Bodycount Review

Tag: Game Reviews, Microsoft, Sony

Bodycount was built with an enjoyable experience in mind, avoiding the modern combat scenario. Through implementing ragdoll physics, firepower and durability power ups, Codemasters has achieved their vision. However overlooking many aspects of the game, Bodycount plays like a prototype rather than a finished product.

Every game has a story or at least a concept which makes sense. In Bodycount the story was formed as an excuse, to kill anything in sight. Every level your briefed by a woman working for your employer, the Network. An organization taking it upon themselves, to end a conflict which doesn't concern them.

You'd be lucky to find any cutscenes at all, giving an explanation of your motives or goals. Within the first hour of the game I was lost and confused. One minute I was scanning an object for intel, then the mission had ended.

The open exploration of levels, is a distraction for players. As there's nothing to do other than mow down your enemies. I was quite disappointed by the absence of actual objectives.

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The enemies are quite cumbersome at times, watching you approach them. Only acknowledging you as a threat, once you shoot. Many of the levels are lacklustre and linear. The scripted mini boss battles, are as good as it gets.

The weapons and shooting mechanics, I must say are solid. However the sluggish controls frustrated my playthrough. Manually adjusting the analogs sensitivity, I found the right balance.

For Bodycount aiming and shooting with L2 & R2, was quite awkward. Shooting with L1 & R1 would have  much better suited  the game but the controls are unchangeable.

Power ups is one of the key elements of the game, which stimulates the arcadey action. Raging from an airstrike, explosive fire, temporary invulnerability and highlighting enemies. Throughout the whole game I never used the highlight ability once, its should've been replaced with something more creative. Electrifying bullets or the ability to explode everything around you, would've been more useful.

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I found it quite odd that you couldn't change weapons, found around the map. Instead your forced to use a weapon cache, found at the beginning of every level. Rather disappointingly, there's only 2 handguns, 1 shoutgun and a few assault rifles to choose from.

Skill points are gained from headshots and shooting explosive barrels. If you destroy your enemy otherwise, your streak of points ends. My biggest problem with this feature is when your forced to revisit locations, where the barrels have been exploded.

The only other way to gain points is from killing someone through a wall or while their back is turned. The best and most exciting way to gain them though, is by throwing an impact grenade. Upon hitting an object or floor, this grenade will instantly kill foes and sends them flying.

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The shredding system lives up to the hype, destroying the walls of buildings and cover. This definitely makes the player think fast, while keeping them constantly on the move.

Using your combat knife you can shred your way through anything. Performing this action, I encountered my first bug in the game. Whereby I fell through the environment and died slashing a pillar.

The knife, hands down it's the worst weapon in the game. You have to get within breathing distance to slash someone. To make matters worse there's a delayed response from the controller to the game, unless your tapping away at the knife button.

Bodycount's greatest gameplay mechanic has to be its lean, crouch and stand cover system. Performing these actions, helps you adopt to your environment. While its being blown to bits, new cover opportunities arise.

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As you progress through the game the same old levels are recycled, with objects rearranged. In most cases the level design isn't built around the cover system. At times the player is presented with situations, where there is either nowhere to hide or vast amount of enemies destroy your cover.

It's a shame that there are too many negatives, overshadowing the great aspects of the game. Bodycount is one those titles you would love to see succeed but falls short of expectations. There are way better shooters out there, which accomplishes Codemasters vision more successfully.

5/10

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