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Bombed-out city. Waist-high walls. Bland white guy in body armour with bland one-liners. Hulking great black guy with hulking great arms who says "Foo!", "Dammit!" and "You crazy, man". Pretty-but-stern, ethnically-ambiguous woman who leaps gymnastically through the air at every opportunity and never with any good reason. Robots. Robots with guns. Giant gleaming white robots that can't be killed by normal means. Cardiac needle full of adrenalin for the comatose games journalist.
Yes, the trailer for Binary Domain, the suicidally-titled new shooter from Sega's Yakuza team, couldn't be any more generic and Japanese if it was eating Pocky while giggling and doing a peace sign at a giant spikey-haired emo rape-tentacle. But there is an awesome bit at the end that you totally won't see coming. Well you'll see something coming, now that I've told you that . But you won't know what. Anyway, watch it.
Interesting, no? Who are the good guys now? Who are the bad guys? Are there even good guys and bad guys, or are there just guys, and guns, and more guys? Argh! EXISTENTIAL BREAKDOWN!
Okay, so if we're being honest, the whole questioning-of-humanity-in-a-war-zone-and-hey-bub-just-what-makes-a-human-human-anyway-and-what-is-the-nature-of-this-soul-thing-and-how-does-one-get-one-and-can-machines-not-be-people-too-and-maybe-even-show-more-humanity-than-actual-meaty-humans-anyway schtick is also a massive cliche. But let's face it, by this point so is everything else. You're sitting in front of a monitor, reading about video games on the internet. That's a cliche. But you're enjoying it, aren't you? Let's not worry about it too much.
Binary Domain could turn out to be awesome. In fact, coming from the team being Sega's consistently excellent, consistently mental Yakuza series, it probably will, as long as it doesn't go too far in the direction of naively pandering to falsely-percieved Japanese impressions of what the western market wants, constructed from an ironic position of Japanese naivety. Which it seems to be doing a bit. But hopefully not too much. But seriously, Sega needs to change that title if it actually wants to sell any copies of this thing. Game sounds like a damn algebraic mechanism.
What do you reckon?
Dec 1, 2010