Binary Domain

The Yakuza team over at SEGA have turned out some impressive crime dramas in recent years. The depth of characters, the digital recreations of Japanese cities, the zombie and samurai reinterpretations, everything about the Yakuza series screams that these guys love their job.

What if the team had decided to skip by on the Yakuza series for a while and decided to make a sci-fi third person shooter instead?

Well, think not, because that is exactly what SEGA’s hottest team did. It’s Binary Domain. And, guess what, you can get Binary Domain for free on your PS3 with PlayStation Plus starting this week.

Back in 2012, a tiny blip on the radar called Binary Domain leaked out to little success. The unceremonious release accompanied many other unceremonious releases like Asura’s Wrath, Syndicate and Kingdom’s of Amalur: Reckoning. Not exactly an eventful post-holiday season, but a breeding pit for sleeper hits.

Binary Domain just happens to be one of those little gems, and it comes jam packed with a lot of great ideas. The protagonists fight lead with lead by taking guns into a battle while robots run amok, but there is more to this conflict than meets the eye. These robots are actually zombie-robot things!

To change up the pace and keep this one from the generic pile, your squad members will remember how often you send them into the line-of-fire and how many times you accidentally get them killed. The grudges can affect the performance, from boosting their accuracy and power if they trust you to downright refusing an order if they don’t.

Each character comes brimming with personality, much akin to the Yakuza series. Perhaps maybe a bit too much focus is put on the storytelling. Binary Domain borrows a lot of notes from Metal Gear Solid‘s style of endless cutscenes, and these ultimately derail the experience as a whole, cutting into the fast pace of the action, again, just like the Yakuza series.

It’s worth a chance for free, no doubt. What do you have to lose but time really? I wouldn’t say it falls into the same category as another far superior robot themed third-person shooter published by SEGA once available for free on PlayStation Plus, but Binary Domain is a game worth giving a second stab at life.

Oddworld: Strangers Wrath HD is another free offering this month for the PS Vita, but I’ll be too busy jumping back into SEGA’s action packed sci-fi romp to notice.