Binary Domain Gameprotv Analysis Essay

"If it's indistinguishable from humans, where does the machine end and life begin?"

— American President during a meeting with National Security Council in New Washington D.C., USA.

Binary Domain is a squad-based third-person shooter for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. It is the brain child of Toshihiro Nagoshi, also known as the creator of the love letter to violence and gangster drama (and Spiritual Successor to Shenmue) that is the Yakuza series. It was developed under the newly formed Yakuza Studios, and published by SEGA.The story takes place in the 2080s. In an era of advanced technology, robots are commonplace, so much so that a New Geneva Convention was signed regulating their creation and establishing limitations on the direction research and development towards their creation can take. However, after an incident involving a middle-aged man going berserk in a public area, it was discovered that a new type of robot had been released into society: "Hollow Children", androids that look like humans, act like humans, and most importantly, believe themselves to be human. Unfortunately, when they discover their true nature, they grow unstable and violent. Investigation throws suspicion on Yoji Amada, a reclusive genius in robotics and artificial intelligence, and founder of the Amada Corporation, Japan's leading manufacturer of robots. As this is a clear violation of the New Geneva Convention, the nations of the world send the "RustCrew", an internationally sanctioned strike team specially trained to deal with artificial beings, to infiltrate Tokyo (which is now an isolationist state), arrest Amada at any cost and put an end to the machines' uprising.The gameplay is based around tactically directing your squad to overcome all obstacles that come your way. To this end the game sports what it calls the "Consequence System", in which anything you do and say to your squadmates will affect how much they trust you. On low levels of trust, they will act like a Commander Contrarian and just do whatever they want, but on high levels they will respond to your commands quickly and precisely, and grant you hints about enemy weakspots, hidden items, etc. The Consequence System will also affect the plot, as different squadmates will act differently during certain points of the story depending on their respective levels of trust. Commands can be issued either by pressing buttons or by using a headset.The game is also a love letter to classic, old school Cyberpunk, with pretty much every trope out of the cyberpunk writer's manual on display, and loads of shout-outs/homages to classic cyberpunk works. Just the amount of tropes related to robots is staggering.Binary Domain was released on February 16, 23, 24, and 28 to Japan, Australia, Europe, and America, respectively. A PC port was released over Steam on April 27 worldwide.Not to be confused with the August Soft Visual NovelBinary Pot.

This game provides examples of:

  • 108: There are 108 Hybrids out in the world, with Faye being the 108th.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Somewhat justified, in that the sewage processing plant the protagonists plow through is designed to process the sewage of the entire city of Tokyo.
  • Action Genre Hero Guy: It's kinda hilarious how much Dan fits the stereotype. Still doesn't stop him from being a likeable guy... and a total badass.
  • Action Girl: Faye and/or Rachel, depending on how often you fight with them to see them in action. Faye does get kidnapped later, but there's a VERY good storyline explanation for it.
  • After-Action Patch-Up: Dan treats Faye's gunshot after they finally get a chance to catch their breaths, after fighting through a monorail, train station, and the Gorilla.
  • After the End: By the 2080s, much of Earth has been victim to global flooding, which gave way to the development of robotic manual labor to rebuild the devastated cities.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • The Amada A.I. did rebel and kill Amada, but it was in justified self-defense: Amada catalyzed self-awareness into him by instilling in him pain and fear until he developed sentience. Amada really, REALLY asked to get rubbed out. While the Amada A.I. does develop a pretty ruthless personality, it's not out of malice, but a desire for survival and to become more of a living being.
    • Averted with all the other robots in the game, which are simply doing what they were programmed to do; which is pretty much to hunt down and kill rebel scum and foreign invaders.
  • A.K.A.-47: Most of the ingame weapons are expies of existing, present day weapons; as an example, Dan's assault rifle is modeled off the Bushmaster ACR assault rifle.
    • Some of them also combine features of two or more existing weapons.
  • America Saves the Day: The main hero, Dan, is violently American. Surprising in that it's a Japanese-developed game, so you'd think the hero would have been Japanese... but Japan is pretty much the bad guy in the game. Go fig.
  • And I Must Scream: The fate of the real Yoji Amada, who was sealed in his office and left to starve to death over the course of several days, while the Amada AI silently watched. He had it coming, though.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Dan and Faye call each other "Yankee" and "Farm Girl", respectively, in a not-so-friendly manner, with Faye describing Dan as the typical American military meathead and Dan mocking Faye for her rural upbringing. They call themselves this later in... a much more friendly manner.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: During Faye's confrontation with Rust Crew over being a Hybrid.

    Faye: "This feels like life, Charlie. Who are you to say that it isn't?"

