likewise, the Radar upgrade is only really useful when it's become a sort of EMP-style weapon, sending out a lethal shockwave. However, this is only ever essential in the final boss battle (that's not a spoiler – the game comes up with a message explicitly telling you to use it so there can be no misunderstandings).

Above: Your OSB buttons get upgraded as you progress through the campaign, but are underplayed in single-player

And that leaves the airstrike, which is brilliant fun, but takes up so much intel (and only works outside), you only really get to use it when the game requires you to. I don't think I got to use it of my own volition once in regular combat during my entire play-through, which is probably better for game balance, but definitely not for player enjoyment.

More Info

Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3
Genre: Shooter
Published by: Codemasters
Developed by: Codemasters
ESRB Rating:
Rating Pending
PEGI Rating:
Rating Pending

25 comments

  • crumbdunky - September 4, 2011 7:04 a.m.

    Well done, my namesake, but I bet it wouldn't take you three pages top call a Sony game "meh", would it? Make no bones about it, either, "meh" IS the descriptive term, most fitting to this claptrap of missed ideas and lack of BLACKness.
  • IceBlueKirby - September 2, 2011 3:54 p.m.

    I may get this, but not anytime soon. I do like the sound of it though, what with the focus on just shooting things and blowing things up...sounds like a thrill.
  • Hobogonigal - September 2, 2011 2:04 a.m.

    I played the demo of this and didn't really think it was special. It was a bit disappointing after reading the brilliant preview. This review makes it sound really fun though so I might pick it up sometime down the track.
  • SunnyvaleTrash - September 1, 2011 5:50 a.m.

    I wasn't sold on the demo, and there are too many other games coming out soon that I know I will really get into. I do my best to buy and support the lower-profile games that you guys tout on here (I loved SotD, Vanquish, and Enslaved), but this doesn't interest me anywhere near as much as those.
  • Yeager1122 - August 31, 2011 9:54 a.m.

    Deosnt sound like its worth a full $60 maybe ill rent it one weekend.
  • NanoElite666 - August 31, 2011 9:52 a.m.

    The way you talk about this warehouse reminds me of a couple of the levels in Black that were particularly tough to get through, namely part of the Asylum level and the end of the last one (forget what it's called off the top of my head).
  • HaVoK308 - August 31, 2011 8:21 a.m.

    One of the few reviews for Bodycount that views the game the same as I do. It seems some cannot appreciate it for what it is, and what it's trying to accomplish. It seems, some, just want their shooters to play out like Call of Duty. That is to be expected by the younger generation who do not know any different. But, if you are over 25 and can not find enjoyment in this game you must be dead inside.
  • jake66play - August 31, 2011 7:17 a.m.

    you can try get this game for free as well as many others here, http://www.points2shop.com/?ref=jakecfc1992 , you earn points to get stuff off of amazon and so effectively you can get anything. thats wat im doing cause i played the demo and it didnt seem all that good to pay for the full game
  • darkvare - August 31, 2011 7:07 a.m.

    what deos suspect grading system means exactly?
  • Project93FTW - August 31, 2011 6:43 a.m.

    I played the demo last night, not bad but its not a game that I would pay $60. The cover art looks cool though. My First comment!
  • SerpentineZERO - August 31, 2011 6:17 a.m.

    A rental it is. I had no idea it was already coming out.
  • avantguardian - August 31, 2011 5:48 a.m.

    one of the more thorough reviews i've read in a while...and for a straight-up shooter no less! keep it up mr. towell. on a more unpleasant note, i fear this game reeks of doom covered in failure. would have benefitted from a early summer release imo. its just gonna get trounced...
  • tntbandicoot - August 31, 2011 5:44 a.m.

    Definitely have to download this!
  • AuthorityFigure - August 31, 2011 5:41 a.m.

    This game fills the hole that Duke Nukem was too limp to fill.
  • tareq - August 31, 2011 5:38 a.m.

    Cool might check this out later
  • b-dog1991 - August 31, 2011 5:35 a.m.

    The no offline multiplayer makes me a sad panda, but I think I may give this a go. Great review Justin!
  • Baron164 - August 31, 2011 5:05 a.m.

    Sounds like an interesting game,I could see myself picking this up in a few months.
  • 4fromK - August 31, 2011 4:54 a.m.

    Was sounding like a seven the whole way through - solid review

Showing 1-20 of 25 comments

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