Bodycount is said to be the spiritual successor to Criterion’s 2006 game Black, which put a gun in your hands and told you to blow up everything in sight. It wasn’t exactly the greatest game of its time, but it offered decent gameplay and detail to the weapons that not many games of the time brought. It suffered from a terrible story and some bad bugs however, which kept it from competing with other shooters of the time.
Here in 2011, Codemasters has finally released Bodycount, the game that looks to take Black’s place as a wonderfully destructive shooter in our time of Battlefield and Modern Warfare. But can this game deliver on what it aims to give us? Or does it jam and wind up tagging itself in the foot? Here are the Hots and Nots of Bodycount.
They hit a good note with the music in Bodycount. It does a good job of incorporating sounds of the local culture into the areas you are in. When you are in Africa, you can hear a more tribal sound to the music as opposed to the sound of the music when you are in Asia. The music in the Targets lairs are very techno-esque and catchy when you get into battle. This, unfortunately, is one of the three things that this game does right…
Detail In Guns
Each of the guns has its own little details that make them extremely awesome. The guns are all detailed with scratches and scuffs here and there and the different muzzle flashes for each weapon and its different caliber. The detail does not really make up for the lack of variety in the weapons however. There is a total of 10 weapons in Bodycount and you will always find yourself using the next unlocked one as it is the strongest. Once you reach the final levels, you wont need anything but the same two weapons throughout the levels. Disappointment ftw.
Run And Gun
The game feels really fast paced when you are running through the levels and blowing away everything in your path. This also works better than the broken lean-and-peak mechanic. This would be even better if the game didn’t punish you in the form of death every time you try to run and gun. The game encourages you to go Rambo on everyone yet gives you the dead screen for doing it. It really doesn’t make sense to me.
This is the biggest Not in the entire game. The story is absolutely terrible and barely existent. You are put into the shoes of an unnamed mute who knows nothing more than pulling the trigger on various weapons to kill people. The story takes you to three different locations with little to no variety. You will go to Africa, Asia and the Target bases. That’s the extent of it. Your goal is to destroy the Target. Get to killing. I had an idea that the story would not be great but I wasn’t expecting it to be this terrible.
The graphics in Bodycount match the story of the game. The environments are bland and void of any bright colors. You will spend your time looking at drab brown and grey environments and the character models are terrible. The Target enemies look like they are straight out of some goofy B-movie and are laughable at best. The other character models are nothing special either. You will find yourself shooting the same character models over and over again until you finally reach the game’s conclusion, which leads me to my next point…
The game can be completed in one sitting on the normal difficulty with quite a few deaths. It’s that short. There is a Bodycount mode you can play after you have completed the game so you can go back and earn a better score in the level but this is pointless unless you are trying to get every achievement and trophy. This would be extremely difficult due to the game’s random spikes in difficulty at times. It can get pretty ridiculous, especially when their is no cover around for you. Sudden and cheap death? This game gives you both, at one time. The multiplayer is good for a few giggles but will grow old quickly as it is the same thing as the single player, but with real people. It only offers two modes for competitive (deathmatch and and team deathmatch) and a co-op mode for you and one friend. The co-op mode only includes a few maps and will not likely hold your attention for long.
I found myself getting extremely frustrated with the controls multiple times due to the ridiculous lean-and-peak system. Holding down L2 will freeze your character and zoom in the screen, allowing you to lean and move around cover to pop off accurate shots. That is how it works in CONCEPT. In reality, you will run down a corridor and instinctively go to aim but you will instead be frozen in one spot until you realize too late what you have done. This will lead to your death on multiple occasions. I would have settled for a standard zoom.
Bodycount comes as a huge disappointment to anyone who played Black on last gen consoles. It also comes as a disappointment to fans of the shooter genre. With little more than music and a flawed run and gun mechanic going for it, this game is by no means a purchase. If you must play the game, then my suggestion is to rent it. With the terrible story, bad graphics, short campaign and screwy controls, not even a hard core shooter fan who will play anything will enjoy this game for more than a few minutes.
[Editor’s Note: Bodycount was reviewed on the PlayStation 3 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Bodycount Review,