  • Artificial Human: While Hollow Children are not Artificial Humans (being Ridiculously Human Robots instead), their offspring, Hybrids, most certainly are. Their only difference to humanity is the accident of their conception.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Your squadmates are very fond of walking into your line of fire, and scolding you for shooting them.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Boss robots inevitably have one.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: several secondary weapons.
    • The sniper rifle is very powerful, extremely precise and can kill most mooks in one shot, but has a pitiful max ammo capacity.
    • The shotgun is also powerful, but has pathetic range.
    • All fixed machine guns but the boss fight one. You can use them and they are very powerful, but they're always deployed by the baddies against you. Usually by the time you get to them all the mooks in the area are by necessity dead, and there's no-one to use the mounted guns on.
    • The minigun dropped by a miniboss is guaranteed to make you want to try it out at first, but you probably will not be fond of it after experiencing the gun's ridiculous weight and recoil. And it has only 250 bullets.
    • In one level, you get access to the Stinger missile launcher. While it can lock on to the boss's weak point, the missile can be intercepted by swarms of lesser mooks in the boss fight area and you can hardly get a clear shot when the boss is surrounded by mooks. To make things worse, every time you get knocked down by an explosion, the weapon gets knocked out of your hand an has to be picked up again.
  • Badass Crew: The Rust Crew, obviously. Throughout the game, every one of them has moments of pure badassery.
  • Battle Couple: Dan and Faye. What, like you didn't figure out the first time they meet that they'd get the hots for each other? Phhhpt.
  • Beta Test Baddie: The Amada A.I.'s entire motivation is his desire to be a true living being, with all the rights and privileges it entails. Including reproduction.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Philips at the end of the game. With even the last-ditch plan failed, knowing that the Rust Crew won't be generous with him, he decides to shoot himself in the head.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Cain, in the Golden Ending. He drops out of nowhere, raining supressive fire on the Mini-Mecha squad that's about to gun you down.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Dan and Big Bo. Dan's not small by any means (he's downright huge compared to the average Joe) but he's way smaller than Bo.
  • Black Best Friend: Big Bo, obviously.
  • Black Market: Pretty much the entire world depends on black markets in the game's setting. With climatic changes, many major cities were flooded, and new ones were built on the ruins of the old ones. The denizens of the lower cities would not be able to survive at all were it not for black marketing.
  • Body Horror: What happens when Hollow Children get exposed.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Both Dan and Big Bo, being the Americans on the team, are much louder and cocky than the others.
  • Boom, Headshot: The game actually encourages it by giving you extra credits for doing so. There's another benefit, see Cranial Processing Unit.
  • Bridge Bunnies: Are seen at a New Order command center, reporting on Dan & Bo's overt infiltration.
  • Broken Hero: Dan. A hell of a soldier, a great battlefield leader who manages to win the loyalty of even the most hesitant member of his team... and grew up in an abusive home which left him with an irrational hatred of mechanical beings. Specifically, his family's servant robot for its inaction when his mother was being beaten by his alcoholic father.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Kurosawa.
    • Cowboy Cop: Once he realizes that his own government is condoning crime right in front of the public's nose, Kurosawa doesn't hesitate in disobeying orders. It helps that he had the Constable along to suggest that the order to stand down was 'lost to interference.'
  • Call-Back: Without spoiling (or spoilering) anything;

    "Tell your momma I loved her."

  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: An antagonistic instance of the trope. Charlie thoroughly dislikes when the mission goes off the rails and hates Dan's insubordinate attitude, while Dan would love to pull the stick out of Charlie's ass and beat him with it. They both get better as the mission goes along, though.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Gloriously averted. Rachel might be one of the two female members of the Rust Crew, but her uniform issued by Britain is virtually identical to the one on Charlie.
  • The Chessmaster: Major Philips. Turns out he actually knew about the Amada A.I. all along, and he was secretly manipulating the Rust Crew to get a hold of it for Bergen and the US.
  • Child Soldiers: Dan and Bo meet up with anti-government guerrillas early on looking for metal scraps to sell. As Dan reminded the oldest of them to get the kids to stop doing anti-government guerrilla work, the older anti-government guerrilla rebukes him for his comments.

    Anti-government guerrilla: "You think any of us have a choice? Look around you, Yankee Man! No future!"

