Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Bodycount - First Impressions.

'By no means does this demo portray the graphics, gameplay or quality of the finished product'

The rather perplexing sentence inscribed on the opening title screen of Bodycount whose demo was released recently. I'm sure this is just some tacked-on legal thing, but whenever I see it I can't help but think: "Um Codemasters? If that sentence really is the case then couldn't you have released something that had nothing to do with Bodycount?  Like a banana with a logo on the side of it or something? Eating it probably would have been more fun than the Bodycount demo.

More destruction was really needed.
Some people may be growing a bit tired of the FPS genre in recent times, believing a certain air of stagnation seems to be hovering over the major franchises as everyone tries to emulate whats popular. Personally I don't think this is entirely true as there is some innovation out there and to give Bodycount it's due it is trying something slightly different, but where it excels in theory it falls flat on it's arse in execution.

You start the demo with somebody who sounds eerily like Cortana from the Halo series bellowing in your ear-hole about some warlord you've got to track down. Then you're set loose and immediately you notice my first, and possibly most irritating gripe. When iron-sight aiming you can't move, you can only sway left and right like a bullet-ridden daisy in a light breeze. Who in the name of god thought that would be a good idea in a fast paced shooter? Naturally this led to death time and time again as I tried to break that awful habit of aiming my weapon.

TOWERING INFERNO! just imagine it.
Secondly, the game employs a multi-kill system as a means of granting you rewards and resupplies. Sounds good, but it manifests itself as nothing more than a number in the top left of the screen. Hardly befitting, what it really needs is a deep Brian Blessed style voice booming "EXPLOSIVE OCTOKILL!" followed by an impromptu fireworks display and kick-ass guitar solo. With nothing more than a number to reward me the destruction feels like a bit of a letdown.

The graphics are also in need of a bit of a perk up, as well as the clunky movement controls. A fun game is in there somewhere desperately trying to poke it's head through. If Codemasters takes the criticisms it's received onboard this could be one to watch. If they manage to get Brian Blessed onboard this might be one to watch for GOTY.

Publisher: Codemasters

Want it? Get the demo on XBLA. 


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