I wanted to go with something simple and silly today after all of those stark depictions of mental breakdowns and sobering conversations about genocide that have recently graced this website. And lo, dear reader, is Binary Domain silly. In this game about shooting meanie-head robots, you are often presented with opportunities to respond to inquiries from your fellow squad members by yelling "God Damn!" at them. Because sure, why not?
If you choose to yell "God Damn!", your squad members' "trust meters" will fall. One of this game's mostly widely touted features is how combat scenarios and the storyline can play out differently depending on the degree to which your squad trusts you. It doesn't seem very difficult to pick the "correct" responses in conversations, as nodding and agreeing with whatever someone just said is almost guaranteed to make their meter go up. I'm assuming that there are no tangible benefits associated with purposefully treating everyone poorly, but it's a lot of fun to yell "God Damn!" in response to whatever someone says, so it's hard not to click that.
Another thing that makes this shooty-blasty game stand out is it's unorthodox setting and storyline. The opening hours feature a *lot* of exposition and table setting that establish a near-future version of Earth that has undergone severe global flooding. Cities had to rebuild themselves on top of the the now-flooded ruins of their former selves. There weren't many humans left after the flooding, however, so they made robots! And then mega corporations. And then robots that look like people. And then international special operations teams comprised of elite combatants from around the world. And so on.
While I'm poking a bit of fun at things here, these sorts of quirks at least lend Binary Domain more charm than a lot of other shooters that I've played. Being able to blast out energy shockwaves at legions of dim-witted robots in Tokyo while bantering back and forth with "Big Bo" (pictured above) can sometimes mask the mundane nature of what you're actually doing while playing. The game attempts to incentivize the player to strategically target the limbs of robots to cripple them in various ways, but it's easy enough to just shoot everything in the head or another glowing weak point and then proceed from there. If you've ever played one of the hundreds of games where you shoot at your enemy while crouching behind one of the dozens of giant crates that always happens to be there when you need to duck behind something for cover, you'll know what to do here.
In other words, this is simple and silly, which I suppose is what I was looking for.