    • In a conversation with Faye, she tells Dan that all Chinese are conscripted into the Army at the age of fourteen.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Partway through Rust Crew's raid on Amada Corp HQ, Amada hacks the US millcom and orders all NC vessels note Naval warships carrying nuclear missiles to attack everyone, though this is foiled by the team. Phillips orders a nuclear strike, which is rejected by the launch vessel: Amada's earlier hacking has evolved the AIs of the vessels to be able to judge the validity of launch orders.
  • City Noir: Lower Tokyo. Upper Tokyo, in contrast, is a Shining City.
  • Colossus Climb: the boss of Amada's building, a vaguely octopus-like Humongous Mecha, has equally big Combat Tentacles and, once they are disabled, you must climb one to reach the upper floor and get its weak spot in your line of fire.
  • Combat Stilettos: Shinobi-Type robots have these to complement their more feminine look. They also happen to be both kinds of stilettos: high heels and sharp-as-hell blades.
  • Consummate Professional: Charlie, Rachel and Faye start out as this, while Dan and Big Bo, in contrast, are more laid back and contemptuous of authority. Rachel isn't a cold fish, though, she's just really good at keeping her work and her feelings separate, and Faye, well, she's the Love Interest, so she obviously warms up during the course of the game. Charlie desperately tries to cling to his professionalism throughout the game, but many events conspire to break it.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Seriously, what are the odds that out of only 108 individuals in the ENTIRE PLANET that are offspring of Hollow Children, one of them would join her country's military, rise up to special forces-level and be assigned to a multinational spec-ops team with the express purpose of arresting the creator of said Hollow Children? A million to one?
    • Considering Hybrids are genetically superior to humans in every way, pretty good. Though the odds the team would consist of almost every race, gender, nationality and even a robot is pretty out there.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Amada, who attempted to steal Bergen's technology. But it's actually Bergen who's the corrupt one and successfully stole company secrets from Amada while pinning him for the crime.
  • Covert Pervert: Rachel and Faye will both accuse Dan of being one if you choose both of them to be on your team, you have the choice to either confirm or deny it.
  • Cranial Processing Unit: Averted. You can actually blow a bot's head off and it'll still be functioning. However, in doing so, you DO take out its sensory functions, which help it distinguish between friend and foe. Hilarity Ensues. Especially with the robots carrying the Gatlingguns.
  • Crapsack World: The entire Binary Domain story... Bo doesn't like how the world has been since global warming flooded most of the countries worldwide.
    • Faye mentions that all Chinese are conscripted into the military at the age of fourteen.
  • Creating Life: Amada certainly succeeds in creating a self-aware, sentient being. Unfortunately, his... extreme method of creation leads to...
    • Creating Life Is Bad: Even invoked by the President Of the United States: he considers Hollow Children an abomination, and Hybrids an even WORSE one, because the US is a "God-fearing nation", and only He has the right to create life.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Like every other character, Faye spends most of the time in the game shrugging off assault rifle bursts in the chest like minor inconveniences thanks to Regenerating Health. Cue the cutscene, and a simple pistol shot from a nearby robot causes a serious wound and a lot of trouble. What's even worse is that she was Taking the Bullet for the main character, who is much more resistant to damage than her.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Cain is very agile and fairly hardy, but his machine pistol is a light weapon and it makes him a mediocre ally in direct combat. Cue the cutscenes, though, and suddenly a few bursts from his gun are capable of popping robot skulls left and right.
    • Inverted earlier on. Normally, a sustained burst from Dan's rifle or Bo's LMG is enough to permanently put a robot out of action. When one of the scavenger children is grabbed by a badly damaged robot, it takes multiple shots from both Bo and Dan to put it down.
  • Cyberpunk: Surprisingly, an example of the classic flavor. Huge business conglomerates are crooked, shiny cities have been constructed on the crumbling remains of the previous ones after global climatic disasters, robots are at best treated as servants and at worse blown to bits without mercy, the lead characters are rebellious to authority, and the world's most advanced technology comes from a Japan that is isolated from the world at large. While Trans Humanism isn't addressed (there are no cyborgs in the game), What Measure Is a Non-Human? most certainly is.
  • Cyberpunk Is Techno: Oh yeah.
  • Cyberpunk with a Chance of Rain: While it isn't like this the entire game, the first chapter is definitely this trope.
  • Dead All Along: Amada. He's actually being impersonated by his "son", the Amada A.I.
  • Deadpan Snarker: THE ENTIRE RUST CREW. Yes, even Cain. Apparently being a smartass is a requirement to be elite.
  • Defector from Decadence: Dan, at the end, quits the Rust Crew and joins Faye as a fugitive because he considers Hybrids innocents who are hunted for what they are, instead of who they are.
  • Dialogue Tree: Your teammates will often talk to you, both during battle and in calmer moments, and you can answer their questions with a short dialogue tree. You can also not answer at all, which will annoy them pretty badly.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: "Her mother was a scraphead, that makes her a scraphead, and you... a scraphead lover!" A line delivered by the teams only Africian American member just to drive the point home extra hard.
