Backlog Quest: Day 7 – Bodycount – Let the expectations hit the floor

Dear Journal,

Today I… well really I just played a very mediocre shooter. That’s what I did.

Once when I was on a message board, probably CAG, someone said (in reference to Bodycount) that “Codemasters doesn’t make bad games!”  They of course were being sarcastic, because the truth is that Codemasters hasn’t had a lot of successes lately.  Bodycount offered an interesting idea, playing as a mercenary for an organization in the not too distant future seeking to maintain global stability, fighting against an underground organization seeking to undermine that stability.

Sadly, it just kind of sucks.

Now, BodyCount has some moments, but it is ultimately mixed.  Environments that feel very open yet linear at the same time? Very cool. Re-using the same environment multiple times? Not cool.  Sound effects (even background) so well done that more than once I thought the dog was barking in real life? Well done. Re-using the same enemies over and over again, not so much.  Small little power ups that don’t totally balance the game in your favor but can make a huge difference none-the-less when used properly? Again, very cool. Making it so that when you are looking down the sights you can’t move, only lean one way or another? Not cool man, not cool at all.

To be fair, saying Bodycount sucks is a bit unfair.  It is really just a mediocre game trying to do something that has been done far too many times now and can’t afford to be so mediocre.  The game should have been well received for the open yet linear levels where you are often caught between two warring parties that are really trying to kill one another; but instead it is hard to get past the very awkward choice of not being able to move while looking down the sights. Or the constant recycling of textures or environments. Or the insanely difficult end boss and odd, out of place boss fights strung together by a convoluted and poorly drafted story.

Truth be told, the game looks and sounds pretty good, and once you get used to the “lean and scope” aspect it even plays fairly well, but it just never manages to be much fun.  The game also seriously bogs down about mid way through, and for at least a little while it felt like a genuine chore returning to the game in an effort to finally complete it.

Basically, Bodycount fails mostly because of how much better other games are doing more or less the same thing.  As a downloadable title, with some unneeded levels stripped out, Bodycount could have been amazing; key words being “could have been.” But stretched out and forced into a retail title, Bodycount is far too little asking for far too much.  It is an awkward shooter with a poorly executed story. The sort of thing that has bargain bin written all over its future. I suggest waiting for that future to become the present.

Tomorrow I find out how boring a dinosaur-boxing match can be in Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs.

Final Rating: 5.5/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On
: Xbox 360
Time to completion: About 5 hours.
Gamer Score Earned: 745/1000
Price Bought at: $12
Current Price: $15.49 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: Under $15.
Why you should buy it: Need something besides COD to play but don’t want to get too crazy.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: Playing it would require spending more than $15?


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