Where Ties That Bind does distinguish itself from the average shooter is with the heavy focus on plot. If you’ve played the original then you’ll know how anti-hero Torque is - seemingly having murdered his wife and kids in a fit of insane agitation. Intense flashbacks and visions are the main tools used to communicate the story and the way you behave towards 'innocents' will have a bearing on the final outcome of the game - and incidentally, the types of attack that Torque will acquire in his beefed-up monster form over the course of the adventure.
Torque’s path through the sequel is manipulated by several secondary characters, and while this is a decent plot mechanic it also serves to disguise the fact that Ties That Bind is in reality a fairly linear adventure. In any given area there are plenty of doorways and gates that you won’t ever be able to get through, instead have to rely on a trigger in the game to reveal the correct door, or one of the selection actually being open. We’ve nothing against linearity particularly, but giving the illusion of multiple routes and hidden areas feels like a bit of a con, really.