Hey Binary Domain! Why Are You Making It Hard For Me To Play You?!

by on April 27, 2012 >> First ImpressionsPCPreviewsPS3Xbox

Very rarely do I think that a shooter needs to be played on a console. The control of a mouse and keyboard is always more responsive and accurate just based on it’s nature. It’s a better control scheme. Why is so stupid and trying to force me to play with a controller but then making it really hard for me to play with any controller I want? The game has only been out for an hour and I’ve never been so frustrated in all my life.

Binary Domain is the new 3rd Person Cover Shooter from that pits you and your squad up against a bunch of robots in a Japan of the future. It’s actually kind of great in a lot of ways. It’s gorgeous, well animated, filled with super clean visuals, great sound design and interesting ideas about how to take down your enemies. The problem is the controls. The controls are just complete ass. They don’t have to be, in fact if you’re willing to put 20 minutes into configuring them they could be brilliant.

It’s not that the controls themselves are broken. Once you set the game up how you like it, it plays. This isn’t a matter of floaty jumps, or unresponsiveness, it’s a matter of horrible ass backward mapping that flies in the face of everything that both console and PC have done for 20 years. I plugged in my favorite controller the Razer Onza TE. It is the best Xbox 360 controller on the market today (I like it more than the MLG controller) and features a great set of triggers, mappable buttons and more. It’s simply top notch (Read as “Hey Razer I’d love it if you sponsored our gameplay”). I plugged it into the USB port on the front of my computer expecting it to work like any other controller and started to play.

I got the opening cut scene which reminded me of the opening of Metal Gear Solid. I’m attached to a cool under water delivery device with my partner and we’re sneaking into the enemy base through a water gate? Awesome. We get our mission and now it’s time to run through the tutorial. What’s interesting is that I can literally say NO to this through the game’s voice based commands (no Kinect required!) but I say yeah and that’s when I hit a wall. I’m tasked with aiming and shooting at a broken down stop sign. I pull the left trigger like the game says and what happens? Well I look down naturally. Pull the right trigger and I look up… wait what? I hit start to pause the game and what happens next? I shoot my gun. Ok… so the controller is totally mapped wrong. I have to press in on the Right Stick to pause. This is ass backwards. Ok screw this… let’s Alt+F4 out of the game and play with a mouse and keyboard.

As soon as I booted up Binary Domain, ready to play with a mouse and keyboard, it showed me controller commands such as “Press Start” or “Press A”… Well do you really want me to press A? A is how I strafe left. Oh what you really meant was press the space key. Ok then tell me that. Now I want to pause. Hit ESC right? nope. Hit ENTER. WHAT?! Get into a fire fight and reload… MOUSE BUTTON 3? I can’t scroll through my weapons using the mouse wheel? OH and my charged energy weapon is also reload but I have to hold it down. I can see that being a problem I’m definitely going to have to remap everything. Get back out to the main menu… oh I can’t configure anything IN GAME. I have have to use their config tool, which to be fair is kind of a normal thing nowadays.

That’s where I find that the game force pairs commands together. I can’t simply use the R key to reload and map another button to my special charged energy weapon. I have to have them both be R. Well why? Why can’t I map every single thing to a different key if I want? I have an entire keyboard at my disposal so why do I have to force map so many things together?

Binary Domain shows that it’s visually built for PC but it’s controls are meant to be console. I also had to use this config tool to tell the game to tell me to show the keyboard commands rather than the Xbox 360 controller commands. Honestly we’re not off to a great start here. It should just know what device I’m using. Games form years ago are able to do that. Why can’t it?

I know this is a 800 word rant on the control scheme for the game and while that may seem excessive to some you have to understand that this is the worst thing you can get wrong in a game. The harder you make it to interact with your game the less likely I am to want to play it. Binary Domain isn’t a bad game either. Once I mapped the controls it’s been fun. I still have no idea how to map the 360 controls in a way that makes sense so I suppose I never will but the rest of the game is fine.

It’s an interesting take on the modern 3rd person shooter and I really want to like it. I can’t complain too much as it is kind of a budget title. On PC the game is only 40 bucks brand new and the game has only been out for an hour. They have time to patch the controls. I say give the game a shot, but really take your time with the controller mapping before you jump in or you’ll just be frustrated.

Then again a game that wants you to use a 360 controller but has no fucking clue how to map to one is kind of an ass hole.

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  • Faye Lee is Beautiful <3

    it’s a good game but the controls were a bit on a sucky side,, i found it hard to equip the side arm you can equip it by pressing 2 on the keyboard if you dont have secondary weapon,, but if you have,, press 1 for primary and 2 for secondary,, and for the side arm?,,, WTF?!! i can’t equip my side arm,, pressed all the numbers but no seccess,, both my weapons were out of ammo,, and my only chance to survive is the side arm,, now i’m here on the net looking on “how to equip the side arm on binary domain for pc” and “binary domain controls for pc” they should fix these things on the binary domain 2 if they’ll make one,,

    • Desmond_koo

      same situation..but hw?

  • tdm

    Game wise is beautiful, control-wise it sucks… Missing side arm button as mentioned before is one issue… Another issues is this: clumping together dash and stick to wall.

    Lots of fights need to move around and hide, etc. When i try run and im too close to the wall, well… it sticks to the wall! ending up being clobbered by enemy fire… and if its a boss fight, thats another med kit wasted coz of stupid ass controls…

  • Anonymous

    If you go into the Binary Domain folder and go to the configuration tool (I believe you have to run as administrator on windows 7 to get it to open) there is an option (second tab I believe) that changes the console button indicators to keyboard ones. It’s ridiculous for a PC game, that that is set as the default.

  • Patrick

    I spent 6 hours mapping buttons how I want them to be to make it traditionary intuitive as i’d never get this game on console due to it’s default wired button mapping. Gears of war on my pc with no extreme drm ” :) !”

  • dafuq

    the controls are sobad i wont even play the game & the config settings wont save :s

  • E71

    It doesn’t allow me to use RMB to move forward…

    The whole thing reeks of lazy console port — if they’re too lazy to code proper in-game config or a decent config tool I won’t bother purchasing their game.

    It’s always the first hurdle a lot of dumb ass developers fall over.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Watt/100001422302324 Robert Watt

    The worst controls ever in a game. I can’t play that game. I didn’t even know that I needed a mic for that game. What games basically demand you to use a mic? Sega just make another crappy Sonic game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Legion-Iscariot/100002882737869 Legion Iscariot

    I start the game for the first time. As always the first thing i do is go into settings to remap the keyboard. There is no option to remap the keyboard. So im playing the game and the button prompts are so small i dont even know what to press.
    First impression of this game: terrible.

  • Tifa Lockhart

    This Kent author must be a very stupid guy. I’m a casual gamer, but I think this game is very easy to play. The controller is very intuitive to me. I beat this game with no frustration whatsoever. I like the game design, story, and the gameplay. Binary Domain is one of the best game I played this generation.

    • dumbass

      you are not a casual gamer. u are a female player.

  • Chris Pie All

    I couldn’t figure out how to pause it when I first played the demo