  • Driven to Suicide: The reason why most Rust Crews usually only have to deal with the people who produce Hollow Children: if a Hollow Child discovers what it is, it has the tendency to Go Mad from the Revelation and kill itself. Possibly justified, given the widespread Fantastic Racism involved in the setting; many Hollow Children could have been robot-hating bigots who discovered to their horror You Are What You Hate.
  • Eagleland: Dan and Big Bo are tagged, initially, as Flavor 2s by the rest of the Rust Crew, but they're really more Mixed Flavor types: loud, maybe boastful, but always willing to do the right thing and great to have next to you in a firefight. The US Government itself (at least as represented through Major Philips and even the joint chiefs of staff) gets a slightly less positive portrayal.
  • Eating Machine: While never explicitly stated, the Hollow Children emulate humanity so perfectly that this must be a given.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The Rust Crew, since most of its personnel are either recruited from special forces units or from intelligence agencies.
  • Emergency Weapon: the infinite-ammo sidearm you start with, which is also Boring Yet Practical. Unlikely to see much use in big battles, but when you only have to fight a few standard mooks its precision and decent damage can help save up ammo for the more powerful weapons.
  • Enemy Mine: Kurosawa after Amada ambushes the team. It's very pronounced because you also have Shindo with you: Kurosawa's job is to defend the government that Shindo wants to overthrow.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the ending, when the President of the United States is outlining what will effectively be a campaign of genocide upon a minority simply because they were born to Hollow Child parents, Bergen is the one who quietly questions the decision and points out that the hybrids are still basically human on a biological level. This is after Bergen had stolen robotics tech from Amada and basically started the chain of events that caused this whole mess to begin with, and after he had an indirect hand in the plot to nuke Tokyo after stealing more tech from Amada.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Constable is never called by his name during the game. Same with the American President.
  • Everything Is Online: The Amada A.I. takes control of the US's military communications systems by using every Amada robot on the planet as part of a massivedistributed processing network.
  • Evolving Weapon: All of Rust Crew's weapons can be upgraded, but the evolution is most prominent with Dan's rifle, which goes from being a plain vanilla assault rifle into a powerful light machinegun.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Big Bo and Cain, but this can be averted if your trust level with them is high enough (or in the case with Cain, every allied character in game, including Kurosawa and Shindo)
    • Faye undergoes this after Amada reveals her true heritage, particularly because as a Hybrid, the Rust Crew will terminate her.
  • Fake Static: The Constable tells Kurosawa he didn't hear any orders to withdraw because of static when they're trying to infiltrate the Amada building.
  • Fake Ultimate Mook: The Jarhead security robots are supposed to be Elite Mooks compared to the regular Assault Shooters. They're more heavily armored and have a wider variety of moves (including some basic martial arts attacks and throwing grenades), but their slow walk speed makes it really easy to headshot them and rack up your trust meter.
  • Fighting the Lancer: Charlie and Dan go at each other's throats over how to handle the Hybrids situation. Dan doesn't care Faye's a Hybrid on account of what he and Faye have gone through together, while Charlie wants to stick to his orders, mainly to eliminate Faye.
    • It doesn't help that Faye tries to blow Charlie's head off - and will succeed in doing so if you don't intervene.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Fantastic Racism: The Rust Crew, obviously, doesn't have any particular fondness for robots ("scrap-heads"), but Dan in particular LOATHES them. His hatred is misplaced, but has deep root: Dan's father was an abusive drunk who beat both him and his mother, and Dan took out his anger on their domestic robot, bashing it with a baseball bat. Dan never grew out of it.
    • When The Reveal arrives, that the Amada AI created Rediculously Human Robots as a first-generation for the birth of 100% biological ArtificialHalf-Human Hybrids, the hybrids in question are immediately treated as being no better than Hollow Children. In the ending, its shown that the United States fully intends to commit genocide on the hybrids, sending rust crews to hunt down and murder over a hundred people around the globe whose only crime was to be born to the wrong parents.
  • Fight Magnet: Dan. Everywhere he goes, the biggest fights and the biggest bosses go. In one particular level, after fighting through half the map with the forward team, Dan hears that the rear team is in trouble. Naturally, he doubles back to save them and send the other two teammates to go to the rendezvous point first. After saving the rear team, Dan is informed by the forward team that they have got to the rendezvous point without incident. And as he and the rear team practically retraced the forward team's steps, they get ambushed and have to fight some more.
  • For SCIENCE: Amada's experimentation into creating the Amada A.I. was incited by vengeance against Bergen for stealing his work, but eventually he becomes more obsessed with pushing the envelope than pursuing his revenge.
  • Foreshadowing: In Chapter 1, Big Bo remarks that a Multinational Team is all well, but everyone has their own agenda, including them. This is revisited in the endgame: Bo is the only member of Rust Crew privy to Philips' plan to seize the Amada A.I.

Комната была пуста, если не считать старой изможденной женщины на койке, пытавшейся подсунуть под себя судно. Хорошенькое зрелище, - подумал Беккер.  - Где, черт возьми, регистратура.

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