Written by Michael Rohde Friday, 02 September 2011 09:30
There are good games in this world and there are bad games in this world. One of each was recently released. On the one hand, Deus Ex: Human Revolution is one of those great games that help make a boring summer special. On the other hand, Bodycount is one of those games that make you say, WTF? This retails at $60 and the devs are calling it a AAA title?
Let’s start with the environments of Bodycount. There are two of them. One environment places you in dirty, brown African village slums in which you shoot either stereotyped warriors complete with face paint or militia dressed in olive green uniforms. While they shoot each other, you shoot them all; which is rather easy in that you can walk right up to them, place a gun to their head and empty a clip before they even react. To say the AI is dumb in Bodycount is an understatement. It’s like they were cloned from the guys in Star Trek who wore red shirts: they are there merely to die.
The second environment is some kind of underground spaceship thing. The artwork here looks like preliminary renderings of first draft attempts at creating something cool. Instead of inspired artwork, the door leading into the space age environment is white, with a few thin black lines to provide at least the semblance of context. Once inside, you run down one real long hallway, which is mostly done in black and white. The bad guys in the space age environment are completely dressed in black with no details whatsoever. It’s like they ran out of time and budget and just gave up.
Ben Kuchera from Ars Technica summed it up nicely in his Bodycount review when he wrote, “It's like someone tried to copy Bulletstorm, got drunk, and then gave up. Many aspects of the game look like they were created using placeholder graphics that were meant to be replaced, until the executive decision was made not to hire artists.”
When you kill a bad guy in Bodycount they drop brightly colored icons. When you run over them, you collect ammo and the ability to use your special powers, which include Adrenaline, Power Bullets, an Enemy Radar and WMDs in the form of a bombing run. When you pick up these icons, arcade type sound effects go off, which fit the game about as well as a Las Vegas slot machine fits in at a Gamblers Anonymous meeting.
You gain special powers and new guns simply by completing levels. You also gain 50 gamerscore for each new special power. If there’s one redeeming factor about Bodycount, is that it’s an easy way to ratchet up your gamerscore. If you’re competing in an Achievement contest and need a quick way to rack up several hundred gamerscore, then Bodycount is the game for you. I’ve played about 4 hours and earned 18 out of 41 Achievements without doing anything more than completing levels and mindlessly playing the game.
By now, you should realize that Bodycount is destined for the value bin. You might want to pick it up when it hits the $10 mark for the sole purpose of knowing what a bad game is like. Or, save yourself $10 and skip it entirely.