Reviewed: October 4, 2011
Released: August 30, 2011
My love for gaming has always been limited to a certain type of game; usually military in nature or at least an FPS that allowed for some sort of online cooperative or strategic multiplayer in mind; games like Rainbow Six or Ghost Recon. But from time to time, especially in those barren months while I am forced to wait for Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, or the next Ghost Recon title to ship, I’ve been known to pick-up a more casual shooter, and Bodycount is about as casual as it gets.|
Bodycount is way over-the-top when it comes to realism but still manages to be a fun shooter aimed squarely at the trigger-happy masses that are in this for fast and furious gun battles and loads of environmental destruction. Just about everything that exists in the world of Bodycount can and will get destroyed, which adds a certain level of uncertainty when it comes to taking cover. But this really isn’t a cover-shooter; more of a run and gun and scream into the mic FPS while taking part in crazy deathmatch modes or trying to stay alive in two-player survival.
Your first obstacle to overcome is the unique iron-sights mode that renders your character immobile when looking down the barrel of your gun. For those who can manage to only squeeze the trigger about halfway, you can continue to move and aim precisely, but the difference in pressure between moving and not moving is a delicate and difficult range to master, especially under the pressure of combat. Even harder than aiming a gun is trying to aim a grenade. Often, despite a clear throwing arc indicator, my grenade would encounter some invisible obstruction and either stop mid-trajectory or even worse, come back to land at my feet. Meanwhile, the enemy seemed to have no issues with their pinpoint grenade placement that had me dying repeatedly. Some sort of grenade indicator would have been appreciated – even the metallic “tink” of one landing nearby.
Bodycount seems to lean toward the arcade or game show style of shooter with its reliance on kill combos and scoring multipliers that factor in headshots and other specific ways to kill the enemy. I used to think that if you were the last man standing you won the war, but now you need to have a high score too. Still, it does force you to think a bit and try to dispatch your enemies with a bit of flair and precision.
The environments are detailed and surprisingly destructible, but also extremely limited in their design with only three main themes of design. I have to admit, things started getting awfully repetitive by the end of the game. Still, the various components that make up the levels, plus the detailed enemy character designs, fluid animation, great colors, lighting, and explosive special effects really combined for an overall fun and surreal experience.
The sound impressed me much more than the graphics with great gun sounds and powerful explosions. The soundtrack was okay for what it was and all the futuristic digital effects were interesting. Voice acting was also pretty much what I expected from a game that is light on story.
Bodycount is pretty short, especially if you are in it for the solo game that will last 7-8 hours at best. Of course they expect you to play and replay for higher scores and then you have the multiplayer modes, but now, weeks after the release of the game, there just isn’t that much of an active community to support the game, and it is only going to get worse when those “other games” start shipping in a few weeks.
Bodycount is fun enough but seems to come off more as a late summer diversion; something to keep you busy until a “real FPS” game arrives. It has its moments, along with an awkward control scheme and a glitched grenade system, but Bodycount sadly ends up being just another disposable FPS, released at the wrong time, and destined for the budget bin.